How to Start a Career in Sports Management

sports management

When you mention careers in sports, most people think of the Ronaldo’s, the Messi’s and the Mayweather’s of this exciting industry. But careers in the sports industry go beyond the athletes who are the main attraction.

Before you see Floyd Mayweather knock the living daylights out of an opponent, there is a patient and committed boxing coach behind the powerful punches. There are event managers, agents, sports data analysts and many other professionals backing his success.

The same applies to other athletes you know. They all have professional teams of experts helping them succeed, but sadly, these people rarely come into the limelight. They work in the shadows, but their hard work is what helps the athletes win big.

If you are passionate about sports but can’t score a goal to save your life, you’ll be glad to know you can create an exciting and lucrative career in sports management. That’s right, you don’t have to golf like Phil Mickelson or dunk like Lebron James to start a career in sports management. All you need is the passion, experience and the right skills.

For an industry that’s projected to grow to $614 billion by 2022, there exists a growing pool of incredible opportunities for the prepared candidate. Sports management jobs include such roles as general manager, sports analyst, agent, scout, marketing/PR personnel, club owners, executive directors, presidents and so on. Point is there are many job openings to fill.

With that preamble, let us now learn how you can prepare and kickstart a career in sports management, even with the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Sure-Fire Tips to Land a Job in Sports Business Management

Coronavirus has disrupted many industries, more so the world of sports. Many leagues have been stopped and many games delayed. Just the other day, the English Premier League and Formula 1 resumed, but the audience must still stay at home.

For anyone looking to start a career in sports management, the grim scenario that Covid-19 paints might seem like a blow from which the sports industry will never recover. But nothing can be further from the truth.

The effect is rather minimal, according to an article by Global Sports, and can open new opportunities for creative, optimistic and resilient candidates.

Besides, the major sources of revenue such as television rights and sponsorship deals are always insured against problems such as Coronavirus, meaning the industry will survive and come out stronger.

As such, now is a great time to start pursuing a career in sports management, since Covid-19 ushers in a new world where new talents in sports management will come to play. Without further ado, here’s how to create a career in sports management.

Get the Right Degree

According to Maryville University, “The world has a passion for sports. They entertain, excite, and unite us. They also hold a major-league position in the global economy. The modern sports industry needs experts to help guide ticket sales, drive sponsorship deals, build awareness for brand-name apparel and merchandise, and discover efficiencies in data to help organizations get a competitive edge.”

An online degree in sports management offers you the perfect educational background to catapult your career to great heights. Most major brands (e.g. Adidas) and big clubs require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree or higher for consideration.

If you have another degree, say in business administration, you can take a master’s degree in sports management to even the odds during interviews. Besides, the skills you learn will come in handy as you grow your career.

On top of that, taking a course opens many doors for you. You can quickly make new contacts, land internships and become part of an alumni that will help with career development. Your professors and members of the alumni can also be a great source of mentorship and jobs.

Discuss with your academic advisor to determine the right degree you need for careers in sports management, whether or not you already hold a degree in another field.

Gain Some Relevant Work Experience

You’ll hardly get a job in the sports industry straight from school. Here is where some relevant work experience helps. While your shiny academic accolades will help you get through the door, it’s work experience that finally lands you the job.

That’s why internships backed by your college are important. Many universities have internship placement deals with many sports agencies, clubs, teams and companies. You need to take advantage of these internships to earn some work experience.

An internship is an awesome opportunity to learn the ropes and the inner workings of the company as well as the industry as a whole. Most interns are usually absorbed by the company to work as full-time employees with benefits and the works.

Even if you don’t end up working where you intern, the experience gained will help you ace the interview in a different company. In the sporting industry, hiring managers call your previous place of work to check whether you’re as smart and hardworking as you claim in your application.

So, treat the internship like a real job and do your best. Also learn as if you will live forever while you have the chance. Other than internships, try applying for entry-level jobs with local clubs, amateur and collegiate leagues to gain some experience.

If you don’t have internship opportunities, trying volunteering. Just gain some work experience.


You must market yourself like Mad Men or as if your career depends on it because, well, it does. One of the best ways of getting your name out there is networking. While you might have challenges attending networking events thanks to Covid-19, you can always meet people online without leaving your house.

Additionally, you can try social media groups and pages to connect with other sports enthusiasts. No matter the platform you use, be it Facebook or Twitter among others, you’re bound to find your peers. Also, be an awesome networker, not the guy who is always trying to slam business cards and resumes down people’s throats.

The contacts you make along the way become your references when you are applying for your dream sports management job. Who knows? They might even alert you when there is an opening you can fill. Value your network and invest in each contact.

Cultivate the Right Skills

Creating a successful career in sports management (and any other field for that matter) goes beyond the right academic qualifications and work experience. You must possess more skills that help you to climb the corporate ladder effortlessly.

For starts, the sports industry is taking a digital centric approach as far as Coronavirus is concerned. It’s the trend almost everywhere what with shoppers implementing contact-less experiences, and the healthcare industry going with telehealth.

These are just few examples that point to one important skill. You need to master digital marketing and how it applies to the sports industry. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen stakeholders take to the internet to keep the spirit alive and deliver world-class sports products virtually.

Secondly, you need great communication skills, written and verbal. A career in sports management involves a lot of communicating among players, management and other stakeholders. You must be able to express yourself clearly.

Brush up on your time and project management skills as well, more so if you’re angling for the highly demanding top jobs. Having a keen eye for detail will also come in handy as you juggle different tasks to deliver the right results.

When you cover everything in the above article, build a creative sports resume and go apply for your dream job. Good luck!

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