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Jobs In Sports Management: How To Land Your Dream Job In Sports

jobs in sports management

When sports business professionals think about working in sports management, usually the thought of potentially becoming General Manager of one’s favorite sports franchise comes to mind. However, the all-encompassing world of sports management is a lot deeper than teams’ front office personnel or a top-tier sports agency firm.

From facilities and events to finance and public relations, there’s a host of opportunities, albeit competitive, for those interested in sports management. The breakdown regarding jobs in sports management, helpful insight from sports business professionals, and universities offering worthwhile programs is outlined below.

Types Of Jobs In Sports Management

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1448869013″ locale=”us” height=”200″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51nABe6wznL._SL160_.jpg” width=”135″] With over 300-plus sports management programs in the world — undergraduate and graduate — there’s an obvious demand for students interested in obtaining an education toward obtaining jobs in sports management.

Like the sports industry as a whole, there are a wide range of career opportunities for those students and young professionals who want to pursue jobs in sports management.

A few examples of available careers for the management function areas in sports include:

  • Administration: owner, general manager, executive director, vice president, president/founder, and athletic director
  • Communications/Media: vice president for sports communications, sports video manager, and sports video production assistant
  • Facilities & Events: executive director of facility operations and entertainment, facility manager, special events director, event coordinator, food and beverage manager, special events promotion manager, customer relations manager, and guest services manager.
  • Finance: vice president for finance, associate athletic director for finance, ticket manager, and accounting manager
  • Marketing: vice president for marketing, director of marketing, director of special events and promotions, director of new business development, and tournament operations manager.
  • Public Relations: vice president for public relations, director of sports information, director of sports publicity, director of sports media,  director of community relations, and corporate communications assistant.
  • Travel/Tourism: tournament planner, guest relations specialist, and special events coordinator

How To Get Jobs In Sports Management

Jobs In Sports ManagementSports in all its glamour and greatness is, at the end of the day, a business. To individuals who want to break into the industry and obtain those jobs in sports management, the degree of competition for positions in advertising, public relations, league and team front offices, finance, and communications is the highest it has ever been.

However, according to G. Lynn Lashbrook, President and Founder of Sports Management Worldwide, with sports being more business-oriented, the path to a sports career is even more open than before. As Lashbrook has conceded, though, the supply of undergraduate students with sports management degrees is substantially greater than the demand for sports jobs.

As a result, students and young sports-minded professionals have to possess a plan of attack if they want to eventually obtain those dream jobs in sports management. Undergraduate or graduate degrees in sports management is a start. Specialization in a particular type of field such as finance or business can elevate your marketability to a potential employer even further. Then, there’s obviously those internships,which are for the most part unpaid. And even then, jobs in sports management are still hard to come by.

Despite the long 16-hour-plus days, below-average pay, and tough competition, jobs in sports management are still highly sought. How will you differentiate yourself from others competing for those same jobs?

Andy Dolich, President at Dolich Consulting

When did the boom in the number of sports management programs happen, and why?

Andy Dolich

“It started in the mid 1980s and I think in large part because of economics. Schools started to see that it would be a huge tuition grabber. Who wouldn’t want a career in collegiate or professional sports, or now in the world of global sports?

“There are now over 325 programs, colleges, and universities in the United States offering some sort of program — undergraduate and MBA — in sports management. Incredible.”

How to tell various sports management programs apart, and how do you pick which one is for you?

“Simply look at their network of people. Look at how many graduates from their program have jobs in sports. Ohio University, the Harvard of Sports Management … Ohio University has close to 2,000 graduates. So, look at the network and next, look at the internships that are available.

“What happens with some of the programs that you shouldn’t look at is, they don’t have a network, they don’t really have internships, and their graduates really don’t get jobs. Although the business has exploded globally, it’s still a tough road to hoe. These quality programs are feet in the door — that’s really what you want.”

Jon Sinden, Dir. of Social Media at Maple Leaf Sports/Entertainment

Jon Sinden

Jonathan Sinden, the Director of Social Media at Maples Leaf Sports & Entertainment — which encompasses the Toronto Maples, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, and a host of other brands — offers his advice on networking within the sports industry in this short clip.

Pay attention to the heart of his networking message and see if you can implement that strategy into your job/internship search.

Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

College Programs That Help You Land Jobs In Sports Management

Sports ManagementWith their being countless numbers of undergraduate and graduate sports management programs across the world, it’s certainly difficult for an aspiring sports business professional to decipher which programs are the most beneficial.

We specifically highlight a few universities below for their specific programs for those seeking an education in sports management.

UMass — Mark H. McCormack School Of Sports Management

Mark H. McCormackThe Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management is the second-oldest of its kind in the world. Many of the 3,000-plus working alumni in the sports industry return to serve as guest speakers and mentor students as well.

Offering doctoral, master’s and undergraduate programs to its students, the McCormack School has been hailed by Sports Business Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other respectable publications as a global leader for the quality of its curriculum and ability to propel its students toward jobs in sports.

Contact: Doctoral ProgramMBA Programs – Apply here.

Contact: Undergraduate Program – Apply here.

Testimonials From Alumni Of UMass’ School Of Sports Management

San Diego State — Sports Management MBA Program

SDSU-MBA ProgramThe Sports Management Program at San Diego State is an accelerated Master of Business Administration program that is highly focused on international sports business.

This degree program is designed for motivated students seeking to advance their business skills and expand their professional network to secure management positions within the global sports industry.

Contact: MBA Program – Apply here.

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter

Extensive Background Of SDSU’s Sports Management Program

George Washington — School Of Business

George Washington UniversityFor over 18 years, as part of the School of Business at The George Washington University, we have offered a prestigious field of study in the specialization of Sport Management.

The MBA or MTA (Masters of Tourism Administration) with a Sport Management concentration prepares students to market and manage sports events, organizations, media, products and athletes, as well as sports tourism destinations and facilities.

Students learn how to succeed in a competitive, global marketplace through practical assignments with leading professionals and organizations in the sports industry.

Contact:  MBA Program, Master’s of Tourism Administration Program – Apply here.

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Columbia University — Sports Management

Columbia UniversityColumbia’s part-time Master’s degree program in Sports Management trains professionals for advanced work in all sectors of the sports industry by providing a broad understanding of the field, while also teaching specific management skills in the areas of finance, sports personnel management, law, sports marketing, and facility or event superintendence. Based in New York City, a nexus of the sports world, students learn from an exclusive network of industry leaders.

The program is appropriate for a range of individuals, though it is best suited for those who are currently working in the sports industry and are seeking advanced training in business, finance, and marketing. Other strong candidates include students with undergraduate degrees in sports or recreation management who are looking to complete a graduate degree, or those with other advanced degrees who are seeking to expand or build their credentials.

Contact: Master’s Program – Apply here.

How To Find Jobs In Sports Management

Are you ready to find and land your dream job in sports management?  Check out the job postings on Work in Sports for a detailed breakdown of jobs based on type and region.

Did you know that there were so many types of jobs in sports management to choose from? Let us know what your dream job in sports would be. Leave a comment for us below or tweet us your thoughts at @sportsnetworker.

Jobs In Sports Management References

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23 Responses to Jobs In Sports Management: How To Land Your Dream Job In Sports

  1. AndyTaylor02 October 6, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    @parnell_daniel too many students focus on officer and management roles. They must learn how to deliver and coach first! #steppingstone

  2. parnell_daniel October 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    @AndyTaylor02 I think depends on skill base & experience. Although an awareness of or ability to do all roles can help those leading teams.

  3. AndyTaylor02 October 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    @parnell_daniel agree – as long as they gain that experience. Far fewer officer roles now which don’t include delivery due to sustainability

  4. parnell_daniel October 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    @AndyTaylor02 we are on that search for the ‘super’ practitioner (lead, deliver, research, funding) on all agendas – there are some 🙂

  5. AndyTaylor02 October 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    @parnell_daniel that’s what we need and they will eventually fin their role. If you find any – send them my way!

  6. parnell_daniel October 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    @AndyTaylor02 ha yes I know that’s what PL are trying t do with community coaches. Will talk about it proper Wed. Looking forward to it!

  7. AndyTaylor02 October 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    @parnell_daniel you too mate, see you then!

  8. jason_leite October 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    @JonSinden Nice Jon! Your videos are great, glad to see you get some recognition.

  9. JonSinden October 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    @bjimenez87 thanks for the tweet. Much appreciated!

  10. JonSinden October 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    @jason_leite thanks buddy. Cheers for the tweet.

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