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How A Sports Management Degree Can Help Your Sports Career

sports management

Experts in the sports management trade can hold any amount of jobs with a comprehensive assortment of duties.

Case in point, a sports event manager will make considerably less than an athletic director at a Division I university. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects salary figures for many sports management careers and pieces them into one big classification of “Athletes, Coaches, Umpires and Related Workers.”

What Did The BLS Find?

The ensuing is a list of sports management careers, and their average salaries or job prospects according to The BLS.

  • Coaches and Scouts earn an average salary of $28,340 as of May 2013.
  • Umpires and related workers earn an average salary of $23,730 as of May, 2013.
  • Agents and Managers for Artists and Athletes are their own distinct classification whose income data is obtainable as a mean annual wage of $89,840. More detailed data for this group can be found at The BLS website.

Why Get A Sports Management Degree?

A degree in sports management will prepare you to do the responsibilities of many of these careers, but dynamics such as personal experience, location and who you know are likely to affect what sort of business you work for. Domonique Hargrove talks more about this, and includes a specific story, in the video above.

A lot of sports managers started out as high school and college athletes at schools that are frequently visited by big league scouts. Discovering a way to encounter someone at a respectable organization – or starting at an entry level job and working your way up – will make it more probable for you to work for the NFL or NBA than if you start out coaching little league. Networking is essential for people who want to become successful in the arena of sports management, coaching or agency.

What Are The Risks?

There are a small number of other concerns that make sports management a non-traditional occupation that can in fact sway your standard of living.

A lot of sports management jobs; such as recruiting, scouting, coaching and refereeing; necessitate you to be at actual games. And a lot of actual games. Since sports teams characteristically travel for a lot of their games, and play games in the evening and on the weekends, there’s a decent chance you’ll have bizarre working hours and lots of time away from home in any of these job paths.

Any person involved in the bodily characteristics of sport is in danger of hurting themselves. This is typically pertinent to athletes, but coaches, trainers, umpires, and referees are all putting themselves in the way of physical impairment every time they walk out onto the field. Even though a sports manager’s career most likely won’t be ended by an injury the way an athletes could be, this is still a very tangible threat for managers that get close to or on the field.

Intense rivalry and high turnover are customary for athletic participants. But the sports management field can be just as volatile, particularly as you climb into the higher positions of professional sports. A high school football coach may well keep a job for years, but proficient careers are made and broken on the accomplishment of a team for a season, or even a few games.

Have The Right Motivation!

For a lot of employees in the sporting world, going pro is the objective that is on the horizon at all times. The actuality is that there are very few careers at the top of the sporting food chain, and the probability of hitting the big-time for every particular individual is more or less zilch.

That means you shouldn’t do it for the dough!

If you love sports, and you want to work in the business and be everywhere other sports obsessives are all day, a sports management degree may possibly be prodigious for you, but the love has to come first!

What Monetary Benefits Come With A Sports Management Career?

The BLS keeps comprehensive data on job views all over the nation for numerous sports management associated professions, and they’ve developed a good itemization of where the top places in the U.S. are for individuals in non-player roles in the sports industry.

The states with the highest focus of jobs for agents and business managers of athletes, artists, and performers are:

  • California – Average annual wage: $116,280
  • New York – Average annual wage: $98,740
  • Tennessee – Average annual wage: $86,420
  • Florida – Average annual wage: $44,880
  • Massachusetts – Average annual wage: $86,030

Many sports managers slip straight from their careers as amateur athletes into managerial stations, but going to college for sports management can give you sharper business expertise and a superior eye for the financial side of sport. You’ll certainly be better prepared than you would be from just playing the game.

What Are My Sports Management Course Options?


Courses in sports management degree programs show you not only the business side of things, but how to incorporate business and sport on an industrialized level. This awareness will make you a more convincing job applicant all around.

There are plenty of samples of curriculum you can take in sports management school. I have listed some of those below.

Principles of Sports Finance and Accounting – This class will show you how to manage a team’s financial plan by balancing out revenue and disbursements. You’ll deal with payroll for players, asset procurement, and making sure the applicable taxes get paid. These are skills you need in sports management that you won’t learn on the field.

Sports Labor Relations and Negotiation – This class deals with contracts. Some athletes are unionized, and the contracting procedure for trained athletes is so in-depth you could construct an all-inclusive career based on it. If athletic contracts are what you’re interested in, law school might be a better fit for you, but this class will still help you traverse the intricacies of athlete occupation consultations.

Sports Sponsorships, Promotions, and Licensing – Learning how to merchandise sports and how to squeeze dollars out of a team brand short of tempering it too much is a key strength for anyone in the marketing side of sports management.

Sports Media and Broadcast Relations – This is more of a community affairs job; but for a sports lover, what could be better than managing how their favorite team looks on TV? From establishing interviews to covering up PR muddles, this class will show you how to keep a grip on the tremendously municipal side of a professional sports team.

Non-traditional Revenue Strategies – Sports stimulates passion, great devotion and an irrational volume of chips and dip ingestion. But in the long run, sports teams exist to make money, and learning how to control a sports team in distinctive ways – to pull in money – is a skill that will make you a necessity in any professional sports management situation.

So How Do I Get Started?


Since you discovered this website, you’ve probably developed some involvement and solid interest in sports. This interest also likely falls under the sports management category.

If you’ve looked at the monetary and career outlook numbers and you’re still attracted to obtaining a sports management degree, here are some steps to start you down the path on the road to professional sports management:

  1. Make a timeline for yourself that answers the ensuing queries:
    • When do you want to start school, and when do you want to finish?
    • Will you work during that time?
    • Will your schedule for that time allow you to dedicate suitable time to both work and school?
  2. Look into some sports management degree programs
  3. Apply to schools! The application process can be time consuming, but many online schools have rolling admissions, so you could be taking classes just weeks from when your application is approved.
  4. Apply for financial aid. Unless you have substantial savings or a trust fund you’ll probably need some help paying for college. There are governmental and private sources of funds just waiting to be employed, so look around and talk to the financial aid counselors at the schools you’ve applied to for more information on how to have someone else pay for your education.

Start Your Journey!

Figures show that people with more education earn more money and have lower overall unemployment rates. While a degree doesn’t promise you a job, it can positively arrange for professional connections and in-depth knowledge that will make you a strong applicant for the jobs you want to get. Check out the lists of high value, recognized sports management schools on the web to get started and get going in your sports career today!

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