A career in the field for the love of sports

A career in sports management is popular yet not very common, and hence it allows one to stand out in the crowd. If you are a sports enthusiast and want to build a career in the same without actually being a sportsperson, then you should definitely consider a sports management degree.

Sports management is concerned with the business and administration aspect of sports. Sports management professionals look into finance, marketing, public relations, analytics, business communication, law, compliance, health, sponsorship, facility management, ticketing, business development, event management and other similar areas.

In a nutshell, sports management comprises handling of all those areas and issues in sports field which need professional expertise and make the life of sports teams and players easier so that they can concentrate on their game.

Career options

There is a myriad of career options in sports management. The choice entirely depends on your area of interest and previous academic qualification. If you are a fresher, you start with an entry-level job. As you gain expertise and experience, you get better job opportunities. You can get a job with individual sports players, sports teams, colleges, training institutes, schools, marketing agencies, financial consulting firms, sports publications, sports networks, talent agencies or wherever there is a requirement of sports manager.

Here are some profiles you can consider:

Operation manager, ticket manager, legal advisor, marketing strategist, financial consultant, sales and marketing, facility manager, event coordinator, director of communication and public relations, sports psychologist, sports trainer, statistician, sports broadcaster, sports writer or journalist, retailing and branding, fan manager, sports celebrity manager and talent agent.

Reasons, why you should choose a Sports Management degree:

To pursue a passion: If you love sports and want to pursue a career in it without being a field player, then you could consider sports management. You can get involved in the sport up close and personal. You can leverage your sports knowledge and also combine your professional expertise.

Sparse competition: Not many people choose sports management as their career choice. Usually, it is the ex-players or people from within sports industry who take up sports management. However, most of them do not have an official sports management degree. So, you can get higher visibility in your job because there are going to be very few professionals with a sports management education.

Bright growth prospects: The sports industry is an evergreen field with soaring popularity. It is getting bigger and better across the world. No matter which sport you choose, there is always some match, tournament or league happening. You will always be on your toes. Also, there is a wide array of career opportunities, as discussed above. You can easily move laterally or vertically between the jobs for a high-growth career.

Handsome package: While the salary will vary from one sport to another and also depend on your expertise level and the organisation you are joining, you can look forward to getting a good start because of your sports management degree. As you gain more experience, there is room for higher packages. In some jobs, you may also be titled to bonus in addition to your regular salary.

New experiences: Unlike traditional careers where you know the daily grind even before you join the job, a sports management career will introduce you to new experiences every day. You get to meet sports players, media celebrities, work with high-profile people, watch the matches live, organise events and do several exciting things, thereby letting you enjoy your job.

Travel: There are high chances of travelling across the country and internationally, depending on your job profile. You get to explore different cities in the world, stay in hotels, eat some great food and basically, experience all perks of travelling. So, if you love sports and travel, then a sports management degree can give you the push in the right direction.

International job opportunities: A sports management career enables you to interact with international and multinational companies. Also, since the rules and techniques of sports, as well as its management, remain the same everywhere, you can easily look forward to offshore job opportunities. An international experience will add more value to your resume.

Sports is a booming industry in the country as well as across the globe. Moreover, an increasing number of children are vying for a career in sports as professional players. There is no doubt that this industry is touted for tremendous growth and will need the services of professional managers. If you want to build a career in sports management, a degree is all you need.

(The writer is director, Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune) 

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