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A future in Sports Management
By Jennifer Bailey
Do your leisure activities include playing and/or watching sports? Are you familiar with team players and statistics? Well I can tell you from my own sideline experience - more like bleacher or couch-line - that playing sports is not for everyone, and playing sports professionally is even less common. There's a huge "but" coming... But for those of you who want to be involved in sports in some capacity without being on the field, in the arena, on the court or green etc. - a sports management degree is for you!
Sports management is really applied physiology and may be a concentration within an Applied Physiology and Sports Management (APSM) undergraduate program depending on what college you attend. The program will be a rigorous one and the curriculum will provide understanding of management principles that will be required of any professional within the sports world. Through academic coursework and experiential learning via internships - students will be prepared for many different and possible career paths including ones such as: sports marketing, management of sports organizations, representation of professional athletes, public relations, and sport facility and event management. Before you declare your major, you may want to know your end goal and have that in mind first.
So what will it be? The most common and popular careers that graduates in sports management go in to are: analytics, business development, consulting, public relations, sales, and social media. There are a lot of opportunities beyond solely managing a team. Anyone with a passion for sports of any kind and aspire to have careers in a multi-billion-dollar industry would do well to pursue this degree. There are a few different levels of degree completion students can accomplish depending on their level of desire and dedication. These are of course, associate degree programs, Bachelor's degrees, and master's degree programs for those wanting to hold senior-level management positions.
Coursework will be somewhat broad in spectrum in order to cater to an array of industry-related concentrations. Many are management and analytics related such as: financial and marketing management classes; and strategic business analysis. Other classes include those like: sports entertainment and law, or marketing strategy; issues in sport and entertainment management, sport and entertainment finance; global environment of sport; sales and fundraising in the sport industry, social media in sport, and internships.
By having a passion for both sports and business you have double the career options to explore within sports management. And there you have it! A glimpse of what you have to look forward to as you enter a sports management program of study - that will surely take you to a bright future in the sports industry.