Sports Management

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Major in Sports Management

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“You can use whatever platform you have and whatever talents you have been blessed with to give Jesus the glory… You may never play in the Super Bowl or have your own shoe. But you can still do whatever you do in the name of Jesus and give God praise for the ability to do what you do.” ~Active Faith Christian Apparel Company 

Though many of us are passionate about sports, only .005% of the U.S. population are professional athletes. However, the sports industry brings in a whopping $450 billion annually, putting it ahead of even the restaurant and auto industries, generating $400 and $220 billion, respectively.  That kind of money translates into tons of sports-related jobs! Sports management, as a college major, prepares you for a career in the sports industry. It is the place where sports and business merge. A whole world of behind-the-scenes activity exists off the court or field. Sports management takes a closer look at these “inner workings.” This broad-based liberal arts major will increase your understanding of how marketing, analytics, kinesiology, accounting, biology, business management and law apply to sports. In this program you will learn how to manage athletic facilities, generate ticket sales and team sponsorships, connect with fans through multiple forms of media, care for athletes, create team brands and interpret sports stats in an increasingly data-driven field. 

Whether your particular interest is baseball, tennis, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, horse-racing, football or golf, sports management majors are passionate about sports in general. But being a “fan of the game” isn’t enough. Because sports management is so strongly tied to business, it is imperative to have at least a basic interest in the corporate world.  Beyond sports and business knowledge, what skills and traits are helpful in this major? People skills and the ability to function as a team player are definitely important as you work in group settings with diverse populations. It is vital that you possess strong communication skills, including good listening, the ability to synthesize information, and perhaps most importantly, effective writing ability. Time management, efficiency and organizational skills are highly valued in this major, and it helps to be relatively tech savvy. Some of the other skills needed depend on your career goals. For example, if you hope to be a sports statistician it’s important to be detail-focused, whereas sports marketing requires more creativity.

While completing core classes, a sports management major can expect to take business courses like sports finance, accounting and marketing. Some other classes you might take include:

  • Event and facility management
  • Statistics
  • Communications and promotion
  • Sports media 
  • Leadership in sports management
  • Sports public relations 

A sports management degree unlocks the potential for you to pursue amazing employment options in the vast world of sports. Many students set out with goals of managing a major league sports team, and while that is a competitive arena, some do arrive at this destination. Other graduates land jobs with minor league teams, or work with college or university athletic programs. Approximately 25% of sports-related careers center around the area of marketing including social media, sales, consulting and business development jobs. Other career possibilities include

  • Sports broadcaster
  • Recruiting agent
  • Facilities director
  • Event coordinator
  • Public relations manager

As you can see, the prospects are far-ranging. Maybe your love of sports is only the beginning of the story God is writing in your life. It could be he is leading you to step into sports management as your college major!

 

 

 

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.