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degree-of-interest: Master of Business Administration

Amp Up Your Sports Management Career: 10 Exciting Opportunities Available with an MBA

Amp Up Your Sports Management Career: 10 Exciting Opportunities Available with an MBA

There are many ways to turn your passion for sports into a successful career. You don’t need to hit the field to make your mark — sports management allows you to shape an exciting industry without needing to retire at an early age. Like athletes, however, sports management professionals require extensive training. This often takes the form of an MBA, which provides the high-level leadership skills needed to thrive in a fast-paced and highly competitive industry.

In this guide, we answer an important question: what sports-related careers can I pursue with an MBA? Keep reading to learn about the many roles sports managers play in professional and collegiate sports — and discover the best opportunities to get a foothold in this field.

What Is Sports Management?

Sports and recreation are not, as they may seem, all fun and games. Rather, they represent a complicated field requiring extensive planning, organizing, and budgeting. These tasks are central to the growing field of sports management, which encompasses a wide range of business pursuits in the world of athletics. Their work may be strictly behind the scenes or within the front office — but no matter where or in what capacity they work, these professionals play a considerable role in the modern sports industry.

Sports Management Careers

Sports management spans many locations and niches, from the concourses to the front office. Because there are so many facets to the sports industry and many complications involved in running teams or facilities, job opportunities abound. Highly trained professionals are required in every corner of the industry, as exemplified by the far-reaching careers outlined below:

1. Sports Marketer

If there’s no excitement behind a team, then there’s no reason for a fanbase to support athletes or attend games. It’s up to sports marketing professionals to find new and exciting opportunities to market the teams and players they represent. Theme nights, free giveaways, or viral TikTok videos are but a few of the many ways marketing departments can get people talking about their favorite squads. Marketing directors often head these departments and coordinate various initiatives to ensure that every campaign is on-brand.

2. Sports Manager

A coach essentially acts as a manager, but there’s another type of sports manager: the professional who handles all the business and administrative tasks that athletes and coaches may be too preoccupied to take care of. Professional and even college athletes devote their lives to sports, so they need someone who can limit outside distractions and take care of business. A skilled sports manager does just that.

3. Public Relations Manager

Teams do a lot more than compete on the field. From charity events to sports camps and all other forms of community outreach, organizations are committed to making their mark off the field. Public relations managers keep them on track, booking and organizing all activities that send players, coaches, and front-office personnel into the public to mingle with fans.

Of course, PR in the sports world is also synonymous with putting out fires whenever players or their coaches land in hot water. Given these challenges, it should come as no surprise that sports PR calls for professionals with loads of confidence, social skills, and multitasking abilities.

4. Sports Agent

Behind every record-breaking contract signed by a world-famous athlete is an agent who brokered the deal. These mediators negotiate endorsement deals and the best terms for their clients — both on the field and away from it. Agents are paid by commission, motivating sports agents to get their players as much money as possible.

5. Sports Publicist

The media plays a vital role in covering and presenting teams and players to the public. Maintaining a liaison between these teams and the outlets that report on them is standard practice. This makes it easier for journalists and broadcasters to get the access and information they need to present sports developments as accurately as feasible. To this end, a typical sports publicist schedules interviews, sit-down sessions, and other media-facing interactions with players, coaches, and team executives.

6. Sports Retailer

Sports merchandise is big business. Fans are always clamoring to get closer to their favorite teams and players through the gear they buy. Sports retailers deliver tangible proof of fandom while driving impressive profits for the teams they serve. These professionals may run specialty sporting goods stores that provide custom-made equipment such as baseball gloves or hockey pads. Others keep official team clubhouse stores stocked with licensed apparel and souvenirs.

7. Sports Distributor

Similar to a sports retailer, the distributor handles the wholesale aspect of merchandising and related paraphernalia. Distributors supply local stores with all the goods they need to keep fans happy, such as hats, jerseys, and sporting goods. Due to the ever-changing nature of rosters and player moves, distributors need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the sports world.

8. Ticket Operations Manager

Sellout crowds don’t happen by chance. It takes an extensive team of hardworking employees to manage and organize the ticket operations at every club. The ticket operations manager is responsible for jamming tens of thousands of fans into each stadium or arena — and keeping these people as comfortable and excited as possible. These managers work with the public relations team to create enticing marketing strategies that move single-game tickets. They also handle the team’s vast portfolio of season ticket holders.

9. Stadium Manager

A safe and enjoyable gameday can only occur if the stadium or arena is ready to host swarms of enthusiastic fans, concession vendors, and other stadium personnel. Behind all this chaos, the stadium manager oversees a surprisingly orderly process that handles complex operations, such as vendors, media personnel, and gameday entertainment staff. They’re also responsible for managing the technical crews who ensure the lights are on — and that the scoreboards and digital advertisements are working correctly.

10. Event Planner

Sporting events at all levels require meticulous planning. From college football bowl games to holiday weekend tournaments and even prep sports playoffs, there’s never any question as to the vital role that event planners play. These professionals demonstrate that there’s far more to putting on a great game than just opening the turnstiles and letting fans watch the action. Planning and coordinating everything leading up to game time will ensure supporters know who’s involved and where the action is.

MBA Training for the Pros: Prepare for the Most Exciting Opportunities in Sports Management

Are you ready to influence the business side of the sports and recreation industry? A targeted degree will take you far. At Carson-Newman University, we offer a unique Master of Business Administration program that allows you to specialize in sports management.

Incorporating up to 36 credits and spanning between 12 and 15 months, our MBA prepares you to thrive in a competitive yet exciting field. You’ll emerge ready to take on some of the most thrilling and satisfying sports career paths imaginable.

Contact us today to learn more about our MBA degree program and the opportunities it could provide within the promising field of sports management.

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