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Beyond the field: Sport management careers in media and broadcasting

February 26
TV camera and cameraman during handball match.

An advanced sport management degree opens the door to many exciting career paths. Sport media and broadcasting let you combine a love of sports with expertise in writing, storytelling, narrating, analyzing, or technical production.1

This article will explore the different types of broadcasting and media careers you can pursue with a sports management degree.

Sport broadcasting roles

Sport broadcasting roles can be broadly categorized into on-air talent, production roles, and studio and control room operations.

Play-by-play announcers deliver a real-time narrative of the game or event as it unfolds. They provide a detailed description of the action, helping viewers or listeners visualize the play without seeing it. Sideline reporters give updates and insights from the field or court, often conducting live interviews with coaches and players during breaks in the action. Analysts are often former athletes or coaches who provide expert commentary on the game's strategy, players' performance, and technical aspects.2

Producers oversee the broadcast's content, structure, and flow, making real-time decisions on what to feature, such as which replays to show. Directors handle the technical side, deciding on camera angles, figuring out when to cut between shots, and managing the overall visual presentation of the broadcast. Camera operators capture the action by following the game, while technicians manage the broadcast's technical aspects, such as sound, lighting, and equipment maintenance.3

Technical directors switch between video feeds, while audio engineers manage the sound quality, balancing the levels between announcers, crowd noise, and on-field audio. Graphics and video editors create and integrate visual elements into the broadcast, such as player statistics, game graphics, and replay edits.3

Sport journalism and writing

Sport journalism and writing require a deep understanding of various sports and the ability to convey stories and analyses in compelling ways.

Sport journalists produce content that ranges from game recaps and featured articles to in-depth analyses and investigative reports. Sportswriters and reporters understand the sports they cover, including the rules, strategies, and historical context. They’re also skilled storytellers who can capture the drama, emotion, and significance of sports events and personalities in their writing.4

Sport journalists build relationships with athletes and organizations to gain insights and access exclusive stories. Conducting interviews allows journalists to add depth and personality to their stories, providing readers with insights into the minds and lives of those involved in sports.5

Building a career in sport journalism can start with studying sport management, journalism, communications, or a related field. Networking with established journalists and other professionals in the sport industry can open doors and help you find guidance and support. Pursue internships and mentorships for hands-on experience and additional networking opportunities.6

Sport journalists must be versatile. They may need to know how to produce content across multiple platforms, including video, audio, and social media, in addition to traditional written reporting.7

Digital and social media management

For sport organizations, leveraging social media extends far beyond match highlights and live scores. It's about providing behind-the-scenes glimpses into the team's inner workings, from intense training sessions to the camaraderie in the locker room and the excitement of team travel. This insider perspective humanizes the players and coaches, creating a more intimate connection with fans.

Simply put, in an era where digital engagement is paramount, sport teams understand the importance of real-time interaction. Whether it's sharing in-game updates, interacting with fans through live Q&A sessions, or conducting polls to gauge opinions, social media platforms are invaluable tools to keep supporters engaged, especially when they can't attend matches in person.

Moreover, social media plays a vital role in enhancing the overall fan experience during sporting events. From providing access to exclusive content to facilitating virtual meet-and-greets with players, sport organizations are constantly innovating to ensure that fans feel like an integral part of the action, regardless of their physical location.

Managing social media accounts for sport organizations often includes the following tasks:8

  • Content planning and scheduling: Content is planned to coincide with games, events, and relevant cultural moments
  • Audience engagement: Interacting with fans through comments, messages, and interactive content helps build a strong online community
  • Analytics and performance tracking: Social media managers use analytics to track engagement, reach, and other key performance indicators (KPIs)

Within sport organizations, there exists a myriad of career opportunities in social media management and content creation, each with its own set of exciting tasks.

Social media career opportunities in sport organizations

The intersection of sports and social media offers a diverse array of career paths for individuals passionate about both fields.

Whether you're a creative storyteller, data enthusiast, or digital marketing guru, there's a role within social media sport organizations that allows you to contribute to the dynamic world of sport media and broadcasting.

These roles encompass digital marketing specialists, content creators, social media strategists and managers, community managers, and analytics experts:

  • Digital marketing specialists focus on developing and executing social media campaigns to drive fan engagement and increase brand awareness.
  • Content creators produce captivating multimedia content, including videos, graphics, and written posts, to keep fans entertained and informed.
  • Social media strategists are responsible for devising comprehensive social media strategies aligned with the organization's objectives, while community managers engage with fans, respond to inquiries, and foster a sense of belonging within online communities.
  • Analytics experts utilize data-driven insights to measure the effectiveness of social media efforts, identify trends, and optimize content strategies for maximum impact.
  • Digital and social media managers develop strategies to engage with fans, promote events, and increase the brand's online presence. They post updates, create engaging content, analyze audience interactions, and leverage various digital platforms to foster a sense of community and loyalty among fans.8

Emerging trends in sport media

Sport media isn’t immune to the trends that are reshaping other industries and society at large. Here’s how emerging technologies and societal trends will affect sport media.

Technology's impact on sport media

Technology has profoundly impacted sport media by changing the way content is produced, shared, and consumed. Streaming services, over-the-top (OTT) platforms, and social media channels have broadened access to sports content, allowing fans to watch live events and on-demand content without traditional cable or satellite TV. OTT platforms have also enabled niche sports to reach a global audience.9

Tech advancements such as drones will change how games are filmed, giving audiences close-up views that would have previously been impossible to film. Advanced data analytics enable sport media companies to offer personalized content to fans, including tailored recommendations for videos, articles, and even targeted advertising.9

Diversity and inclusion in sport broadcasting

Diversity and inclusion measures have been slow to take hold in sport broadcasting. However, more organizations are participating in a growing effort to include more diverse voices and perspectives in sport broadcasting, including more women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, in visible roles such as commentators, analysts, and reporters.10

Virtual reality and immersive experiences

Fans have been able to play virtual sports for years, but with new technology, they’ll soon be able to experience live sporting events as if they were physically present.

Through VR headsets, fans can enjoy a 360-degree view of the game, choosing their viewpoint and feeling closer to the action than ever before.11

Beyond broadcasting, VR can be used for athlete training and game analysis, offering realistic simulations of sports environments. Athletes can use these insights for strategic purposes and performance improvement.12

Launch a rewarding career in sport media

Few careers are as exciting and rewarding as those in sport media and broadcasting. Earning an online master’s in sport management from the University of Kansas can equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to get started in the industry.

KU graduates go on to work for top sport organizations and enjoy access to a global network of Jayhawk alumni. Contact a KU admissions outreach advisor today to get started.