Sport Management Jobs and Career Tracks
What can you do with a sport management degree? The phrase conjures images of agents in power suits making major deals with superstar players. While some people go on to become agents, professional, amateur and intercollegiate athletics comprise a $450 billion industry that encompasses sport management jobs and career paths for individuals from a wide variety of skill sets and interests.1
Like any business, sport relies on sales to thrive. An advanced degree in sport management, such as the online master’s in sport management* from the University of Kansas, could propel you out of the ticket booth and into the front office. Many of these jobs will still focus on sales and developing business opportunities for teams, but on a larger scale than selling individual tickets. If you’re not interested in sales, many sport organizations have positions for financial and budget analysts, who help teams maximize the money they have to spend on talent and training. This type of work can yield a median salary of up to $75,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.2
A career in front office management can put you into human resources or player benefits, or it can put you directly in touch with the fans. Working in a leadership role in the sport world means balancing strong personalities, but it also means building a background in management and analytics. Salaries in the management track can vary, but setting your sights on the front office can yield six-figure salaries or more, though you can expect to start off closer to $50,000.3
Aside from working for a team or league, many individuals with sport management degrees find work as event or program managers. These facilitators might help to organize major sporting events or smaller fitness activities. These positions require acumen in business, operations and logistics.4 Whether organizing events on game day, arranging player appearances or even coordinating classes for an athletic center, event managers and coordinators work to make things happen. They also may take charge of sport facilities, making sure they are kept in good working order. Salaries for these positions vary but generally fall in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.5
Public relations and marketing managers are responsible for promoting brands for leagues, teams and athletes. They may negotiate sponsorship agreements or be involved with advertising. Their primary goal is to increase the size of audiences and fan commitment to following and rooting for their team. A career in marketing can easily earn you $125,000 or more a year in the right league.6
A degree in sport management has value beyond the professional sport market. Coaching is a viable option, as is becoming an instructor or professor for other students working toward a career in sport management. Especially for a more seasoned professional, the teaching track could yield a salary between $72,000 and $95,000 per year.4
If any of these sport management jobs sound appealing to you, the online master’s in sport management from KU, a university synonymous with high-profile athletics, can launch you in the direction you want to go. Read more about the curriculum.
*This program is a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in health, sport management, and exercise science with an emphasis in sport management.
1. Retrieved on April 4, 2019, from workinsports.com/blog/why-a-sports-management-degree-will-separate-you-from-the-competition/
2. Retrieved on April 4, 2019, from bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm#tab-1
3. Retrieved on April 4, 2019, from jobmonkey.com/sports/pro_sports_overview/
4. Retrieved on April 4, 2019, from workinsports.com/blog/top-9-sports-management-jobs-for-non-athletes/
5. Retrieved on April 4, 2019, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Facilities_Manager/Salary
6. Retrieved on April 4, 2019, from thebalancecareers.com/best-paid-sports-careers-4135956