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Top Sports Marketing Jobs and Careers You Should Consider

April 06
businessman with sports management job holding basketball ball in office

For centuries, there’s been one industry that continues to unite us all: sports. From sold-out football stadiums, to weeks-long Olympics coverage, to athlete sponsorships from your favorite brand, there’s an immense amount of passion, commitment, and money tied to sports of all kinds. Because of its longevity and universal appeal, it’s no surprise, then, that jobs related to sports and their many facets are incredibly in demand.

To get an idea of the kinds of jobs and career growth available to you in the sports sector, consider that the median annual salary for a sports marketer in the U.S. is $128,750, while in top markets like New York, Chicago, and Phoenix, the salary can be as high as $187,200.1 Sports agents and business managers, on the other hand, earn a median annual salary of $98,070.2

Do you love sports and want to get involved in the field as a full-time career? Or are you already in a sports-related occupation, but would like to take your career and earning potential to new heights? Keep reading to learn about the top sports marketing jobs to see which is the best fit for your interests, personality, and skills.

An Overview of Sports Marketing Jobs and Careers

In general, if you're involved in sports marketing, advertising, or promotions, you'll be working with both the art department and financial department in your organization to create successful marketing campaigns. To earn your place, you must be able to work within a team and be able to effectively communicate your ideas. Most sports marketing jobs are also extremely fast-paced and high-pressure, with a tight schedule. You may be required to travel to meet with clients and media representatives. If you’re more experienced and are aiming for a higher-level position, look for job titles like Director of Client Services, Director of Operations, Marketing Director, Public Relations Director, or Sales Manager. Some of these positions may require a sports-related master’s degree as well.

There are many sports marketing jobs that let you indulge your passion while being employed in a lucrative and growing industry. Here are some sports-related careers that might interest you.3

Advertising and Marketing

Average salary: $141,490 4
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 10% 4

Companies may hire outside agencies to do their advertising, but larger organizations often have their own in-house sports marketing jobs and advertising departments. In this role, you would be managing marketing and handling all of the company's advertising.3 That can include working with creative teams on print (magazine and newspaper ads), Out of Home (billboards, bus stops, airport terminals, etc.), digital (display and Google ads), radio, sponsorships, and much more.

What you may be involved with:

  • Branding and promotion
  • Media ad buys
  • Television and radio advertising
  • Product advertising
  • Social media campaigns
  • Targeted promotional campaigns 3

Event Management

Average salary: $51,560 5
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 18% 5

Event managers must be expert multitaskers. They're responsible for every aspect of a special event, from booking a venue to managing the event on-site. If you're a director of operations, you may be responsible for a team of assistants and event support staff. 3

In this role, you might:

  • Hire venues and support staff
  • Court and sign up sponsors
  • Spearhead promotional campaigns
  • Handle ticket sales
  • Manage audio and video production 3

Marketing Research

Average salary: $65,810 6
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 22% 6

As a marketing researcher, you will be providing your sports-related company with important insight into the marketplace. This can range from demographic data to sales reporting. With this information, you and your organization’s leaders can make more business-savvy marketing decisions.

As a researcher, you will:

  • Learn about fans, participants, and a team's competitors
  • Conduct economic impact and customer satisfaction surveys
  • Collect important data that helps to promote your sports business3

Merchandising

Average salary: $132,290 7
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 7% 7

Do you fancy yourself a retailer or a store manager in the sports sector? In this role, you might work in store management or as a purchasing director for an organization. Colleges, universities, and professional teams often have a person dedicated to handling their sports merchandise. 3

What you may be doing:

  • Manage a sporting goods store
  • Work with sports merchandise for a national retailer
  • Procure new official merchandise for a sports team3

Public Relations

Average salary: $62,810 8
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 11% 8

As a public relations (PR) professional, you will be constantly and publicly representing your team or company—and your job is to make them look good. Having a positive image and media presence is extremely important for any organization, especially since players, owners, and managers can have PR crises that demand immediate and comprehensive damage control (e.g, The Houston Astros cheating scandal in the 2017 World Series). Therefore, to be successful in PR, you must have an outgoing nature with exceptional written and oral communication skills. 3

What you'll be doing:

  • Write press releases
  • Help coordinate media coverage for your team, service, or brand
  • Develop and implement crisis communications plan
  • Develop relationships with local and national media outlets3

Restaurants and Hospitality

Average salary: $65,420 9 (wholesale sales representatives)
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 5% 9

Corporations and other businesses often entertain clients or offer special perks to their employees. This can sometimes involve sporting events, in addition to hotel stays and restaurants. In this role, you will be selling these sports opportunities to various companies. 3

You may be:

  • Coordinating and offering special sports-related package deals to organizations
  • Acting as a liaison between providers and corporate offices
  • Handling client preferences and modifying your proposals to suit their needs3

Sales

Average salary: $132,290 (Sales Managers) 7
Projected job growth (2020-2030): 7% 7

A position in sports-related sales can take many forms. As a customer service manager of a sports team, it might be your job to maintain a strong relationship with the team's fans and companies that purchase season tickets. You might also be selling premium venue seating or VIP packages. Sales reps sometimes present sponsorship opportunities for their sports organization. 3

What you may be doing:

  • Coordinate television or radio advertising for company sponsorships
  • Sell premium seating packages to fans
  • Sell VIP sports packages to corporate offices for their clients3

Sports Agents

Median annual salary: $59,829 2

Compared to other sports marketing jobs, sports agents hold a highly idolized and competitive position. Representing a sports personality or an entire team can be difficult; you'll need to have expert knowledge of your client and be able to speak on their behalf. An agent might also work with licensing images and handling trademarks for athletes, teams, and organizations, which now includes college athletes as well.10

You may also be involved with:

  • Negotiating contracts on behalf of your client(s)
  • Collecting data and analyzing statistics
  • Promotional campaigns
  • Networking
  • Sales 10

Be a Sports Marketing Champion

If you’re ready to take the steps to upgrade your sports management acumen, you’ll need the right skills to compete in this highly desirable field. As you peruse your options, consider an Online Master’s in Sport Management from the University of Kansas, a globally recognized athletic powerhouse. Our curriculum aligns with the exacting standards of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), preparing professionals for rewarding careers in event management, team management, sports marketing, and more. Through our rigorous online courses and by networking with leading sports professionals, you’ll gain the competitive edge you need to open doors to a brighter future and secure the sports marketing jobs you desire.

For more information, read our blog to learn about our Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in health, sport management, and exercise science with an emphasis in sport management.

Sources
  1. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from comparably.com/salaries/salaries-for-sports-marketer
  2. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131011.htm
  3. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from jobsinsports.com/blog/2018/06/13/top-8-careers-in-sports-marketing/
  4. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
  5. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm
  6. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm
  7. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm
  8. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm
  9. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/wholesale-and-manufacturing-sales-representatives.htm
  10. Retrieved on March 7, 2022, from thebalancecareers.com/job-profile-sports-agent-3113312