Sport Management

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Amateur Athletics

  • Sport management:
    • Olympic
    • Intercollegiate
    • High school
    • Youth
  • Athletic administration
  • Coaching
  • Recruiting

  • Student-athlete affairs
  • Compliance
  • Sport information
  • Operations
  • Facilities management
  • Equipment management
  • Ticketing and sales

  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • Sponsorship sales
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Hospitality management
  • Bowls and special events
  • Sport governance


  • Colleges and universities
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
  • Conference offices (e.g., SEC, ACC)
  • National sport governing bodies
  • State governing bodies
  • Regional sport commissions

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • United States Olympic Committee (USOC)
  • High schools
  • Special Olympics
  • National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)


  • Training centers
  • Youth sport organizations (e.g., Little League Baseball)
  • YMCA’s, YWCA’s
  • Sport related franchises (e.g., My Gym)
  • Sport camps


  • Gain experience working with youth (e.g., content) volunteer or work at sport and recreation camps.
  • Coach youth sport teams or assist with high school teams.
  • Get involved with college sport teams, intramural leagues, or campus recreational programs.
  • Seek leadership roles in campus organizations. Serve as a peer advisor, tutor, resident assistant, etc.
  • Build relationships on campus with coaches and athletic administrators.
  • Gain relevant experience through practicum and internships.
  • Be prepared to work long and irregular hours.
  • Plan to earn a master’s degree in sport management, preferably from an accredited sports-focused school in sport management, business, or college student personnel for more opportunities and advancement. Work as a graduate assistant (GA) in the athletic department.
  • Obtain an assistant position and then head coach position at the university level to increase possibility of progressing to professional level.


Facilities and Event Management

  • Facility management
  • Facility/Field maintenance
  • Field preparation and conversion

  • Ticket sales and seating management
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Event planning and management


  • Food services and concessions
  • Design and development
  • Real estate and property management


  • Stadiums
  • Arenas
  • Golf courses
  • Tracks

  • Convention and visitors bureaus
  • Industry suppliers (e.g., Aramark)
  • Local tournaments and festivals

  • Recreational facilities
  • City parks and recreation departments
  • Individual teams


  • Find a job managing facilities or fields on campus.
  • Work in the university center or union.
  • Get involved in organizations responsible for bringing cultural attractions and entertainers to campus for exposure to contracts, negotiating, and making arrangements.
  • Gain event planning and leadership experience by serving as the events coordinator or social chair with a student organization.
  • Work part-time or summer jobs in conference and convention centers, hotels, or local attractions.
  • Volunteer to work on community events (e.g., content) local races or festivals.
  • Join organizations or take courses related to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • To succeed in this area, demonstrate skills in negotiating, business management, organization, budgeting, and marketing.
  • Research requirements for the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credential.


Professional Teams and Leagues

  • Management:
    • Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, racing, motor sports, soccer, and emerging sports
  • Player personnel:
    • General management
    • Coaching
    • Scouting
    • Community relations

  • Business operations:
    • Marketing and promotions
    • Ticketing and sales
    • Public relations
    • Sponsorship sales
    • Suite sales
  • Stadium operations:
    • Food and concession
    • Guest services/Suite services
    • Parking

  • Sport information
  • Professional services
  • Player agency and representation


  • Professional leagues:
    • National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Arena Football League, National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association, Women’s Professional Soccer, Women’s Tennis Association
  • Motor sport organizations:
    • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), Indy Racing League, National Hot Rod Association, individual race teams

  • Sport associations:
    • PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour, Tour United States Tennis Association
  • Professional player associations and unions (e.g., Major League Baseball Players Association, Professional Hockey Players’ Association)
  • Player alumni associations
  • Professional minor leagues:
    • AAA, AA, A baseball leagues, American Basketball Association, American Hockey League

  • Individual franchises
  • Sport marketing firms
  • Management firms
  • Sport marketing departments in large corporations (e.g., Anheuser-Busch or AT&T)
  • Law firms focusing on sport and entertainment



  • Plan to earn a graduate degree in sport management, business, or related area and acquire relevant experience in order to work in professional sports.
  • Be willing to relocate to larger cities where the teams are situated.
  • These positions are among the most competitive in the industry. Gain as much experience as possible and be willing to enter into the field in the minor leagues or in lower positions.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm, energy, good decision-making skills, ability to adapt quickly and a willingness to work long or irregular hours.
  • Look for ways to get experience in sales and marketing as these are important skills to develop.
  • Become familiar with legal and regulatory issues related to coaching (e.g., content) NCAA regulations.
  • Earn a law degree and develop skills in investment management and negotiation to represent players as an agent. Research requirements for union franchises, licenses, or registrations to work in this field.


Sports Merchandising

  • Product development
  • Product distribution

  • Sales and marketing
  • Brand/Product representation

  • Store management
  • Internet sales


  • Sport equipment and supply industry (e.g., Wilson, Spalding, Adidas)
  • Exercise equipment manufacturers

  • Sport and recreation retailers
  • Online sport retailers

  • Sports & Fitness Industry Association


  • Work in retail stores that sell sport or recreational merchandise or in campus recreation facilities that rent equipment to students.
  • Gain sales experience through part-time or summer jobs and internships.
  • Volunteer as a team equipment manager.
  • Make contact with college equipment or uniform representatives.
  • Develop excellent interpersonal, communication, and customer services skills.


Leisure and Fitness

  • Programming
  • Management and administration
  • Facilities/Equipment management

  • Operations
  • Travel planning
  • Event planning

  • Instruction
  • Sales and marketing



  • Ski resorts
  • Tennis and golf clubs/resorts
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Country clubs
  • Racquet clubs

  • Executive fitness centers
  • Major health spas
  • Hotels
  • Parks
  • Recreational facilities


  • Hospitality and travel industry
  • YMCA’s and YWCA’s
  • Related nonprofit organizations (e.g., Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, Special Olympics)
  • Sport related museums and attractions


  • Gain relevant experience through part-time or summer jobs or internships.
  • Work in campus recreation and fitness facilities.
  • Spend summers as an outdoor guide or tour guide.
  • Get involved in campus recreational organizations.
  • Volunteer to plan and lead outings or trips.
  • Join student organizations such as campus entertainment board, cultural attractions committee or student union.
  • Maintain excellent personal fitness and athletic proficiency.
  • Develop strong communication, interpersonal, planning, creativity and organizational skills.


Sport Media

  • Journalism
  • Broadcasting

  • Photojournalism
  • Sport information

  • Advertising sales


  • Newspapers
  • Television stations
  • Radio stations

  • Magazines
  • Special interest sport publications
  • Sport related internet sites

  • Colleges and universities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Professional associations


  • Supplement a major in sport management with journalism and broadcasting classes. Earn a double major or minor if possible.
  • Complete an internship or work part-time at a newspaper or radio/television station.
  • Publish as much as possible in college and local newspapers. Work as a sport writer or photographer on campus.
  • Volunteer at the campus radio or television station.
  • Create a portfolio of published work, articles, and photographs or an online portfolio highlighting digital media skills (e.g., content) website or blog.
  • Plan to start career in small markets and be willing to relocate to work into major markets.
  • Develop a solid command of sports, the ability to interview people, and excellent communication skills.

General Information

  • The field of sport management is extremely competitive. Candidates must be willing to start at the bottom and work their way up.
  • Gain as much hands-on experience in the industry as possible through practicums, internships, and volunteer positions. As a student, be willing to work for no pay in order to gain the necessary experience.
  • Once an area of interest is identified, find ways to gain experience and skills particular to that field.
  • Learn to work well on a team and learn how to get along with different personality types.
  • Develop strong skills in sales and marketing as these are critical in many aspects of sport management. Many entry-level jobs in sport related fields are in sales.
  • Demonstrate energy, enthusiasm, and a strong work ethic. Be prepared to work long and irregular hours, including weekends and holidays.
  • Build relationships with coaches, athletic directors, college equipment/uniform representatives, and student athletes. Networking is a very important skill to develop in this field and can lead to job opportunities.
  • Join relevant professional associations; attend their conferences and read their journals.
  • Earn a graduate or law degree in areas such as sport management, law, business, or college student personal for increased opportunities.
  • Sport management majors often find work in other areas and industries, particularly in sales and management.