Thinking about a career in the Sports Industry?
Just about everyone wants to work in sports. The competition is very high and even those with advanced degrees are taking internships to get in the door.
There has been a significant amount of growth in sports management education programs over the past 30 years. From colleges and universities to online programs such as WorkInSports.com there is a program that may be for you. Between 1980 and 2010 alone the number of undergraduate programs grew from just three in the U.S. to over 300. That number has grown more since 2010.
Things have become more easily accessible for anyone seeking a degree as a sports business professional. As mentioned above with online programs, those that are a bit more seasoned and looking a career change you can get the degree while keeping your day job. For those looking to get the degree at a college or university you can search the database of all U.S. Sports Management Programs, from SportsBusinessDaily.com. It is available for graduate and undergraduate degree programs.
It's true even with such a degree it is not easy to get in the door. Many kids coming out of college think the way in is by starting in the ticket office and working your way up. There is a very very low probability of that happening. The key is showing sales skills, but most kids do not want or like sales. A $10 an hour plus commision job may not seem appealing, but few things outside of sales get paying customers in the seats. If you can accomplish that you will get noticed by management.
Sports is driven by sales. Sales to customers and sales of sponsorships. What sells sponsorships? Sponsors pay for what they see. If they see butts in the seats they will sign on as a sponsor. If the seats are empty they will walk away.
Group Sales is a fiercely competitive position. You have to show some sort of sales track record however to get into that position. Even if it is selling shoes at a sporting goods store. Those that succeed in Group Sales will generally make in the range of $100,000 annually. From there you can move up to a higher paying role of corporate sponsorship sales and continue up the ladder of a career in sports.
The good news for many is there are opportunities in many positions in just about every city that has a professional sports team. Visit any sports team website and look for their link of career opportunities. In some cases the jobs may come directly from the professional league. For example if you were to look at career opportunities for the New Orleans Pelicans it will bring you to NBA career opportunities.
The only other ways to work in sports is perhaps at a local or recreational level, but that to can be difficult as there are fewer opportunities available. If you are serious about working in sports, figure our what sports, what level, if at a professional level what league, and do your research about those jobs that may interest you. From there you can then decide if and what degree program would be best for you.
Bloomberg did a great article back in 2008 "How to Pick A Sports management Program" that may help you.
Here are some extra links for you to check out.