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30 Unique Career Paths With a Sports Management Degree

Who wouldn’t want a job in sports? Sports entertainment is big business, with a number of opportunities to meet interesting (and famous!) people. However, many people wonder how they can start a good career with a sports management degree. Many of us immediately think of agents when we think of sports management, but such jobs can be frustratingly difficult to get. The good news is that there are a number of paths you can take when it comes to sports management.

Instead of going the “obvious” routes of becoming a GM or acting as an athletic agent, you can choose a more unique career path. You might find a good salary¬†— and find yourself competing against fewer people. Here are 30 interesting career paths to consider if you want a sports management degree:

  1. Sports Blogger: You can actually do reasonably well as a sports blogger, and a degree in sports management can help. Use the knowledge and insight learned during your time in a sports management program to provide you with a solid background on the business of sports. You might make it big as a sports blogger, bringing in traffic and benefiting from affiliate programs and ads. If you are lucky, your blog could even be bought by a major organization, just as River Ave Blues was bought by YES Network.
  2. Sports Philanthropy: You might surprised to learn that many professional athletes are unaware of the opportunities available for them to connect with opportunities to make an impact in their communities. The Sports Philanthropy Project has been taken over by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but you can set out on your own. Help athletes by a force for good by hooking them up with philanthropic efforts in their neighborhoods.
  3. Player Appearances: There are companies that manage player appearances, from appearances at fundraisers to motivational speaking to other events. You can hire on as someone who helps manage athlete appearances, being involved in the process from booking to making sure everyone stays on schedule.
  4. Season Ticket Management: Many season ticket holders need help managing their tickets. You can help them by selling tickets to games they won’t be attending, using sites like StubHub!. You can also be on the management side by encouraging season ticket sales, and premium seating sales.
  5. Web Master: If you have a penchant for web design, you might be able to enjoy a unique career as a web master for a sports team, or for a sporting event. You can do this for minor league, youth sports league, and regional league teams as well as major sports teams.
  6. Market Research: With a sports management degree, you can be a market researcher. Companies like Turnkey Sports & Entertainment might hire someone with a sports management degree to do specialized research.
  7. Sports Camp Director: If you want to help youth learn the valuable lessons that can be taught through participation in sports, you can actually direct a sports camp. You can also work in coordinating camps across geographic areas.
  8. Professor: Get your sports management degree, and then go back to school — as the teacher. With an advanced degree in sports management, you can become a college professor, and teach others about sports management.
  9. Brand Management: Help athletes, teams and others in sports manage their brands. Help them portray the kind of organizations they want to be. You can provide tips for consistent branding, as well as help with damage control.
  10. Social Networking/Community Management: Even sports teams need some help social networking — especially local leagues. There are plenty of sports networking opportunities out there, and you can position yourself as an expert.
  11. Sports Events Planning: You can be part of the planning team for sporting events. A degree in sports management can help you learn the skills necessary to be involved in different areas of event planning for sporting purposes.
  12. Compliance Professional: This interesting job is one in which you make sure different rules are met. For example, a sports compliance specialist might work at a college to ensure that the program and its athletes comply with NCAA rules.
  13. Public Relations: Your sports management degree can help you prepare for a career in sports public relations. Meet with the public, and drum up publicity. This unique career path requires a great deal of creativity when you are working with smaller, local teams.
  14. Sports Equipment and Supply: Get a job with sports equipment makers and retailers. A degree in sports management can help you perform different duties within the structure of sporting equipment and supplies.
  15. Youth Sports Organizations: Make a difference in a child’s life. You can use your sports management degree to run programs for the YMCA, Little League and other organizations.
  16. Legal Services: In addition to a sports management degree, you will need some sort of law degree. However, this can provide you with the chance to provide a number of legal services, representing organizations or individual athletes.
  17. Parks & Recreation: Your sports management degree can also fit you to work in parks and recreation departments around the country. Great opportunities to go your own way and teach others the value of sport.
  18. Resort/Club Management: Many people don’t think of resorts and sports clubs, but your sports management degree can help you get jobs in these areas. Enjoy a career managing a ski resort, or a racket club.
  19. Digital Video Editor: If you want to be involved in digital editing, you can put together highlight reels, special products and more. You should probable have video editing skills in addition to your sports management degree.
  20. Olympic Involvement: One of the coolest sports jobs can be involvement in the Olympics. This career path allows you the chance to be involved in different aspects of the Olympics, from number crunching to coordinating events and ceremonies, to working with athletes, you can be involved in premiere sporting events.
  21. Race Management: Be in charge of a pit crew for racing sports. A great opportunity for someone with the right experience, interest and sports management degree.
  22. Internet Production: Sports stories, multimedia and other production online. You can help the online operations for sports teams, sports networks and even local sporting events.
  23. Sports Promotions: Use your sports management degree to involve yourself in sports promotions jobs. Great opportunities to connect with athletes, as well as promote events and come up with fun ways to raise team awareness. This job can be especially fun when coming up with contests and prizes for local sporting events and teams.
  24. Sponsorship: Help get sponsorship for sports organizations. This can be getting local sponsors for the Little League, or finding big national sponsors to build a new sports arena.
  25. Tournament Planner: You can use your sports management skills to book facilities for tournaments, and be in charge of publicity and marketing, as well as plan events for athletes to interact with the public during tours and tournaments.
  26. Hospitality Specialist: Arrange hospitality for athletes, team managers and their families. Help them settle in, and direct them to where they need to be. A great career opportunity for those who want a chance to work with others in the sports industry.
  27. Fan Development/Fan Club Management: Sports management isn’t just about organizations and teams; you can also be involved in encouraging fans, and managing fan clubs.
  28. Sales: You can be involved in different aspects of sales and sales development when you have a sports management degree.
  29. Sports Mediator/Arbitrator: Settle disputes in the sports industry. You may need some law background in addition to your sports management degree if you want to be an arbitrator.
  30. Concessions Management: If you like food, you can be a concessions manager. Be in charge of the menu, buying what you sell at the park, and setting prices people are willing to pay.
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