Ask any young person who their role model is and they’re likely to name a sports star. But working behind the scenes of every successful athlete is a group of highly qualified professionals in a league of their own. From negotiating lucrative sponsorship deals to generating positive publicity, here are a few rewarding positions in the sports and entertainment industry worth exploring with a degree in sports management.
The media’s growing obsession with star athletes has spurred demand for PR specialists. PR in sports involves a set of activities aimed at improving an athlete’s image in the public eye. On a franchise level, PR experts serve as gatekeepers who limit the flow of information from clubs, managers and players to the press. At the end of the day, it’s all about filling stadium seats and boosting merchandise sales. Giving the public access to certain players and information greatly increases a player’s or team’s profitability. A bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications is a great foot in the door for public relations.
Football players score touchdowns; golfers, hole-in-ones; and boxers, TKOs. But a real ‘slam dunk’ for a sports agent is securing a lucrative deal for his or her client. Most agents are specialists in the art of the deal. That is, they know how to appraise their clients’ worth and know how to get the highest price for them during free agency. Agents are constantly on the move – travelling to games, meeting players, networking. The only time they’re sitting at a computer desk is when they’re filing taxes, reading over endorsement deals, or familiarizing themselves with contract law. While there aren’t any formal qualifications necessary to be an agent, a degree in sports management is a huge plus.
Sports marketers work for companies that piggyback the fame of star athletes to sell their product or service. Think Nike signing with Cristiano Ronaldo or Under Armour with Steph Curry. Sports marketers know the industry inside out and are great at creating marketing strategies and advertising campaigns. Like PR specialists, sports marketers are great communicators. They’re also highly skilled in analyzing market research to determine the best way to target their main audience. A degree in sports management or marketing is a good way to launch your career in sports marketing.
Sports Data Analyst
Big data is making a huge impact on the sports world. According to a Forbes report, the market for data analytics in sports is expected to reach $4 billion by 2022. Technology used in data collection includes tagging equipment, automated video analysis or wrist or ankle wearables to track player positions. But with millions of data points produced per game, it takes someone good with numbers to understand and interpret patterns. This, to recommend strategic decisions on how to prepare for big games. While a degree in sports management is good for networking, some math and computer skills would go a long way. And, of course, a love of sports!
Sports and entertainment are a lucrative industry. At EU Business School, we offer a master’s degree in sports management focusing on business theory and entrepreneurship, all with a global perspective. Enhanced with real case studies and hands-on learning, our students have also had the opportunity to learn from big names in the sports industry like Manchester City FC’s COO, Omar Berrada.