The highest-paying jobs in Sports Management are typically for educated and skilled sports management professionals with a master’s degree. Earning a Master’s in Sports Management is one way to capture the attention of recruiters from different sports programs. More schools offer sports management degree programs at a graduate level. These programs prepare students for some of the top-paying management positions in the industry.
What is Sports Management?
Sports management is the business side of sports. It focuses on managing and administrating sports organizations, teams, professional sports leagues, and sporting events. It also involves a sports-related organization’s marketing, finance, and operations. And includes the leadership and management of teams, athletes, and athletic associations. Sports management professionals work in many different roles and locations.
Types of Sports Management Degrees
A Master’s in Sports Management program has a few possible degrees. The types of sports management degrees available include a bachelor’s degree, as well as, graduate degrees and certificates.
Bachelor of Science
A bachelor’s degree in Sports Management is a four-year undergraduate program that teaches a broad range of skills and knowledge and prepares graduates for entry-level careers in sports management. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years after high school to complete.
Master of Science in Sports Management
The Master of Science in Sports Management is a postgraduate degree that gives students the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the sports management field. This sports management major focuses on the business operations and management of sports organizations, including marketing, finance, personnel, and public relations. It also covers the legal and ethical aspects of the sports industry.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Management is a master’s degree program that focuses on the business aspects of sports, including sports marketing, finance, operations, and analytics. It prepares students for more careers in the sports industry, such as marketing managers, athletic directors, business analysts, and sports media.
Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Management
A PhD is a postgraduate research degree that studies sports organizations, policies, and strategies. This sports management degree program prepares students for research and leadership positions in the sports industry.
Skills you Need for a Career in Sports Management
In addition to a good education, the best employment opportunities and sports management careers require additional skills. First, knowledge of the sport you are managing is essential. You must deeply understand the sport’s rules, regulations, and history to manage it effectively.
Sports management focuses on business fundamentals. Individuals should understand budgeting, sports marketing, accounting, finance, business administration, and personnel management for a successful sports management career.
A career in sports management also requires strong communication skills. You must communicate effectively with athletes, agents, sponsors, and other stakeholders to build relationships and achieve success. Negotiation skills are also essential for any sports manager. The ability to negotiate contracts, sponsorships, and other deals is critical to a successful career in sports management.
Top Jobs in Sports Management
Sports management is a very general term used in the workforce today. You can hold many titles when you work as a manager within the sports industry. You could be a coach or scouter, a sports agent at a large firm, a recreation center director, or a team marketing director. Every one of these sports management careers pays an entirely different salary range.
Sports Account Managers
A Sports Account Manager finds sponsorships for their team or league. They find new clients, give sales presentations, and work with marketing and advertising.
Salary: $35,000 to $112,000 (Indeed)
A Kinesiotherapist is a healthcare professional specializing in the therapeutic application of movement and exercise to treat physical impairments. They develop and implement a physical therapy program. These exercise programs and activities improve physical functioning, reduce pain, and promote overall health and well-being. Community health centers, hospitals, and also gyms are locations where these professionals work. The average salary of a sports kinesiotherapy professional is approximately $60,000 per year.
Salary: $36,930 to $76,950 (BLS for exercise physiologists)
Sports Marketing Managers
A Sports Marketing Manager is responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies that promote professional sports teams or organizations. This includes creating and implementing promotional marketing campaigns, coordinating marketing materials, and creating advertising and public relations materials. Many sports marketing managers also manage event marketing and social media accounts, attend sporting events, and monitor customer feedback.
Salary: $61,205 to $208,000 (BLS Sports Marketing Manager)
A sports lawyer typically provides legal counsel and representation to athletes, coaches, sports agents, and organizations involved in professional and amateur sports. They may advise on contract negotiation, athlete endorsements, trademark and copyright protection, and labor law. Sports lawyers also handle disputes between sports teams and players, sports-related litigation, and other legal issues.
Salary: $61,400 to $208,000 (BLS)
An athletic director is responsible for an athletic program’s overall administration, organization, and supervision. This includes managing staff, budgets, facilities, and events. The athletic director oversees the hiring of coaches and other personnel. And they develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and professional sports standards.
Additionally, athletic directors are often responsible for marketing and fundraising initiatives and cultivating relationships with alumni, sponsors, and other stakeholders. An athletic director typically earns $75,000 or more.
Salary: $75,000 to $500,000 (Athletic Director)
An Athletic Trainer is a healthcare professional who works to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and provides advice on health, nutrition, and injury prevention. These sports professionals provide first aid and emergency care at the injury site, evaluate and assess injuries, provide rehabilitation, and work to prevent future injuries.
An Athletic Trainer may also work with coaches and physicians to develop conditioning programs and provide sports safety and injury prevention programs to athletes, coaches, and parents. There are specific licensing requirements in some states.
Salary: $36,960 to $76,180 (BLS Athletic Trainer)
A sports agent negotiates contracts, endorsements, and marketing opportunities for athletes and coaches. They also help clients with financial planning and relocation to a new city. Some also provide advice on career transitions and manage the personal affairs of their clients.
Salary: $65,739 (GlassDoor)
Sports Facilities Managers
A Sports Facilities Manager ensures a facility’s safe and efficient operation and maintains the buildings and grounds. They also oversee the staff and daily operations of the facility. This includes the safety of employees and visitors, managing the facility’s budget, and overseeing the maintenance and renovation of the facility. Facility management also involves developing and implementing strategies to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs.
Salary: $59,470 to $168,910 (BLS)
Sports Analytics Manager
A Sports Analytics Manager collects, analyzes, and interprets sports-related data. They use sophisticated software and statistical techniques to identify trends, uncover insights, and make recommendations to improve team performance. They also develop predictive models to forecast outcomes, which can help teams make better decisions and form effective strategies. Many work closely with a sales manager.
Average Salary: $84,721 (GlassDoor)
Sports promoters are individuals or organizations that promote and organize sports events. Promoters may be employed by a sports team, league, or governing body to manage the event and promote the sport. They may also be independent contractors, private entrepreneurs, or companies. Business opportunities capitalize on the popularity of a sport or particular event. So, promoters may also be responsible for managing the finances associated with a sporting event, such as ticket sales and sponsorship at sports arenas.
Average Salary: $60.000 (GlassDoor)
What is the Average Salary?
Salaries can range significantly depending on experience, location, and the organization’s size. As in most fields, there are more sports management careers for individuals with higher education beyond high school. Furthermore, the highest-paying jobs typically require graduate-level education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a sports marketing manager or public relations manager can earn an average salary of $122,660. Scouts may need additional education, but earnings in this category are only $64,180 per year.
Factors That Affect Salaries
Many factors will tie into the salary expectations for each sports management job title. Salaries vary even when professionals have the same level of education. For example, the geographic region where you work can significantly affect the supply and demand for sports management graduates. Your experience level and whether or not you were an athlete can also play a role.