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The sports industry in the U.S. is valued at an estimated $700 billion, experiencing significant growth due to several driving factors. Among them are the surging popularity of sports betting, the expansion of streaming services, and the meteoric rise of esports. These trends are reshaping the landscape of sports entertainment, offering new opportunities and avenues for engagement.
Here are some statistics about the sports industry in the United States:
- In 2022, the sports industry generated $700 billion in revenue.
- The sports industry employs over 4.5 million people.
- The sports industry contributes over $150 billion to the U.S. economy.
- The sports industry is the third largest employer in the United States, behind healthcare and education.
- The sports industry is the fastest growing major industry in the United States.
- The sports industry is a major economic driver, and it is only going to continue to grow in the years to come.
There are plenty of jobs in the sports industry, even if you aren’t cut out to be a professional athlete. But how can you start your career in sports management? First, you’ll need the right education. Then, you’ll need to focus on cultivating the right personal and professional traits and skills and working your magic to get your foot in the door at your very first career-track job.
Launching a successful career in sports management necessitates a strong educational foundation. While certain roles may only demand field knowledge, many also require specialized skills in areas like marketing, communications, sales, or analytics. Though not obligatory, a master’s degree is often highly recommended for ambitious career paths, such as becoming the general manager of a professional sports team.
For those seeking to excel in a specific career track, it’s advisable to obtain a relevant bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s in sports management. For instance, a career in sports marketing might call for expertise in both marketing and sports management. Such a comprehensive educational approach not only enhances your marketability but also strategically positions you for career advancement within the fiercely competitive sports industry.
Or, let’s say you’re interested in a career in inside sales. These are great entry-level positions for young people hoping to break into the sports management field. You might consider a bachelor’s in business administration to build your negotiation and business skills, followed by a master’s in sports management. Suppose you’re more interested in sports public relations – you might combine a bachelor’s in communications, English, or journalism with a master’s in sports management. You get the idea.
Cultivate the Right Traits and Skills
As with any career field, you’ll do best if you cultivate the right traits and skills before starting
No matter what role you ultimately pursue, written and oral communication skills are a must because you’ll spend much of your workday interacting with and influencing others. Whether you’re trying to develop a new player’s talent, trying to sell season tickets to a church group, or trying to run damage control with the press when an athlete’s personal scandal goes public, you’ll need to be able to communicate well.
Get Your First Job
When it comes to getting your first job, creativity is essential to get your foot in the door. Hiring managers often only interview candidates who demonstrate creativity in their resumes and application materials because creativity is such an essential trait for most professionals in the field.
But, there’s good news – thanks to recent trends in the industry, there’s no better time to get a job in the sports management field or to nurture career growth if you’re already working in the industry. As you search for a job, remember how small the industry is and be careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings or annoy anyone. Try to find out as much as you can about a position through informal means, such as contacts, colleagues, recruiters, and your own research, before deciding whether to pursue it. This way, you don’t leave people feeling strung along and resentful in a way that could come back to haunt you later.
The sports industry is going strong, and that’s great news if you’re interested in a career in it. Athletes aren’t the only ones who are drawing paychecks in this industry; there are plenty of opportunities for everyone, and a degree in sports management can help you take advantage of them.