Top 10 Careers in Sports Management (With Salaries)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 21 December 2022
Published 4 October 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you're interested in working in the sports field, there are many fulfilling careers in sports management available for professionals working behind the scenes you may pursue. Careers in this field often require a degree in sports management or a related subject. Those pursuing a degree in sports management have a broad range of career paths available to them after graduation. In this article, we share some of the highest-paid sports management jobs, including salary expectations and what the roles entail.
10 careers in sports management
A sports management degree may prepare you for a wide range of career paths. Here are some of the highest-paid careers in sports management you may consider along with their average salary and typical duties:
1. Talent scout
National average salary: $59,240 per year
Primary duties: Talent scouts are professionals that typically work in the entertainment or sports industry. They are responsible for identifying, contacting and acquiring talented individuals on behalf of their clients. Talent scouts attend sporting events, network with sporting professionals and reach out to talented athletes to seek new talent.
Excellent interpersonal and networking skills are imperative in this role, as developing strong working relationships with other professionals in the industry helps to ensure success as a talent scout. Their clients rely on talent scouts to be experts in their field to make well-informed decisions on their behalf. They remain up to date with industry trends, analyse athletes' performances and recognise up-and-coming talent to deliver a high-value service to their employers or clients.
National average salary: $59,486 per year
Primary duties: Sports consultants review and analyse industry trends. They're responsible for using this analysis to provide insights and advice to their clients. Sports consultants' clients can range from sports leagues, teams, media partners, promoters, venue operators and investors.
Both a passion for sport and an analytical mind are essential for sports consultants. Understanding business figures, market share and other performance metrics are important skills for consultants, as they'll rely on their expertise to advise their clients effectively.
National average salary: $66,104 per year
Primary duties: A sports centre manager is in charge of the overall operation of their sports centre. They're responsible for scheduling games and competitions, recruiting and training sports centre staff, and promoting their sports centre.
Arranging maintenance of the sports centre and facilities, and ensuring they meet safety standards are important responsibilities in a sports centre manager's role. Attention to detail, organisation and interpersonal skills are essential to success for those pursuing a career as a sports centre manager. Within larger sports centres, they may delegate some responsibilities to managers within specific departments. Managers of smaller centres typically oversee all aspects of operations at their sports centre.
National average salary: $68,208 per year
Primary duties: Sports marketing coordinators are professionals who organise the marketing activities and initiatives of a sports organisation. Their primary responsibilities include conducting market research to evaluate industry trends, identifying target audiences, planning and executing promotional campaigns.
To excel in their field, marketing coordinators need an understanding of consumer psychology, an aptitude for analytics and creative skills. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential for marketing coordinators, as they listen to clients' needs, relay complex data analysis to stakeholders and prepare presentations to pitch to clients.
National average salary: $69,469 per year
Primary duties: Sports event coordinators are responsible for planning, organising and executing sports events. Some event coordinators are specialists in promotional events, such as trade fairs or product launch events. Whereas others specialise in delivering sporting matches, tournaments and competitions. Key responsibilities include facility inspections, marketing ticket sales, event preparation and delegating tasks to staff.
Time management and organisation skills are essential to success as a sports event coordinator, as they'll often be working on multiple events with varying deadlines. They're also excellent problem solvers and negotiators, as event coordinators often overcome unexpected challenges leading up to and during sporting events.
National average salary: $79,078 per year
Primary duties: Sports analysts research and prepare sports-related stories for various media outlets. They typically work for online media resources, print publications, television or radio stations. Attending sporting events is essential for sports analysts, so a willingness to travel is necessary. Also, sports analysts may rely on their excellent verbal and written communication skills to share their stories and engage with their audience.
While some sports analysts work for one employer, others may work as independent contractors on a freelance basis, selling their stories to publications. Day-to-day duties vary in this role and sports analysts may work long hours, particularly when travelling for sporting events. As such, having physical stamina and a passion for sports is important for those wanting to pursue a career as a sports analyst.
National average salary: $96,021 per year
Primary duties: A sports public relations manager is in charge of all public relations for their client or employer. They may work for an individual athlete, sports team or sports organisation. Their responsibilities include preparing press releases, public speaking, attending press conferences, promoting their client, preparing website content, managing damage control and building their client's image.
Depending on their client or employer, sports public relations managers may work independently and manage all aspects of their client's brand. However, those managing high profile clients or organisations usually lead a team of public relations professionals. So they may take on a leadership role, delegating tasks to their team and managing their team's performance.
Related: How To Develop Negotiation Skills
National average salary: $98,388 per year
Primary duties: Business development managers within sports management work alongside marketing and advertising teams, with the intention of fostering the growth of their company. They seek out new business opportunities which help their employer to generate revenue and improve profitability. The responsibilities of a business development manager include researching new markets, identifying growth trends, contacting prospective partners, fostering positive relationships with clients and developing strategic plans for the business.
Within sports management, business development managers seek to increase their team's fan base and develop relationships with advertisers to encourage revenue growth. To excel in their field, business development managers rely on excellent interpersonal skills, time management and critical thinking.
National average salary: $121,971 per year
Primary duties: Sports facilities managers are responsible for the operations of sporting facilities, such as stadiums, training grounds and arenas. They're involved in a variety of day to day duties, including planning and coordinating events, supervising sports facility staff and other managerial tasks. Sports facilities managers are also in charge of making high-level decisions, such as buying, selling and leasing facilities or equipment, redesigning and constructing facilities.
Depending on the size of their facilities, sports facilities managers can be in charge of the daily operations at smaller sites, or in large stadiums and arenas, they may delegate tasks and responsibilities to members of their team. People management, time management and organisation skills are imperative to success as a sports facilities manager. Roles at large venues typically demand extensive experience, whereas smaller venues and assistant manager positions provide an opportunity for those new to the industry to gain relevant work experience.
National average salary: $214,479 per year
Primary duties: Sports contract negotiators are professionals in the sports management field who negotiate contract terms on behalf of their clients. They may work for sports teams, agents or athletes, all of whom rely on their contract negotiator to negotiate a fair, or even favourable, contract on their behalf. The primary responsibility in this role is to successfully negotiate and sign the most favourable deal for their client.
Additional responsibilities for contract negotiators include developing strong relationships with clients, recruiting athletes, understanding business ethics, complying with industry rules and regulations, maintaining contracts and handling marketing and endorsements. To excel as a contract negotiator in sports, building trustworthy relationships with others is essential. Developing excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills is highly beneficial for those wishing to pursue a career as a sports contract negotiator.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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