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Are you passionate about sports and looking to break into the business side of the industry? Building a career in the sports business can be challenging, but with the right strategy and mindset, it is possible to achieve success. The sports industry is a dynamic and exciting field with many career opportunities.
Whether you’re interested in working for a professional sports team, a sports media company, or a sports marketing agency, there are many ways to build a successful career in the sports business.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in sports occupations and entertainment is expected to grow by 13% from 2021 to 2031. This expected growth is much higher when compared to all other occupations. As a result, the sports and entertainment industry is expected to produce about 95,000 new jobs in the coming decade. However, getting into the sports industry can be a challenge.
This article explores six effective ways to help you build a career in the sports business. From networking and gaining industry experience to developing the right skills and staying informed about trends and developments, these tips will provide a solid foundation for your career in the sports industry.
1. Get an MBA Degree in Sports Management
One effective way to build a career in the sports business is to get an MBA degree in sports business. An MBA program can provide you with the knowledge, skills, and connections necessary to succeed in the competitive sports industry.
An MBA in sports business management can be an effective way to build a career in sports business. These programs provide a comprehensive education in business and management, focusing on the sports industry. Here are a few benefits of an MBA sports business program:
- Specialized Curriculum: MBA sports business programs offer a specialized curriculum that focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities of the sports industry.
- Networking Opportunities: MBA programs provide opportunities to network with other students, alumni, and industry professionals.
- Internship Opportunities: Many MBA sports business programs offer internship opportunities that provide hands-on experience in the industry.
An MBA in sports business will typically cover sports marketing, sponsorship, event management, sports finance, and sports law. These courses will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the business side of sports and help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in your chosen career path.
An MBA in sports business can provide a strong foundation in business and management principles, which can benefit someone looking to become a sports instructor.
The program will give a comprehensive understanding of sports marketing, finance, and management, which can help prepare you for a sports instructor job and earn decently. According to Zippia, the entry-level salary of a sports instructor is $25,000, and as you get experienced, it can go up to $49,000 annually.
Additionally, an MBA in sports business can help an individual develop leadership, team management, and strategic planning skills, which are essential for a sports instructor. The MBA program can also provide an opportunity to network with industry professionals, which can be beneficial in finding different job opportunities in sports management.
2. Seek Experience by Volunteering and Internships
Gaining hands-on experience in the industry can give you a better understanding of the inner workings of the sports business world and help you develop the skills and connections necessary to succeed.
Volunteering for events, teams, or organizations in the sports industry can allow you to observe and learn from professionals and also help you gain a deeper understanding of the industry.
Interning with a sports team, league, agency, or other organization can also provide valuable experience and allow you to work on real projects and learn from experienced professionals. Many internships also lead to full-time job opportunities, so it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.
3. Do Research and Networking
Research and networking are crucial for building a career in the sports business. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Research the industry: Learn about the different sectors of the sports industry and the companies that operate within them. It will help you identify potential employers and understand the types of positions that are available.
- Network with professionals: Attend industry events, such as conferences and networking events, to connect with professionals in the sports business field. It is a great way to learn about job opportunities, get advice, and build relationships with people who may be able to help you advance in your career.
- Join professional organizations: Joining professional organizations in the sports business field is a great way to stay informed about industry trends and connect with other professionals. Many organizations also offer networking opportunities, job listings, and other resources to help you build your career.
- Use social media to connect with industry leaders: Connecting with industry leaders on social media can help you stay informed about the latest developments in the sports business field and connect with professionals in the industry.
- Seek out mentors: Identify professionals in the sports business field.
4. Understand the Sports Industry
According to IBIS World, the size of the US Sports Franchises industry has grown at an annual rate of 2.2% between 2018 to 2023 and has become $44.2 billion in 2023.
The sports industry has several sectors, including professional sports teams and leagues, sports media, sports marketing and sponsorship, sports technology and data, and sports event management.
Each sector has its own unique set of opportunities and challenges. You must familiarize yourself with the key players and learn about the major happenings of the sports world.
5. Gain Knowledge from Both Inside and Outside the Sports World
Here are a few ways to gain knowledge from both inside and outside the sports industry:
- Get a formal education: Pursue a degree or certificate program in sports management, business, or a related field.
- Get hands-on experience: Seek internships or entry-level positions in the sports industry. These opportunities will provide valuable experience and help you build a network of contacts.
- Learn from outside industries: Look to other industries, such as entertainment, technology, and marketing, to learn about trends and best practices you can apply to the sports industry.
- Learn about digital media: Learn about digital media and the ways it’s changing the way fans consume sports content. It will help you to understand how to create, distribute, and monetize sports content in the digital age.
- Learn from successful professionals: Seek out successful professionals in the sports industry and learn from their experiences. Ask them about their career paths, the challenges they faced, and the strategies they used to overcome them.
6. Go to Sports Networking Events and Seminars
Networking and professional development are key to building a successful career in the sports business. Here are a few ways to make the most of sports networking events and seminars:
- Attend industry events: Attend conferences, trade shows, and other industry events to connect with professionals in the sports business field. These events provide an opportunity to learn from field experts and gain new skills and knowledge.
- Take the initiative: Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people at networking events. Take the initiative to start conversations and exchange contact information.
- Follow up: Follow up with the contacts you’ve made after networking events. Send an email or message to thank them for their time and to keep in touch.
Building a career in the sports business requires a combination of hard work, dedication, and strategic thinking. By researching and networking, understanding the sports industry, and gaining knowledge from inside and outside the sports world, you can increase your chances of success.
Remember to stay informed about the latest developments in the field, seek out mentorship and professional development opportunities, and be proactive in building relationships with professionals in the industry. With persistence and determination, you can build a rewarding and fulfilling career in the sports business.
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