Sports Management Career Path: Scope, Prospects and More

Thinking about making a career in the field of sports management? Here is all you need before opting the sports management career path.


What is Sports Management

Sports management is an electrifying field, not explored by many. Unlike engineering and doctor, sports management has a lot to offer these days. Not just comprehended as a passion anymore, being a sports director can lead to a solid career path. Despite of how it is perceived outwardly, let’s take a glance inwardly for a sports director.

Sports management as a career path.

Being a sports manager is an exemplary career path which involves management of what we see behind any sport and harmonizing its activities. As exciting as it is to work in this field, it is demanding a lot of times. The job role in sports management career path includes:

  • Supervising the entire sports department.
  • Smooth running of all sports-related activities.
  • Arranging events, competitions, programs, etc.
  • Arranging workshops and seminars for in-depth knowledge of a certain sport.
  • Managing and hiring coaches, faculties and other staff members including fitness experts.
  • Providing the necessary equipment and resources required in the training.

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Industry/Sector
1.2 Social Image
1.3 Reasons to Become a Sports Director
2.1 Personality Traits Required
2.2 Physical Demands
2.3 Psychological Demands
3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended
3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up
3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows
3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels
4.1 Part-Time Options
4.2 Traveling Required
4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect
5.1 Retirement Prospects
5.2 Threats from Automation
5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

1.    Career in Sports Management

Making a career in sports management will make you contribute to the growth and development of your favourite sport and passion. It’s nothing less than a thrilling job with some exciting tasks at hand.

In this career path, you can make a great impact to the industry of sports, wellness and physical education. Not just restricted to India, it has opportunities worldwide.

1.1 Industry/ Sector

There are innumerable opportunities when you dig deep into the of field of sports management. You can opt for education and sports, health and nutrition, sports technology, infrastructure development, journalism, communication, event management, sports marketing, sports psychology, sports law etc. some of the jobs include:

Scope to explore in the field of sports coaching and mentor.
  • Athletic director
  • Co-ordinator
  • Sports account manager
  • Sports consultant
  • Sports agent
  • Sports analyst
  • Sports merchandising
  • Sportswear design
  • Sports finance and business manager
  • Coach and mentor
  • Fitness manager
  • Talent scout, etc.

1.2 Social Image

Although most of the times it is taken for granted; one needs to understand the importance of physical fitness. Most of the times it is perceived just as a passion or pastime, but it’s more than that.

Being a leader in this field is all about introducing wellness to people around and being a lever for diplomatic action.

1.3 Reasons to Become a Sports Director

Reason simply can be put into the following equation:

Interest (hobby) = sports = passion

The best thing is having the opportunity to understand your body better, which helps from kindergarten to lifetime. It is the ability to teach the importance of physical literacy to the people around you.

The sports management career path is the ultimate one for sports enthusiasts. It’s an open opportunity to work on field, with talents and be a business minded sports fan. Once the decision is made, then the sky is the limit as there are so many related career paths to explore in sports management.

2.    What it Takes to be a Sports Director

2.1 Personality Traits Required in Sports Management

The qualities and strengths in sports management involve dealing with a lot of aspects. People management, time management, communication and analytical skills are required to enhance your strengths.

Sports management has a strong industrial growth. It gives you job flexibility, opportunity to follow your interests and travel globally.

One needs to take interest from within and learn new lessons time and again. You will start relating sports management with other subjects. Physics, biology, psychology, creativity go hand in hand with sports management.

2.2 Physical Demands in Sports Management

Two major demands includes HRPF – health related physical fitness factor which comprises of muscular endurance, strength, flexibility and body composition.

SRPF – skill related physical factors which build in agility, speed, power, co-ordination, reaction time and balance. You need both SRPF and HRPF as a sports professional, even in management.

2.3 Psychological Demands in Sports Management

Control over anxiety and identifying the personality (introvert , extrovert, ambivert) are the main psychological demands required in this field. When you play the role of a coach, trainer or mentor, it is important that you maintain the same mental balance as the player under your guidance does.

Work-life balance is important in the sports management career path. There are days with a pile of heavy work load too. You really need to be a jack of all trades. It is vital to have the 4 C’s i.e. concentration, confidence, control and commitment.

3.    How to Build Interest in a Career in Sports Management

Turning your interests into career doesn’t just allow you to follow your passion but also open doors to a lot of opportunities. The question is, how will you develop and cultivate this interest to the next level? Here’s how you can do it.

3.1 Extra-curricular Activities Recommended

I would first recommend participating in any sports or physical activity sessions; investing at least 150 minutes per week. It also involves adventure sports. Different activities combined together is always a good idea like cycling swimming, running and trekking. Activities should be of no cost and preferably be timebound activities.

Extra-curricular activities like running are recommended to generate interest in the field of sports management.

3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up in Sports Management

Playing sports, watching shows related to sports, play modified sports and recreational sports (tennis, skating, badminton, swimming, boxing). Doing it with your peers or friends is more helpful to develop interest (football, volleyball, cricket, basketball, rugby). Get involved in such activities and organize fan engagement activities.

sports management career path
Take interest in sports like playing football.

3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows

There are many movies that show the life in sports management career path.

  • Hustle (PG- 13, 2022)
  • Rise (PG-13, 2022)
  • Sneaker Ella (PG-13, 2022)
  • All or Nothing (PG- G, 2006 TV show)
  • More Than a Game (PG-12+, 2008)
  • Anything is Possible (PG-13, 2013)
  • Brian Banks (PG-13, 2018)
  • Diego Maradona (PG-13, 2019)
  • Moneyball (PG-13, 2011)
  • Jerry Maguire (R- 5.2, 1996)
L to R: All or Nothing series on Amazon prime and Brad Pitt’s Moneyball on Netflix.

3.4 Related Books to Read

Get started with:

  • The Jordan Rules
  • What Made Maddy Run
  • Faster than Lightening My Story
  • The Mamba Mentality
  • The Contender by Sports Journalist Robert Lipyte
  • After the Shot Drops
  • The Running Dream
  • Taking Flight
  • Swimming to Antarctica (and many more)
L to R: Swimming to Antartica by Lynne Cox and Kobe Bryant biography The Mamba Mentality.

4.    Life as a Sports Director

A day in the life of sports director is usually where you get no idea how it begins and ends. As thrilling as we see it, it comes with surprises and every day is different. There are days when you must work seven days a week with no break in between important seasons, workshops or competitions. Constant traveling from city to city is one of the major expectations you need to fulfill.

4.1 Entrepreneurship and Part-time Opportunities

There are part-time coaching opportunities available in schools and colleges. All in all, there is also a scope to take experience as junior officials and technical experts.

Part-time opportunities are available for a path like physiotherapy and other fields.

Sports management career path contains a lot of opportunities that lie ahead of you in terms of entrepreneurial aspects. These include:

  • Sports clubs and academy
  • Physiotherapist
  • Sport apparel manufacturers
  • Sports event management
  • Infrastructure development and so on.

4.2 Travel Requirements

Sports management professionals need to travel frequently in order to attend competitions, tournaments, promotional events and execution of other work. There may be travelling with some consecutive days working without taking any off days. However, some days are radiant to deal with.

4.3 Average Workday

Life can be interesting in the sports management career path if you are proactive and are taking up different things. A usual workday starts with early morning sessions and then checking mails, completing administrative work, future planning for physical activities, working on publication and research work. Days when you have to travel are thrilling but hectic too. Our days are filled with everything that covers on-field and off the field tasks.

5.    Future in Sports Management

5.1 Common Reasons To Quit

Salary constraints are the only reason many sports management professionals quit or don’t take it as a career path.

5.2 Retirement Prospects and Age

Retirement age for a sports director is usually around 60 years. After retirement, there is a chance to continue you work and contribute as a consultant, guide, mentor, technical expert, Ted X speaker or a podcast speaker, too.

5.3 Threats from Automation

Automation is a boon to the industry of sports. The use of it is limited and necessary for specific fields like physiotherapy. It is revolutionizing the sports training by live-tracking performances, player’s athletic movements, building up communication and many more. So AI poses no big threat to the sports management career path (at least as of yet).


Curated & Edited by Ramani Kulkarni (CareerNuts Staff)

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