A Master’s in Sports Management will help you earn a leg up on the competition when competing in the highly competitive sports industry. Of course, if you are considering this degree, you are also going to be curious as to which types of sports jobs are available for those with that degree. Fortunately, your choices are pretty varied, providing you with a number of avenues into this field.
Athletics Director or General Manager
An athletics director is responsible for a collegiate athletics department. This individual oversees all of the coaching staffs as well as other areas such as marketing, ticketing, media relations, athletic training, equipment and compliance. Scheduling games may fall on the list of job duties as well. Fundraising oftentimes comprises a considerable amount of this person’s time, especially for the 350+ schools competing at the NCAA Division I level. Some will even be responsible for negotiating or helping the conference office negotiate media and conference alignment deals involving millions of dollars. Being one of the most recognizable faces of the athletics department and understanding the responsibilities that go with that is another important aspect of being an athletics director.
A general manager with a professional sports team has similar responsibilities although he or she will usually only oversee one squad instead of the 20 or so that an athletics director oversees. Conversely, determining the rosters of the teams with or without the help of the head coach is a significant aspect of this individual’s duties while an athletics director usually doesn’t get closely involved with that.
Media Relations Director
The vast majority of collegiate athletics departments have at least one person responsible for media relations, including the many schools that compete at the NCAA Division II and III levels as well as NAIA schools. Major professional sports teams do as well while those acting in this role at the minor league level often assume other responsibilities too such as serving as the team’s radio announcer.
These individuals will generally maintain the team’s website, write press releases and features, create media guides, ensure that accurate statistics are taken of every home contest and arrange interviews with athletes and coaches. Travel with teams to away contests is sometimes required as well. Being prepared to serve as the primary spokesperson during times of crisis is an important aspect of this person’s training.
This is one of the jobs that you can do with a Master’s in Sports Management that is not directly related to professional or collegiate or high school sports teams. Fitness directors oversee the running of health clubs and gyms. They arrange or oversee those responsible for personal training and exercise class schedules, the garnering of as many new memberships as possible and the purchase of equipment and ensuring that existing equipment is safe and efficient. This person will oftentimes also serve other roles at the fitness center such as yoga instructor, personal trainer or physical therapist if trained to do so.
Although demand for any sports-related job is high, the variety of options available is extensive as many exist in addition to those listed above. These include athletic training, coaching, sports photography, sports event planning, sports psychology and refereeing/umpiring.