The Difference Between Sports Management and Sports Marketing

by frank-stuart
3SEP

These days, sport is very much a business, and it can be an expensive and complex one at that! It also requires more than just players and coaches – there is almost every kind of work going on behind the scenes – from finance and event organising and promotion, to catering, advertising, administration, and public relations.

If you love watching and being involved in sports, and you are considering a career in the business end of the sporting industry, read below for a brief look at sports management and sports marketing careers, including the differences between the two, and what you might expect from a career in these fields.

Sports management careers

As the name suggests, this field involves the management and business side of sports. Studies in this field include sports administration, marketing, finance, law, economics, consumer behaviour, and human resources.

Jobs in this field include coaching, recruiting, facility management, equipment management, operations, administration, event planning, hospitality, contract negotiation, ticket sales, account co-ordination, front-office work, sports finance and accounting, and so forth.

Places of employment are many and varied, including professional player associations, motor sports organisations, clubs, resorts, fitness centres, stadiums, arenas, tracks, educational institutions, sports associations, and if you’re really keen (and lucky!) – the Olympic committee.

Sports marketing careers

Marketing in sports often forms part of sports management, and involves sales, promotion, and increasing public participation. Sports marketing jobs can include selling products and merchandise, finding corporate sponsorship, arranging advertising, managing the audio and video aspects of events, producing promotional material, writing press releases, copywriting work, graphic design, media campaigns, market research, and public relations.

This type of work is fast-paced and competitive. In this field you need to be confident, have excellent people and communication skills, and the ability to work to deadlines. Basically, you need to be very keen and very energetic!

Working in the sports industry

Working in sports involves having more than just a love of sport or good player skills. It requires self-confidence, creativity, a good business head, professionalism, and a great ability to communicate. It also requires a lot of drive to succeed if you want to secure a position and move up the ranks. Working in the industry may also involve long hours, erratic hours at times, and quite a lot of hard work.

To get started you should consider taking a degree in sports business. This is basically a business degree with a sports focus.

Networking with sports associations or clubs is also a good idea – you never know what opportunities for work or volunteering you may pick up!

In the workplace you may need to do an internship, or contend with lower-paid, less exciting work such as office administration tasks at the start. However with persistence, enthusiasm, experience, great skills and possibly further study, you should hopefully be able to proceed up the ranks and earn well in excess of average earnings.

 If you’re interested in a sports management, sports marketing or any other sports business career, check out the range of Sports Business courses on offer at ACPE.

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