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Careers in Sports Management


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The sports business industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics says demand – and salaries – for sports managers should increase as the industry grows.

The sports management concentration under the bachelor’s program in sports and health sciences prepares students to meet the demands of sports business industry. The master’s program in sports management covers the fundamentals of the sports industry with specific focuses in sports law, marketing, promotion, public relations, finance, and economics.

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Useful Skills within the Sports Management Field

Listening - Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.

Managing Money
- Determining how much money is required to get a job done, allocating those monies, and accounting for all expenditures.

Managing Time
- Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.

- Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness
- Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way that they do.

Public Speaking
- Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in group settings to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.

- Teaching others how to do something.

- Persuading, encouraging, and motivating others to accept your ideas.

Decision Making
- Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.

- Actively looking for ways to help people.


Career Options

To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the sports management field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.” In addition, seek out the advice of fellow students and alumni working in the industry in our mentoring program on The Quad (for current students and alumni only) or speak with a career coach. Please be aware that some careers listed below cannot be found on O*Net.

As with all majors, the education you receive serves as a foundation of knowledge that prepares you for what you may face in the professional world. The career field you choose may require additional education or experience.

Amusement and Recreation Attendants
Athletes and Sports Competitors
Athletic Administration
Coaches and Scouts
Community Relations
Compliance & Governance
Corporate and Sponsorship Sales
Corporate Sponsorship Development
Director of Team Travel
Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers
Event and Game Day Management
Facility Management
Fundraising and Athletic Development
Game Operations and Production
Gaming Managers
General and Operations Managers

Human Resources Managers
Managers, All Other
Marketing Managers
New Business and Media Development
Player Personnel and General Management
Program Directors
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Public Relations Specialists
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
Reporters and Correspondents
Sales Managers
Sporting Goods Sales and Retail
Sports Information
Ticket Operations and Box Office Service

Getting Started: Internships

Gaining real-life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. The career services website has an extensive list of internships and fellowships. Browse through the internships - they are organized by interest or by federal program - and use the list below to find a few examples of organizations that offer internships for both graduate and undergraduate sports management students.

Adaptive Recreation Internships
Team USA

MVP Access with
Students and recent alumni can sign up for a free membership in this cutting-edge networking tool. Alongside networking tools, professional tips, and a profile service, members will find listings for internships with major (and “Major” and “Minor”) sports organizations.

For assistance, please contact

Government Internship Programs
In addition to the organizations mentioned above, there are government-organized internship programs which provide students or recent graduates the opportunity to gain real-life experience. Many require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. The best ways to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search, or to look at the agencies career portal. Keep in mind these positions are not always posted online, so direct contact with the agency is key. 

The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students as well as training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans; due to their military service obligation, they have up to six years to apply). The internship program for current students replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
PMF is designed to attract outstanding federal service members from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expected to complete, during the current academic year, an advanced degree. Graduate students who have had their degree conferred in the preceding two years from the opening of the vacancy announcement are also eligible for PMF. 

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to provide summer work experience and, in some cases, full-time employment to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of which makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.

Getting Hired: Government Agencies, Organizations, and Search Engines

There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in sports management. The list below provides a few examples of federal agencies where degree holders might find employment.

Sample Organizations

Sample Agencies

Athletic Associations
Athletic Arenas and Stadiums
Corporate Health Facilities
Sporting Goods Companies
Country Clubs and Resorts
Coach: Professional, College, or K-12 level teams
Administration - Professional athletic organizations
Recreation Departments

Health Resources and Services Administration
Indian Health Service
National Institutes of Health
Peace Corps
President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
Public Health Service
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

While many of the major job search engines will have positions in several fields to choose from, the list below is specific to the sports management field.

Blue Fish Jobs
ESPN Career Center
FELD Entertainment
HigherEd Jobs, Athletics and Coaching
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Careers
Online Sports
Recreation Internships
Women Sports Jobs

MVP Access with
Students and recent alumni can sign up for a free membership in this cutting-edge networking tool. Alongside networking tools, professional tips, and a profile service, members will find listings for employment with major (and “Major” and “Minor”) sports organizations.

For assistance, please contact


Keeping Current: Professional Organizations and Associations
Conferences and Expositions
Get Connected: Social Media

A login may be required for access to social media.

APUS Sports & Health Sciences & Sports Management - Facebook
Sports+Fitness Network - LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog

Quick Links

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