What is sports management?

Sports Manager ponders what is sports management

The field of sport management is concerned with the business and commercial aspects of sport, incorporating many different areas – from finance to marketing, operations to event management and more.

In spite of setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global sports management industry continues to thrive, with an estimated global worth of $501.43 billion (£408.7bn), rising from $354.96 billion in 2021. 

The sport industry’s growth has been attributed to the steady rise of revenue streams from the likes of: 

  • Sponsorship 
  • Merchandising  
  • Media rights 
  • Betting 
  • eSports 
  • Wearable fitness technologies 
  • AR, VR and AI experiences 

Not only that, but emerging markets in countries undergoing rapid urbanisation and development are presenting major opportunities for financial growth.  

The Business Research Company states that while North America has the largest market share and is set to grow at a rate of 6%, the fastest growing regions are South America and the Middle East, which are expected to grow by 12% and 11% respectively each year. These are followed by Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific. 

The sector’s meteoric boom has had a direct impact on the job market, with sports organisations actively seeking highly qualified specialists to meet the demands of the industry.  There are many different career opportunities associated with Sport Management – from fundraising to broadcasting, marketing to PR, facilities management  to sponsorship.

What does a Sport Manager do? 

What Sport Managers do exactly really depends on their area of expertise. They might work in sports law, marketing, finance, data analysis, operations or events – any department which supports the business.  

Examples of sport management job titles include: 

  • Sports Marketer 
  • Facilities Operations Manager 
  • Event Organiser 
  • Sport Policy Manager 
  • Business Development Manager 
  • Contract Negotiator 
  • Public Relations Consultant 
  • Sport Data Analyst  

Despite the varying duties of these roles, all sports professionals require fundamental hard and soft skills to thrive in this fast-moving and competitive industry.  

Discover the top 5 skills key to a Sport Manager’s success here.  

What kind of Sport Management careers are there?

Sport Managers can be found in a variety of organisations, including: 

  • Sport clubs e.g., Manchester United Football Club 
  • Commercial businesses e.g., Nike  
  • Publicly owned businesses e.g., British Olympic Commitee 
  • Non-profits e.g., Sport England 

Although Sport Managers may work within one of these businesses, it’s likely they’ll collaborate with others as part of their role, so a broader understanding of the industry and its ecosystem is key to success.  

Operating in one of the biggest global industries, sports companies face fierce competition. Attracting and retaining the very best talent with highly relevant skills is therefore essential to help them stand out and boost their bottom line. 

How to get a job in Sports Management

The sports industry operates in a very particular way, with highly specific demands. 

For this reason, sports organisations prize employees with broad industry knowledge and contemporary skills that mean they can hit the ground running and add value right away. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s also a competitive field to break into. Having grown up watching or playing sports, many dream of forging their career in the industry. With hundreds of people often vying for the same role, hopeful employees need a compelling blend of work experience, industry insight and academic merit to stand out. 

While opportunities to ‘learn on the job’ become less feasible in the industry, many have opted to enrol on Sports Management degree programmes to acquire the skills and experience they need, and to road-test their learnings as part of a professional project or dissertation. 

Sports Management degrees

At Manchester Metropolitan University, our online Sports Management masters programme has been designed by leading academics in collaboration with sports bodies including Sport England and the Football Foundation to equip students with the skills sports employers want. 

The comprehensive scope of the programme, spanning policy and politics to marketing and business analytics, ensures students have a solid grounding in all aspects of the industry. The final Professional Project, guided by academics from the University’s triple accredited Business School, also offers the chance to conduct real-world research in collaboration with a professional sports organisation. 

The online, part-time nature of the course provides flexibility for those with existing work commitments, and the chance to meet and network with sports professionals who join us from around the world.  

Interested? Visit the course page for our online Sport Management masters today to learn more.