If you are looking to break into sports as a profession, you can better your chances by choosing a relevant major. While it is fairly challenging to obtain an entry-level position with a college or professional sports team or organization, it is possible and the right educational background certainly helps. Let’s take a look at the top 4 degrees for careers in sports.
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Marketing might not seem very sports-centric, but it is often the quickest avenue into an entry-level sports related job. As Bernie Mullin, the former president of Atlanta Spirit, the company that owns the Atlanta Hawks, said, “The kids don’t want sales, but that’s where the jobs are.” Marketing empowers young adults to learn how to sell all sorts of products, and every business, including sports teams and leagues, needs to sell their product. Even though sports are quite popular, the name of the game is ticket and merchandise sales along with television ratings. These sales are directly related to the marketability of the sport and its teams.
The vast majority of sports teams and leagues have entry-level openings on an annual basis in their public relations departments. Those who don’t want to work in sales can major in public relations and handle a number of duties for sports teams such as creating media guides, crafting press releases, and more. Students should offer to work for their school’s Sports Information Department as a volunteer in order to gain experience. This will give them the experience that they need to tip the scales in their favor when they start to search for a professional position.
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The best degree for students who are looking for careers in sports is the bachelor of sport management. This degree program equips students with the tools to apply the fundamental concepts of management, marketing, finance, and law to sports organizations. There’s no other degree as sports-focused as this one. It’ll help a graduate earn an entry-level position in a team or league office or even with a media organization that covers sports. Graduates of this program will do everything that is involved with sport team management including administration, player representation, ticket operations, marketing, event management, and more.
Those who pursue a degree in medicine will have a nice “in” with sports teams. Every team needs at least one doctor to diagnose injuries and determine treatment methods. Team doctors will also work with players to prevent injuries and manage pain. Other positions that sports teams have for those with medical backgrounds include physical therapists, athletic trainers, nutritionists, and sports psychologists.
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Pursuing one of the degrees listed above will significantly boost your odds of getting your foot in the door with a college or professional sports team or organization. Just be sure to network with people in the sports industry while you are in school and volunteer or intern in any relevant position if you have the opportunity.
A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.