7 best careers in sports industry: Jobs for people who love sports

careers in sports industry

There are numerous opportunities in the sports industry in today’s day and age. In India, Cricket is the most popular sport and one which receives the most financial backing. It is no surprise that cricket seems like the most lucrative career option in the sports industry. Recently, with the rise of the Pro-Kabbadi League, Kabbadi is also attracting a lot of new followers and creating new job opportunities. 

However, other sports like Hockey, Football, Basketball, Athletics, etc are yet to reach the tip of the iceberg of what they can potentially become. Opportunities do exist in these other sports as well, but there is a lack of awareness about it.

The Indian sports industry has a lot of potential to grow and develop. While the support of the government is necessary, industry experts also need to help build the foundation. 

There are different opportunities in this industry that exist, but we first need to find out what are the various career paths within it. Some of the well-known career paths in this industry are sports management, sports media and sports journalism, sports medicine, and sports law.

Opportunities in the sports industry

In this blog, we list the 7 best career opportunities that are there in the sports industry.

1. Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine is a branch of medicine that specializes in the treatment of athletes. Brittanica defines sports medicine as medical and paramedical supervision, of athletes in training and in competition, with the goal of prevention and treatment of their injuries.

Sports Medicine is one of the most demanding opportunities in the sports industry. This is because the health of athletes is the primary concern of any sports organization. If the players are missing games due to injury, then there is no chance the organization can be successful.

Sports Medicine has many branches that are applicable to any sports organization. It is an umbrella term for all the positions that require medical expertise in an organization. 

Some sports leagues also recruit their own sports medicine professionals. This is usually the case for international events like the Olympics. There is a big demand for medical professionals in this industry. 

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Medicine

Some of the common professions that fall under sports medicine are:

  • Physiotherapists: They deal with the musculoskeletal functioning of an athlete and diagnose any issues that pertain to an athlete’s muscles. Most cures in physio-therapy are exercises that help bring back mobility and strength to the muscles.
  • Sports Nutritionists: They study nutrition from an athlete’s standpoint. They provide athletes with specialized diet charts which would help them optimize their performances on the field.
  • Sports Psychologists: They deal with mental issues that are specific to athletes. An example would be a player that cannot perform in huge games or finds it difficult to perform a particular task in-game but has no issues in practice. This is what we call a mental block. It is these mental blocks that sports psychologists help athletes overcome through constant counseling and therapy.
  • Physiologists: They study an athlete’s medical history and design their fitness routine based on that. This involves putting the athlete through various tests while monitoring their vital signs.
  • Kinesiologists: They are specialists in human movement and play a huge role in designing exercises for athletes that are coming back from injuries and their recovery.
  • Chiropracticioners: They deal with nerve function and structural correction for the athlete.

There are medical professionals like dentists and ophthalmologists that are a part of sports organizations but they specialize in their medical field of dentistry and ophthalmology before joining a sports organization.

These are some of the opportunities available in the sports industry when it comes to the field of sports medicine.

2. Sports Law

Sports Law is an integral aspect of the sports industry and a lot of the opportunities are related to the legal side of sports. Every organization and player requires legal counsel to be successful. 

In the case of players, they need to understand what they are signing when it pertains to contracts. For organizations, they need to make sure that any contract they offer does not come back to bite them, and that they are legally covered on all fronts.

Athletes mainly require legal assistance from their agents. Being a sports agent is one of the popular occupations that comes under sports law. It is an agent’s job to guide his/her player through their sports career and get them the best deals possible for their success. 

The best agents ensure that their players are not just successful during their sports careers, but that they have delegated funds for a smooth sailing retirement. It is an agent’s job to put together a team of financial advisors, lawyers, trainers, etc. for their client.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Law
Sports Law

Sometimes agents are not lawyers and need to hire professional legal counsel for their clients. There are times when players make their own decisions and select their own personnel to assist them. 

In most cases, agents handle everything from the hiring of professionals to getting deals done. It is important that players choose trustworthy agents to represent them so as to prevent issues from arising in the future. 

Agents also have to make sure that there are clauses in place when it comes to contracts, either with a team or a sponsor, where the client is protected from incurring any loss due to unseen circumstances. This clause is called a force majeure clause.

There are many clauses that are well known to fans like a buyout clause in football or a no-trade clause in basketball. Recently, football’s most popular agent, ‘Mino Raiola’ passed away, who was well-known for getting his clients the best deals in the market. 

It is important to remember that sports laws are different in different countries. The sports laws in India will not be exactly similar to those of the United States. While there are a lot of differences, there are some similarities in the legal structure of sports across the world. The National Sports Policy passed in 2001, is the backbone of sports law in India.

While the profession of a sports agent and a sports lawyer is a commonly known opportunity in the sports industry, there are many more jobs in the sports industry with regard to sports law. Once you specialize in Sports Law, the possibilities are numerous. 

While particular posts are few compared to the various career paths in sports management, sports law can guarantee you a place in the sports industry. Some of the lesser-heard sports law occupations are sports union attorneys and sports arbitrators.

A sports union attorney represents a sports union and is the legal representation for the union. The main job of a sports union attorney is to fight for the benefits of the union members and make sure that they are not taken advantage of by their employers.

An example of such a union is a players union/ association that is present in most sports across the world, but especially in the US. 

A sports arbitrator, on the other hand, specializes in settling legal issues outside the court. They mainly bring two legally feuding parties together to reach an arrangement that satisfies both sides of the table.

The minimum salary of a sports lawyer could be as high as 5 lakh rupees and could be up to 40 lakh rupees upon roping in more clients. A degree in law and a specialization in sports law can provide you with amazing opportunities in the sports industry.

A major reason for that is the requirement for lawyers in any sports organization and even players’ requirements for legal representation. These are some of the opportunities in the sports industry with regard to sports law.

3. Sports Media and Journalism

Sports Media is arguably the highest rewarding part of the sports industry. In fact, it is sports media that makes up a majority of the revenue that sports leagues and organizations generate.

Sports media and journalism is a field that offers numerous opportunities in the sports industry. In today’s digital age, those opportunities in the sports industry have expanded to social media, online news sites, and blogging.

The Sports Media industry, as most of you already know, is the industry in charge of broadcasting and reporting on sports events, players, organizations, leagues, etc. 

Their main job is to share opinions on whatever takes place within the sports world. More times than not, the people that share their opinions understand the sport on which they are reporting to a large degree.

While they are not as proficient as coaches and players in their knowledge of the game, they understand enough to give an opinion that sports fans can trust. 

Most times these opinions not only influence how fans feel about players or a sport but also influence how players are seen by team owners and leagues. That is how influential the sports media is in the sports industry.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Media and Journalism

The most well-known careers in sports media and journalism are reporters and sports commentators. Sports commentators are probably the most famous people in the sports media industry. 

Some famous commentators in India are Harsha Bhogle and Jatin Sapru. Legendary cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sourav Ganguly, Irfan Pathan, etc are or have been sports commentators after their illustrious cricketing careers. 

Sports commentating is one of the most sought-after jobs in sports media. It allows you to travel to wherever matches are held and you get to talk about the sport you love.

Reporters, on the other hand, usually work for news channels or newspapers. They are one of if not the most integral part of the sports media industry. Reporters use the information they gather from various people that are connected to the situation/story they are covering. These people are also known as ‘sources’ and it is an important rule in journalism to never reveal your sources.

Reporters also interview players, coaches, and executives that are a part of sports teams or sports organizations to get relevant information. Reporters must uphold standards of integrity and only report the truth. 

Often times though, there are reporters that look for a juicy story and do not bother to do their research and confirm the facts before reporting it.

A huge part of sports media is sports shows. These shows usually have a host/anchor and a few individuals (sports commentators/ reporters/ former players) that share their opinion on the particular sport they are involved with. 

For a show to be successful, there are many people that operate behind the scenes. The show has producers, directors, technicians, cameramen, reporters, and commentators.

For live broadcasts along with a similar crew, you also have statisticians and spotters. A spotter gives anchors/commentators information on which player has actually made a pass in sports like football or caught a ball in cricket. 

A statistician provides these commentators with statistics pertaining to the player or team the commentators are talking about.

Both a spotter and a statistician are necessary because sometimes a commentator can be unsure of which player is making the move. Graphics and replay technicians are also a part of the crew to show graphics pertaining to what the commentator is talking about and to show replays of great plays in the game. The broadcasting team also has a stage manager that connects all the parts of the crew together.

With the rise of social media and its influence in today’s world, it has become another avenue for sports across the world to get sports-related news and view sports content. 

Hence, every sports team, sports organization, sports league, and sports media organization has a social media presence. Social Media marketing has also become a huge part of the marketing strategies employed by sports organizations. Influencers are a major part of the marketing process and can bring in a lot of customers and fans from among their followers.

Some sites, apps, and social media accounts have come onto the sports media scene and become extremely successful with just a social media presence. Examples of such social media accounts include clutch points and bleacher reports. 

The two accounts also have their sites but operate completely online. Bleacher Report has been so successful online that they have partnered up with sports media moguls like TNT (an American broadcasting company) to share its content.

Just like how television and radio were a huge part of people’s lives a few decades back, social media has become an integral part of people’s lives today. Hence, it is no surprise that sports have also become a huge part of social media. 

Some of the jobs in the sports industry are social media manager, social media content manager, content creator, and content writer. With how the media is evolving constantly, there are a great number of opportunities in the sports industry pertaining to sports media.

4. Sports Management

Sports Management is one of the more popular career paths in the sports industry after sports media and journalism because of the numerous opportunities in the sports industry that come under it. A multitude of jobs in the sports industry are branches of sports management. 

Almost every integral job within a sports organization requires a sports management background. Some of these jobs are sports marketing, sports sales, facility manager, event manager, brand manager, etc. All of these jobs in the sports industry come under the umbrella of sports management.

Sports Management refers to the business side of sports. It encapsulates the various skills involved in making sure a sports organization functions smoothly and continues to make a profit. 

At the same time, there is a need to ensure that fans are satisfied and are being entertained. In the case of sports teams, the General Manager is usually a sports manager that is responsible for putting together a great team and hiring the personnel required to have the team and the organization be successful.

The opportunities in sports management are too many to count. This is because almost every job in the sports industry falls under sports management. Finances and accounting in the organization are handled by sports management professionals. 

It is even possible to become a sports agent with a sports management background. Sports managers can also hold posts like relationship managers or operations managers as well.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Management

The opportunities in the sports industry are almost too good to be true when it comes to sports management. There are almost no jobs in the sports industry that cannot be pursued if you have a sports management background. 

The most convenient way to get into the field of sports management is to do a bachelor’s or master’s course in sports management and then work in the field.

But it isn’t a must to have a degree in sports management in order to pursue jobs in sports organizations that pertain to areas like marketing, sales, etc. You need prior knowledge and a related degree to the particular field you choose to work in (operations, marketing, sales, etc.) but you can just take a course in sports management in addition to your bachelor’s in order to pursue sports management jobs in the sports industry.

A major requirement when it comes to sports management is the ability to communicate effectively and network. Most times sports management jobs require you to work in a team and even reach out to other sports organizations. 

Hence, communication is a very important skill that is required to be successful in a sports management job.

While sports management mainly deals with the business side of sports, positions like operations manager or any other post related to sports operations require knowledge of the sport in order to undertake those jobs. 

Therefore, if your interest lies in dealing with a team and contributing as athletic director or equipment manager, there is a requirement of prerequisite knowledge related to the sport of which you plan on being a part of. The same is true if you wish to become a talent scout for teams. These are some of the opportunities in the sports industry that the field of sports management has to offer.

The best part is that pursuing sports management as your specialization allows you to become a part of any field within the sports industry. This is because, from sports media, sports organizations, and sports medicine, every branch of the sports industry has a business side and will require a sports management professional to handle the business side of things for them.

5. Sports Analytics

A new field that has risen to prominence in recent years in the sports industry is sports analytics. Analytics has become a part of most industries today and it is the same for the sports industry. 

Sports analytics involves the collection and breakdown of data obtained over a period of time. This data could be based on an opposing team, player, or even our own team and players. The breakdown will help analyze how to target an opponent’s weaknesses and what areas we have to improve our players and the team as a whole.

Sports Analytics also allows team owners and executives to make decisions on which player to sign, what resources they have to invest in, etc. A great movie that explains the use of sports analytics is Moneyball. 

Sports Analytics can also help sports coaches devise strategies that make use of a team’s strengths and target the opponent’s weaknesses. It allows athletic trainers and coaches to develop fitness regiments and training plans based on what improvements are required for each player or the team as a whole.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Analytics
Sports Analytics

In today’s sports world, sports analytics has become a huge part of how sports organizations make decisions. Even major decisions like creating a roster are decided by analytics in many organizations.

An example of a team using analytics to build their roster is the Houston Rockets in the 2016-2017 season. Even in the IPL auction, this season players like Alex Hales were selected based on analytics. 

Manchester City’s star midfielder Kevin de Bruyne hired a team of analysts which helped him sign a new contract with the club. 

Analytics also helps improve the experience for fans. By using statistical data that analytics provides, fans can compare players and come to a decision on which player is the best. 

Of course, there are variables that analytics does not consider like a player’s will, his/her determination, how hard they play, etc. But it gives the most accurate data on a player’s performance possible.

Sports analytics has become a major part of the sports world. Even fantasy cricket experts make use of analytics to increase their chances of winning by creating fantasy teams based on those analytics.

Analytics has become a huge part of not just the sports industry but also the sports experience for fans around the world.

With how huge sports analytics has become and continues to become, the opportunities that it offers are endless. Sports analytics offers opportunities in every facet of the sports industry. 

There are analytics jobs like cricket analysts and football analysts, but also jobs like betting analyst, data scientist, sports researcher, metadata operations manager, and many more.

A question that arises when a career in sports analytics is mentioned is ‘Do we need to know coding in order to pursue a career in sports analytics?’

The answer is NO. While coding is a part of sports analytics, you do not need to know coding beforehand in order to pursue a career in sports analytics.

All you need is the right mentor to guide you and you can end up being a successful sports analyst.

6.  Information Technology in Sports

This section is for those of you in the Information Technology (IT) industry. For most IT professionals, sports analytics is a great option if you want to be a part of the sports industry. 

But even if you want to remain in your field of IT and wish to be a part of the sports industry, it is not an impossibility as there are numerous opportunities in the sports industry for IT professionals as well.

In today’s technologically advancing world, the use of computers to store, create or communicate information is a given for any organization. 

Hence, the requirement of an IT professional and technician is necessary in order to make sure that all systems are functioning properly. IT professionals are also needed to make sure that there is no loss of data or data corruption on the computers used in a sports organization.

Cyber security is also a major concern for any organization, and hence IT professionals that specialize in cyber security are also a requirement in the sports industry. Some of the other IT jobs that are available in the sports industry are website developers, IT analysts, computer network specialists, IT support technicians, and many more.

7.  Marketing and Coordination in Sports

The job description for a marketing and promotion coordinator includes preparing reports, analyzing the market, and implementing marketing strategies. This job requires a degree in marketing or a related field or working experience in digital and on-ground marketing.

Skills required:

  • Planning
  • Market Analysis
  • Understanding the needs of your client
  • Exhaustive knowledge of the market
  • Research skills
  • Direct marketing

Every sports entity has a digital presence. There are demands for digital marketers who would handle the growth of their team in the online space. This is also an exciting and in-demand field that you can look out for.

Conclusion

It is imperative that you do not restrict your options to the various fields mentioned above. While these are some of the more popular and most sought-after opportunities in the sports industry, there are various other posts and opportunities in the sports industry that require personnel. Sports coaches are an integral part of any sports organization. 

Similarly, there are positions like scouts (scout talent that can be recruited to a team), athletic trainers, position coaches (coaches that specialize in training particular positions in the sport), a referee, or an umpire. 

When it comes to positions like a coach, umpire, or referee, a deep understanding of the sport as well as its rules is a must.

In conclusion, there are numerous opportunities in the sports industry, especially in India. With how much potential there is in the Indian sports market and with the rise of leagues like the Pro-Kabaddi league, working in the sports industry will end up being one of the best career choices you can make. 

Ultimately, with these opportunities in front of us, it is up to us whether we want to make use of them or not.

In order to do so, you need to have the focus and determination to be a successful member of the sports industry. The best way to create that focus is to understand what your future goal is. 

While there are numerous opportunities, you will have to select which one you want to specialize in and eventually have a sports career in. 

It is important to figure out which particular opportunities in the sports industry you wish to pursue as it is not practical or even possible to pursue multiple fields in the sports industry.

To understand your field of interest within the sports industry, the best way is to speak to industry experts and have them share their experiences and knowledge with you. 

That way you will have an idea of what you want to do specifically in the sports industry. But where can you interact with a professional in the sports industry?

At Mad About Sports, we have numerous courses that are based on most of the career opportunities available in the sports industry. The best part is that these courses are taught by professionals in the industry and are offered at minimal rates. 

The courses range from Cricket and football analytics to sports management and Sports Media and Journalism.

To know more about the courses we offer and understand the field you wish to pursue in the sports industry, visit the link below and start taking advantage of the available opportunities in the sports industry TODAY!

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