Opportunities in the Sports Industry : The 5 BEST jobs - Mad About Sports

Opportunities in the Sports Industry : The 5 BEST jobs

Opportunities in the sports industry

Opportunities in the Sports Industry – Introduction :

The opportunities in the sports industry are innumerous in today’s day and age. In India, the opportunities in the sports industry are so abundant because the current sports industry in India is not even the tip of the iceberg of what it could potentially become. Sports like Cricket, Football and recently with the rise of the Pro-Kabaddi League, Kabaddi are the majorly marketed and followed sports in the country.

With how much more our sports industry has the potential to develop, it is right now that experts in various fields of sports are required to help build up the foundation for the sports industry in India. While there are many opportunities in the sports industry what exactly are the fields within the sports industry that offer these opportunities? To understand what the opportunities in the sports industry are, we have to know the various career paths available in the sports industry.

Some of the well known career paths in the sports industry are sports management, sports media and sports journalism, sports medicine and sports law. While professionals in these careers are all important components of the sports industry and helps in it’s functioning, these are not the only opportunities in the sports industry.

Opportunities in the sports industry

One of the most prominent fields in the sports industry that has become a huge part of sports in general is sports analytics. For those of you that don’t know, sports analytics is the use of data from a match, a player’s performance, their history of injuries and many more factors that affect the sport in order to break a match or a player down using statistics. This helps teams prepare for a game against an opponent as they have information regarding what their opponent does and can create a game-plan to counter them.

While the term ‘analytics’ is usually used to describe a statistical breakdown of data, there are video analysts that break a game down based on what they see. Most sports commentators and sports analysts that host sports shows come under this category. They do break a game down but instead of using statistics and going over a lot of data, they usually watch the game and share their opinions on it. Sometimes these analysts are former players of the sport and can give an in detail breakdown of what transpires on the sports field/court/arena.

Now that we have an idea of the various opportunities in the sports industry, let us have an in depth look at some of these opportunities in the sports industry. The major focus will be on Sports management, Sports Media, Sports Analytics, Sports Law and Sports Medicine.

Opportunities in the sports industry – Sports Medicine :

Sports Medicine is a branch of medicine that specialises 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 for any sports organisation. If the players are out due to injury then there is no chance the organisation can be successful.

Sports Medicine has many branches that are applicable in any sports organisation. It is an umbrella term for all the positions that require medical expertise in an organisation. Some sports leagues also recruit their own sports medicine proffessionals. This is usually the case for international events like the Olympics. There are many jobs in the sports industry available for medical professionals.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Medicine
Sports Medicine

Some of the professions and opportunities in the sports industry, that fall under sports medicine are physiotherapy, sports nutrition, sports psychology, physiology and kinesiology. Chiropractic is also a unique career that falls under sports medicine. There are medical professionals like dentists and ophthalmologists that are a part of sports organisations but they specialise in their medical field of dentistry and ophthalmology before joining a sports organisation.

The point is their practice comes under sports medicine because they are a part of a sports organisation whereas a sports nutritionist has to study nutrition from an athlete’s standpoint and the specialization itself brings the profession under the umbrella of sports medicine. A physio-therapist deals with the musculoskeletal functioning of an athlete and diagnoses any issues that pertain to an athletes muscles. Most cures in physio-therapy are excercises that help bring back mobility and strength to the muscles.

Physiologists study an athletes medical history and design their fitness routine based on that. This involves putting the athlete through various tests while monitoring their vital signs. Chiropractic deals with nerve function and structural correction for the athlete. It also employs physical therapy when needed. Kinesiologists are specialists in human movement and play a huge role in designing excercises for athletes that are coming back from injuries and their recovery.

A sports psychologist deals 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 counselling and therapy. These are some of the opportunities available in the sports industry when it comes to the field of sports medicine.

Opportunities in the sports industry – Sports Law :

Sports Law is an integral aspect of the sports industry and a lot of the opportunities in the sports industry are related to the legal side of sports. Every organisation 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 organisations, they need to make sure that any contract they offer will not come back to bite them and that they are covered on all fronts legally.

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 agents job to guide his/her player through their sports career and get them the best deals possible for them to be successful. 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 agents 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 aren’t lawyers and need to hire professional legal counsel for their clients. In some cases players make their own decisions and select their own personnel to assist them. In most cases agents handle the 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. It is important to remember that sports laws are different in different countries. The sports laws in India will not be exactly similar to sports laws in the US. While there are differences there are similarities in the legal structure of sports across the world. The National Sports Policy passed in 2001 is the backbone od sports law in India.

While sports agents and sports lawyers are the well known opportunities in the sports industry there are many more jobs in the sports industry with regards to sports law. Once you specialise in Sports Law the possibilities are numerous. While particular posts are few compared to the various career paths in sport 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 a 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 specialises in settling legal issues outside the court. They mainly bring 2 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 up to 40 lakh rupees upon roping in more clients. A degree in law and a specialisation in sports law can provide you amazing opportunities in the sports industry. A major reason for that is the requirement of lawyers in any sports organisation and even players’ requirement for legal representation. These are the opportunities in the sports industry with regards to sports law.

Opportunities in the sports industry – Sports Media and Journalism :

Sports Media is arguably the biggest part of the sports industry. In fact it is sports media that makes up for a majority of the revenue that sports leagues and organisations makes. The media deals that these leagues and teams sign are what rakes in the maximum profit for them. Sports media and journalism is a field that offers innumerous 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, organisations, leagues, etc. Their main job is to share their opinion 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 influences how players are seen by team owners and leagues. That is how influential sports media is in the sports industry.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Media and Journalism
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 and Sourav Ganguly 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 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 organisations 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 a 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 it’s 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 organisation, sports league and sports media organisation has a social media presence. Social Media marketing has also become a huge part of the marketing strategies employed by sports organisations. 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 are clutchpoints and bleacherreport. The two accounts also have their sites but operate completely online. Bleacherreport has been so successful online that they have partnered up with sports media moghuls like TNT (american broadcasting company) to share their 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 has 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.

Sports Management – The career path with the most opportunities in the sports industry :

Sports Management is one of the more popular career paths in the sports industry 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 organisation 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 organisation 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 organisation 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 organisation 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 mangers as well.

Opportunities in the sports industry - Sports Management
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 conventional way to get into the field of sports management is to do a bachelor’s or master’s course in sports management and then working in the field.

But it isn’t a must to have a degree in sports management in order to pursue jobs in sports organisations that pertain to areas like marketing, sales, etc. You need prior knowedge and a related degree to the particular field you choose to work in (operations, marketing, sales, etc.)but you can just do 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 sport management jobs require you to work in a team and even reach out to other sports organisations. Hence communication is a very important skill that is required to be successful at 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 requires knowledge of the sport in order to undertake those jobs. Therefore if your interest lies in dealing with a team and contribute as athletic director or equipment manager, there is a requirement of prerequisite knowledge related to the sport 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 specialisation allows you to become a part of any field within the sports industry. This is because from sports media, sports organisations, 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.

Sports Analytics – A new career opportunity in the sports industry :

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 opponents weaknesses and what areas we have to improve our players and the team as a whole.

Sports Analytics also allows team owners and executives 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 Money Ball. Sports Analytics can also help sports coaches devise startegies that make use of a team’s strength and target the opponent’s weaknesses. It allows athletic trainers and coaches 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 organisations make decisions. Even major decisions like creating a roster are decided by analytics in many organisations. 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.

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 does give the most accurate data on a players performance that is 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 becoming, the opportunites 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, metdata 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.

Other Opportunities in the sports industry – IT in Sports [BONUS SECTION] :

This is a bonus section 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 organisation. 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 organisation.

Cyber security is also a major concern for any organisation and hence IT professionals that specialise 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 analyst, computer network specialist, IT support technicians and many more.

Opportunities in the sports industry – 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 organisation. Similarly there are positions like scouts (scout talent that can be recruited to a team), athletic trainers, position coaches (coaches that specialise in training particular positions in the sport), a refree or an umpire. When it comes to positions like a coach, umpire or refree, a deep understanding of the sport as well as it’s 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 sport 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!!

Author – Aniruddh Sunil Kumar

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