Careers in Sport Intro to Sport Management

This module will introduce you to occupational disciplines in the sport industry to help you understand "what people do" in sport industry jobs.

Keep an open mind as you watch these videos and read articles. Think about your values, interests, personality, and skills as you learn about each occupational discipline to determine if you might be a fit for that type of job in the sport industry.

Sport organizations can be divided into two distinct sides of the organization.

The operations side manages the "sports" aspect of the franchise or athletic department, including the players, coaches, scouts, and medical staff.

The business side of the organization employs staff across a variety of business functions such as communications, finance, human resources, marketing, and sales. The remainder of this module focuses on positions in the business side of professional sport franchises and college athletic departments.

It is important to recognize that while most of the job descriptions and videos come from college and pro sports, the job functions in the occupational disciplines can be applied in many different sport industry settings like agencies, sports commissions, recreation departments, non-profits, sports media, and other live events.


Community relations managers create and administer grassroots functions and other charitable events the e team sponsors. They also implement league or conference wide community relations initiatives.

Detroit Red Wings Community Relations 2016


Fundraising, also called development, has become the largest source of revenue for Division I FBS college athletic departments. Those working in development focus on the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of philanthropic gifts. These gifts raise money for the endowment, scholarships, and capital campaigns (typically focused on new facilities).

Behind the Scenes - Northeastern University Development

San Jose State University - Facility Campaign


Ticket salespeople focus on the sale of season tickets, partial season tickets, flex plans, and group experiences. They focus on selling to consumers and to businesses.

Paul Bee Discusses Careers in Ticket Sales

Sales Careers with the Sacramento Kings


Sponsorship salespeople focus on selling sponsorship inventory to businesses entities. Sponsors invest in sponsorship to earn a return on investment through things like increased sales, goodwill in the community, and showing what the product can do.

The two videos below explain why sponsorship can be a way for brands to cut through the clutter of traditional advertising methods.


Sports hospitality is at the heart of business-to-business sales in sports. Sports hospitality are the food, beverage, and entertainment assets that accompany premium tickets in suites and club seating areas. Jobs in this area include the sale of premium seating inventory, food and beverage management (catering), and service at the event.

U.S. Open Hospitality Tents, Chambers Bay 2015

Sodexo Prestige Olympic Recruitment


Multimedia rights holders in college athletics are sports marketing agencies that are responsible for the revenue-generating side of the business. They sell radio rights, sponsorship, and sports hospitality assets for college athletic departments. They also prepare and execute many elements of the game day experience.

IMG Sports Marketing - University of Oregon


Box office managers are responsible for distribution of tickets, pricing, accounting, game day box office sales, complimentary tickets, and financial settlement. This position is also called 'ticket operations.'

Guest relations personnel are responsible for the delivery of world class guest service. They develop initiatives to ensure the guest's experience exceeds expectations of service and safety.

Technology also helps sport organizations deliver an engaging fan experience.


Media relations professionals ensure the needs of the media are met by delivering accurate information in social media, media guides, game notes, press conferences, and other written communication. In college athletics, media relations is often times referred to as sports information.

Behind the Scenes at Northeastern University Sports Information

A Day in the Life of FGCU Sports Information


Social media professionals work in the marketing or media relations department. They are responsible for managing the organization's social media accounts, including content creation, responding to fans, and increasing followers and engagement.

Social Media Management in the Quack Cave


People working in business analytics turn knowledge into revenue by building databases of information about the team's fans with a focus on better serving the fan. These positions work with big data in the team's Customer Relationship Management system and many times include the term 'analytics' in the job title.

Event production, or game day operations, is responsible for the game experience by controlling the atmospherics of the sports environment through music, video boards, public address, and in-game promotions. Capturing the right mix if sight, sound, and smell adds to the excitement of attending live sporting events.

Game Day Production at NC State

Game Day Operations at UCF

Duck Vision - University of Oregon


The operations department coordinates the maintenance and operation of facilities, equipment, and grounds at a sports venue.

Event Operations, University of Oregon

Facility Maintenance, University of Oregon


Many jobs exist in producing the live televised sports events that you enjoy at home. From on-air talent to people in the truck producing the event, digital sports production is an important cog in the sport industry.

Concessions managers are responsible for the overall operation of concessions, including staff, menu selection, customer service, food safety, and financial management.

Penn State Football Concessions


Retail managers supervise the retail stands for teams and events at the venue, online, and at team stores. Careers in this area also include corporations like Dick's Sporting Goods, Finish Line, and REI.

Sales Training Program, Dick's Sporting Goods


Business managers are responsible for budgets, financial statements, payroll, forecasting, purchasing, and travel.

Business Office at UNC


Importance of Content Marketing


Created with images by Pexels - "baseball sports field stadium" • USAG-Humphreys - "ESPN Armed Forces Classic - Game Day - U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea - 9 Nov. 2013" • LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together" • writetoreply - "Digital Britain Final Analytics" • stevepb - "calculator calculation insurance"

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