What are the Different Types of Careers in the Sports Industry?

Dan Cavallari

The varied types of careers within the sports industry open the door for anyone with an interest in sports to get involved. The most obvious career in the industry is that of an athlete, though a very small percentage of people will actually get to become a professional athlete. Other careers in the sports industry include athletic trainers, coaches, sports announcers, writers, broadcasters, equipment managers, marketing and advertising positions, facility management, and so on. So many other industries are intertwined with sports that even food vendors can be included as part of the sports industry.

Baseball teams rely on pitching, hitting, and other specialty coaches who report to the team's manager.
Baseball teams rely on pitching, hitting, and other specialty coaches who report to the team's manager.

People directly involved with the day-to-day functioning of professional or amateur sports teams include coaches, managers, owners, athletic trainers, equipment managers, and more. Since so many teams need facilities specifically designed for their sports, facilities management careers are available as well. Groundskeepers may work at a baseball stadium maintaining the grass and dirt, fixing the dugouts, repairing scoreboards, making sure the facilities meet fire code regulations, and so on. Part time positions are likely to be available in this broad category of the sports industry, and managers in facilities management can make careers out of the job.

An ice hockey equipment manager might be in charge of sharpening skates.
An ice hockey equipment manager might be in charge of sharpening skates.

Athletic trainers will work directly with players to help athletes recover from injuries, prepare for athletic activities, and help with the overall health of the team. Trainers often need a certain level of education and experience to gain this career in the sports industry, and many trainers will have some sort of medical background, however basic it might be. Equipment managers are responsible for managing all team equipment, including uniforms and equipment specific to a sport such as balls or pucks, baseball bats, hockey sticks, and so on. The equipment manager will inventory all equipment, note its condition, replace it if necessary, and make sure the athletes have all necessary supplies to participate in the sport. The manager may also be responsible for repairing equipment and maintaining certain pieces, such as hockey skates that need sharpening.

Former professional football players often find work as coaches or broadcasters.
Former professional football players often find work as coaches or broadcasters.

Marketing and advertising have become essential positions within the sports industry. Marketers and advertisers will develop advertising campaigns for sports teams and facilities, logos, promotions, and other methods of spreading the word about a sports team or entity. Marketers and advertisers treat sports as a business and work toward increasing the business's bottom line by producing television and radio spots, advertisements, t-shirts and other promotional materials, and so on. Sports teams may hire marketers and advertisers for in-house work, or they may hire an outside company to suit their needs.

Sports photographers cover a range of events.
Sports photographers cover a range of events.
Auto racing is one sport which relies on a variety of team members.
Auto racing is one sport which relies on a variety of team members.
Parents with a background in sports might coach local youth leagues.
Parents with a background in sports might coach local youth leagues.
A sports manager must have excellent negotiation skills.
A sports manager must have excellent negotiation skills.
Physical therapists who work with athletes are considered sports workers.
Physical therapists who work with athletes are considered sports workers.

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Discussion Comments

BAU79
I think one of the coolest sports industry trends over the last 10 years or so is the rise of fantasy sports. This simple, almost dumb seeming game has done more to connect fans and the teams they love than a thousand beer commercials or stadium giveaways.

I read a book recently about the history of fantasy sports and it was surprisingly fascinating. I have played a little myself but I am more interested in observing the phenomenon as an outsider.

clippers

Sports industry revenue just goes up and up every year. If you put all college and professional sports together there are tens of billions of dollars spent on them every year.

From a business perspective alone the sports industry is a great industry to be in. But this also shows that it is a real business. Everyone wants their team to win, but even more than that they want to make money and sports has a lot invested in it.

truman12

I would like to break into coaching in football. I played in high school and at a small college and I have been a student of the game my whole life. How do I get a job in coaching? I know I am not going to the NFL, but lets say at the high school level?

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