Jobs Involving Sports & Business

Jan 18, 2020

There is a lot of money involved in many professional sports, and it's hard to separate sports from business when discussing professional competition. Whether a person works to design materials for sporting teams or to identify new athletes to sign, their work may involve knowledge of or decisions related to both sports and business. This article explores some career options that incorporate sports and business.

Career Options for Jobs that Involve Sports and Business

While neighborhood kids playing an informal game of wiffle ball may not be involved in an activity that involves business, if they set up a lemonade stand to make money while they play, they've combined sports and business. In reality, there aren't many sporting activities without a business aspect to them anymore. Coaches and scouts may attend high school sporting events to identify potential athletes they want to sign, and athletes are involved in some level of business decisions when they decide to sign a contract with a team. Many professionals who work in sports-related fields are also self-employed, and may operate their own business.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Growth* (2018-2028)
Fashion Designers $72,720 1%
Coaches and Scouts $33,780 11%
Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials $27,020 6%
Athletes and Sports Competitors $50,650 6%
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives $60,530 7%
Graphic Designers $50,370 3%
Reporters, Correspondents and Broadcast News Analysts $43,490 -10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs that Involve Sports and Business

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers usually need to have a bachelor's degree. While they must have the creative talents to design new fashion items, they must also have an understanding of business operations because most oversee the production and marketing of their products. Fashion designers can specialize in designing sports apparel, and may also work with teams or sporting leagues to design uniforms; many are self-employed, and in addition to their understanding of how to design attire for athletes and sports enthusiasts, they must have an understanding of how to run a business.

Coaches and Scouts

Coaches and scouts work with athletes. While scouts may search for new athletes with talent that a team may want to consider signing, coaches train the athletes who are signed and prepare them for competition. Some coaches and scouts are self-employed, which means that they need to be able to run a sports-related business; however, all coaches and scouts have some level of business involvement in their work. Scouts and coaches can be involved in compensating professional athletes and determining what they should be paid to sign with a team. They must not only consider the player's skills in relation to the team, but they must also consider their budgets to know what they can afford. A bachelor's degree is required, and they must be experts in the sports they work with.

Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials

Umpires, referees and sports officials may be involved in determining the appropriateness of conduct of athletes during competition, or they may make calls about the validity of a play. This category also includes those who judge sporting events. In some states they need to be licensed; specific education requirements vary based on the location where they work. While their primary focus may be on the sport itself, umpires, referees and sports officials can be involved in business-related decisions, such as suspending players or fining teams for inappropriate conduct. There are no formal education requirements beyond secondary degrees for sports officials.

Athletes and Sports Competitors

Athletes and sports competitors need to be highly skilled in the sport they participate in. They may use their talents to perform for entertainment purposes, or they may compete against other athletes to try to win a title or competitive event Their work involves business decisions; they may determine whether to hire or fire a coach or trainer, or they may need to assess contract offers to determine if they will endorse a product or sign on to play for a specific team. They may spend years participating in a sport to prepare to compete or perform as an athlete, but they do not need any formal education to enter this career field.

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives that work with sporting goods may be required to have a degree; some of these professionals can enter the field without postsecondary training, but knowledge of sporting equipment would be an asset for those who want to work with sporting goods. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives serve as the channel between product manufacturers and retailers. They work to ensure that retailers carry the products they represent. Those who work with sporting goods may be involved in arranging contracts for retailers to carry a specific brand of sports equipment or sporting attire. They develop contracts related to these agreements and ensure that the products meet the retailer's needs.

Graphic Designers

Many graphic designers are self-employed, which means that they operate their own business and must have business skills. Graphic designers may also work to produce designs related to sporting goods products or merchandise. Their work involves making visual images; any sports team that has a logo or emblem has contracted a graphic designer to develop it for them. Their work may also require them to understand issues related to the business of sports; they will want to ensure that they use appropriate colors and features in their designs to convey an appropriate image without encroaching on the style of other teams. A bachelor's degree is required for a career as a graphic designer.

Reporters, Correspondents and Broadcast News Analysts

Although a bachelor's degree is usually required to work as a reporter, correspondent or broadcast news analyst, those who are interested in specializing in reporting on sports and business may also need training and experience related to those fields. It's possible for a reporter, correspondent or broadcast news analyst to specialize in discussing or reporting about sports business matters, such as player contracts, franchise sales, and endorsement deals for athletes or teams. Some reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts are also self-employed, which means that they spend part of their time managing their business.

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