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Top 13 MBA Careers In Sports Management

February 21, 2017 1:20 pm0 commentsViews: 3444
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MBAs and Other Business Programs for Working Professionals

Sports is seen by many as a form of entertainment, which it is, but it is also a huge business. It is one of the largest revenue generating businesses, as evidenced by the Super Bowl NFL Revenue. This means that there is a significant need for managers to make sure it continues to operate properly. Sports organizations require those with advanced skills for this, which includes those who have an MBA degree, preferably with a sports management concentration. Interestingly, this concentration is one of the more popular ones, in part because of the glamor associated with this industry, and also because of the big bucks that can be earned. So what are the top MBA careers in sports management?

1. Sports Marketer

An MBA graduate has extensive marketing skills. This can be applied to the sports industry, helping both professional and amateur athletes and teams develop new forms of income in order to set up, maintain, or grow sporting facilities. The sports marketer will also be responsible for maximizing the available resources. The key is to build and promote the brand of your athletes, to provide excellent customer service, and to sell out events.

2. Sports Manager

The sports manager deals with an individual athlete or an entire team, who have been snapped up by a sport agent. This person will help, for instance, in getting the best deals out of transfers, manage your athlete’s continuing public relations, and more. Most sports managers work closely with sports agents.

3. Public Relations Manager

The public relations manager has a lot of potential diversity in the job. This is because this person could represent an individual athlete, an entire team, or a venue. The key is to ensure that the athlete, team or venue is positioned in the most positive light possible. This means dealing with crises regularly as well, minimizing the potential negative impact of any scandals that appear.

4. Sports Agent

The sports agent will represent individual athletes in any kind of sports. The role and responsibilities will include negotiating new contracts, communicating with the media, managing public relations, and recruiting new talent. Often, this agent will work through cold calls and/or referrals. He or she will also have a very public facing role, releasing statements and organizing public appearances for the athletes.

5. Sports Publicist

Sports publicists work for magazines and papers, or sometimes directly for a sports team. Their role is to work with the press, driving public opinion about certain teams through their writing. Some also work with individual authors who aim to write about individuals, teams, or periods in history, ensuring that their books are publicized and promoted.

6. Sports Retailer

Sports retailers manage a large retail store that sells sports apparel. This can be a completely independent store or a large chain store. It can also be the store of a specific sports team, enabling fans to purchase items representing their favorite team or athlete. These types of retail stores are often found within a stadium, in which case sports retailers will work closely with the stadium manager.

7. Sports Distributor

Sports distributors have roles that are quite similar to that of the sports retailer. A key difference is that sports distributors focus strongly on ensuring that individual athletes and teams have the products they require. These include such things as uniforms, sports tools, balls and rackets, and so on.

8. Facilities Manager, Stadium Manager, Stadium Operations Executive, or Arena Manager

This role involves maintaining and managing venues, stadiums, and other such facilities. This means having responsibility for all the daily operations, including maintenance and repairs, finances, new construction, and administration. When a stadium is not used by a sports team, the manager will promote it as a venue for special events and concerts, so that there continues to be a steady income stream.

9. Event Planner

An event planner often works independently, but in close coordination with other professionals, including stadium managers, talent scouts, and promotional agencies. The goal is to fill a stadium for a special event, whether it is a concert, a benefit match, or any other opportunity to fill a stadium for entertainment.

10. Ticket Operations Manager

Ticket operations managers are usually found in larger stadiums that have national exposure. This is because these stadiums attract thousands of people for every match that is played there, and also for any other events that take place in the stadium. The position requires strong analytical skills to set ticket prices, to ensure tickets are sold fairly, and to prevent counterfeiting of tickets.

11. Account Coordinator

Account coordinators often work within a stadium with all the external suppliers that are linked to it. These include many of the people mentioned above, who often find that their roles overlap in certain places. The account coordinator is responsible for managing this overlap. They ensure athletes and suppliers are paid, that the money from tickets and other events is properly spent and managed, and so on. Strong financial skills are required for this job.

12. Coach

A coach is not traditionally a role for which an MBA is required. However, when you start talking about coaching in the big leagues, there will be an expectation that there is more to you than people skills and knowledge of the sport. Good coaches are strategic thinkers who also understand where to best utilize different talents. As such, it is becoming more common for the larger national teams to require their coaches to have a graduate education, such as an MBA.

13. NFL Agent

The role of NFL agent is perhaps the most coveted position for anyone with an MBA degree in sports management. This agent gets to work with the most famous athletes in this country. The goal is to try to find new talent, ensure existing players are placed in the right positions, manage transfer contracts, deal with public relations, and stave off negative press and scandals. This is a hugely varied role, and one in which there are big bucks to be earned.

As can be seen from above, the field of sports management is incredibly diverse. Those who hold an MBA in sports management have so many career options available to them, that many struggle to decide where they want to concentrate their skills on. When you consider that the NFL alone brings in revenue of over $10 billion per year, however, it quickly becomes clear that, regardless of where you decide to work and in which position, there is a real need for people who have advanced skills and knowledge in management.

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