The world of sports is highly enticing and enormous and the career options in the sports industry – both on and off the field – now becoming a high-potential alternative option to children and young adults.
Parents and schools have long ignored sports as a career option. Only those who play the sport professionally garnered a significant amount of reception and recognition. However, the rules of the game have changed and today’s youngsters are showing interest in making a career in the relatively obscure yet largely unexplored sporting industry that most miss out on.
To give some more insight into the ins-and-outs of the sports industry and help parents with their decisions, we have compiled a list of career prospects in sports management, analytics, and technologies – for both athletes and non-athletes – ranging from athlete representative to performance analyst and everything else in between.
Sports Agents / Athlete Representative
The majority of the sports don’t invest in this area properly but in no time, this will be a lucrative career option for many in the distant future.
As the name suggests, sports agents supervise the negotiation of employment contracts as well as other business endorsements for athletes on behalf of the athletes or coaches they represent.
Having only completed a Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies and simultaneously dabbling between corporate jobs, Wilbur Lasardo has made a name for himself in the uncharted territory and is now considered one of the most prominent agents in Indian football, boasting the likes of Sahal Abdul Samad, Kiyan Nassiri, Norem Roshan Singh and many talented footballers across the world.
Apart from having a degree in business management, to make a name for oneself as a sports agent, it is important to study the sporting market, gain legal & business knowledge through agency experience, and of course, build your network as much as possible.
Sports scouts are the people who unearth the talent of tomorrow.
Scouts follow players from their formative years through school and college through zonal, district, state, and national level tournaments before reporting potential talents to the management.
Though scouting is still in its infancy stage in the country, however, given the rise of ISL and IPL, many the franchise keen to set up more scouting and talent identification network domestically and internationally with scanning players through tournaments like TNPL, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and ISL along with other divisional leagues in football and other sports like badminton, tennis, athletics, and etc.
Performance analysts are the ones who live, sleep and breathe sports.
Their job is to provide objective feedback of individual performance or team to coaches from filming the action of every game to break down the play by collecting data and analyzing opposition weeks in advance and presenting to the respective members to improve overall performance in which both athletes and coaches benefit directly from the analysis.
For instance, in football, analysts gather valid and reliable data from programs such as Understat, Scout7, and STATS plus data compiled by the likes of Opta, to help prepare players and coaches for the next game.
To pursue this field, an undergraduate degree in Sports and Exercise Science or a related subject is needed. And an MSc in Sports Performance Analysis would be an additional asset.
Sports Data Analyst / Statistician
For years, technology has been quietly transforming the world of sports, with investments in areas such as statistics and analysis. From how athletes train and compete, how fans engage with content, and how world-class stadiums are built, as well as sports medicine to marketing and fundraising – data play a huge part in modern sports.
For example, in Athletics, analysts use data to chart the performance of every athlete’s run time and calculate throws not only during the main tournament but also in practice as well to help them to hone skills accordingly. The list goes on in Football, Hockey, Badminton, tennis, and more.
Though the profession is still in its early years, at least in the country, there are few colleges in India such as The Sports School’s two-year course SEBA that covers Statistics, Economics, Business Studies, Accounts, and others offer courses specially designed for those who want to get in the field on a professional level, along with IIM (Kozhikode), GNIMS (Mumbai), Sports KPI (Bengaluru), and Symbiosis School of Sports (Pune).
Sports Business Manager
Sport is a multi-billion-rupees business, and it is the business manager’s responsibility to ensure the money being spent results in desired success.
Business managers are in control over all aspects of the day-to-day supervision of sports clubs and organizations as they will deal with big-money sponsors. They also spearhead public relations between organizations or clubs, athletes, coaches, and media and scheduling events and partnering with brands et al.
A business management degree can be an ideal choice such as The Sports School’s Bachelor of Business Administration or Master of Business Administration because it allows you to learn multiple areas of business, from finance to marketing, as well get specific training in management and strategy.
Sports Operations Manager
If you are a sports fan fascinated by behind-the-scenes working, pursuing a career in the operations sector offers the opportunity to be part of the dynamic field and its process – planning, executing, and managing an event.
For example, if a big sporting event is set to be held in the country and its operations team’s job is to get the event venue ready. During the event, they oversee all arrangements and make sure everything is in working order without revisions. In such a situation, and events operations manager will help out with other teams such as security operations or venue/stage operations on the day of the event.
When you earn a degree in sports business management, you can open up a wider range of possible career paths and Sports Operations is one of them.
Sports Equipment Manager and Supply
A sports equipment manager oversees the maintenance and stocktaking apparel both new and used by team players and individual athletes. They also supervise locker rooms, uniforms, and athletic equipment that are clean and well-stocked.
A diploma degree is the least educational requirement for an aspiring sports equipment manager, however, to be employed with the more popular sports teams or clubs, additional training and work experience may be required.
Sound and Lighting Technician
Not widely known due to the fact they generally work freelance, but sound and lighting technicians are part of the designing teamwork under the order of the director or set designer to help bring their vision to life in television, stadium, and sporting events.
They are well-equipped with the technical ins-and-outs task from setting up the equipment ready for a show to installing color and sound effects & patterns and to creating programming sequences during the events and matches.
If this is your area of interest, then it is important to expand your contacts and become a well-known face in the industry as most of the work is offered through directors with who they are familiar.
Noticeably the above-mentioned list is incomplete as the careers listed here are closely connected with each other in many ways, and other employments not mentioned here can be brought to the table to provide virtually infinite possibilities. Don’t forget that there is a sea of possibilities out there. Who knows what’s coming next? Regardless of what happens, one thing we know for certain is that the future is bright if you are looking for a career in sports.