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 the sports marketing and brand management industry – for both athletes and non-athletes – ranging from PR marketing to influencer marketing and everything in between.
PR Executive & Communications
In the realms of this thriving sports industry, PR (Public Relations) executives play a vital role in generating information and spreading positive news between sporting organizations, a club or governing body to the press and general public in the form of media – print, online or broadcast. Many of the Indian sporting governing bodies like AIFF, Hockey India, Boxing Federation of India and Badminton Association of India, and even BCCI employ a huge army of PR professionals, and almost all of the sporting clubs across the world have one or two to ensure they are always in the headlines – both on and off the pitch.
Marketing and Operations Specialist
If you are a game for working with corporate and brands, this is the one for you. Marketing is a vastly different discipline today than it was a decade ago. And sports organizations want marketing and operations expertise to help them strengthen, and clubs and teams want to expand their fan base, attract new sponsors, organise campaigns and build programs with existing sponsors, run fan conventions, improve website rankings, increase social media visibility and help in organizing sports events. Sports marketing is an extremely competitive field. The usual primary qualification is a degree in marketing, communication, or a related field, such as The Sports School’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA).
In today’s thriving sports market, many sports organizations spend huge money in hiring brand managers who can effectively create and compose unique and subtle strategies and execute them perfectly – whether marketing a team, athletes, an event to bring profitable returns for sports organizations or teams while boosting the value of the brand. The education qualification required to make a career in the branding industry, one needs to earn an undergraduate degree in sports management, marketing, advertising, communications, or economics. With that being said, getting a master’s degree here at The Sports School’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) could facilitate faster job promotion onto the brand management team.
To compete in today’s cut-throat environment and to captivate your audience with amazing designs, the graphic designer plays an important role in sports brands, organizations, clubs’ marketing strategies. Considering it is a career that never goes out of demand, a graphic design career in the sports industry requires creativity, attention to detail, and advanced skills in a variety of tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, as well as an aptitude for animation, motion graphics, and web design. There are no specific requirements needed in terms of qualifications and courses to be pursued. However, if you do not have much experience, a strong portfolio with a range of personal projects can help interest employers, you can start freelancing to build your portfolio.
As digitalization continues to evolve, the cult following of influencer marketing rose to fame over the last few years. Brands aim to exploit the strength of sporting stars and influencers to engage with their target audiences while achieving their marketing objectives. 2021 saw Neeraj Chopra partner with CRED advertisement and Bajrang Punia and Mirabai Chanu, partner with Amrutanjan for a campaign, playing a large part in the power of these partnerships. To become an influencer marketing manager, you must have expertise in the world of content and social media marketing strategies and be able to multitask and be socially adept as well.
Largely under-appreciated by many, the role of the merchandise manager in sporting organizations and clubs is just as vital as the other counterparts. Merchandise managers are responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of merchandising strategies, building a collaboration with brand partners, buyers, and suppliers, and ensuring longer terms profitability. For example, take Decathlon which is one of the largest sports retail brands. And the department store divided into categories of men’s, women’s, children’s and different sports division too from weightlifting to tennis and badminton to football and many other sports. The role of merchandisers in the store ranges from planning to directing and co-coordinating to controlling.
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.