9 High-Paying Sports Management Careers (With Job Duties)
Updated June 24, 2022
Sports management involves working with athletes and professional sports teams to offer expert guidance and support. Some careers in sports management focus primarily on public relations and marketing tasks, while others involve more athletic job duties, like physical therapy and training. If you want to work in the sports industry in a job other than being an athlete, you might consider pursuing a career in sports management. In this article, we learn about nine high-paying sports management careers, including their average salaries and typical job duties.
Related: What Is Sports Management?
9 high-paying sports management careers
Here are nine jobs in sports management that pay competitive salaries. Please note that some of these salaries come from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the most up-to-date Indeed and BLS salaries, please click on the links below:
National average salary: $49,860 per year
Primary duties: In professional sports, an athletic trainer is a health care professional who provides direct care and support to a particular team. Athletic trainers can have many responsibilities, like helping athletes prevent injuries by teaching them how to play sports without straining their bodies and preparing athletes for practices and games by administering treatments like applying ice and taping joints. They can also respond to emergencies during games and practices by assessing injuries that occur during play and offering immediate care.
National average salary: $54,338 per year
Primary duties: An account manager who works in the sports industry typically focuses on finding sponsors for the teams that employ them. This can involve responsibilities like finding new brands that might align with the team's values, meeting with companies that want to advertise in a particular sports facility and preparing and giving sales presentations to shareholders and potential sponsors. An account manager can also work to maintain relationships with sponsors and clients by maintaining regular communication and sharing updates about trends in performance that result from the sponsorship.
Related: Learn About Being an Account Manager
National average salary: $57,298 per year
Primary duties: An athletic director oversees the athletics department within a larger facility, often a high school or college. They can have several job duties that involve administration and marketing, such as organizing the team's game and events schedule, reviewing the athletic department's budget to ensure they have enough funding and promoting teams and special events to people in the facility and surrounding community. An athletic director can also hire staff members for the athletic department, including coaches and trainers, and work with them to develop the sports programs their facility offers.
National average salary: $61,445 per year
Primary duties: A facilities manager acts as the head of a commercial property, typically a ballpark, arena or another type of athletic facility when in the sports industry. They oversee the maintenance of spectator and athlete areas, organize the facility's budget and expenses and give directions to other staff members, like groundskeepers and vendors. A facilities manager also usually ensures that a facility adheres to all safety laws and regulations from the government and athletic associations.
National average salary: $63,085 per year
Primary duties: A marketing manager oversees the development and implementation of marketing campaigns, often for a specific brand or product. In the sports industry, these professionals can develop marketing strategies that promote particular teams or athletes, review data on community engagement to determine which methods encourage people to interact with a team most effectively and work with designers and artists to create visually appealing marketing materials. Many sports marketing managers also take charge of in-game advertising, such as banners that hang in sports stadiums and branded icons on team uniforms.
National average salary: $70,656 per year
Primary duties: A kinesiotherapist is a physical therapist who has specialty training in helping athletes manage injuries with different forms of exercise. They can guide athletes through rehabilitative exercises that can make it easier for injuries to heal and train athletes using reconditioning methods that can help them regain their former strength and dexterity. Many kinesiotherapists also work with patients who experience limited mobility due to injury or chronic health conditions, which can be especially beneficial for professional athletes with chronic injuries.
National average salary: $72,289 per year
Primary duties: A sales manager typically oversees a team of other sales associates and guides their efforts. Sales managers who work in the sports industry most often lead teams that sell tickets for games and special events, such as meet-and-greets and photo opportunities with famous athletes, and they usually set specific sales goals for their teams to reach. Some sports sales managers also engage in marketing tasks to promote these types of events, such as conducting market research or collecting customer surveys about their experiences at games.
Related: Learn About Being a Sales Manager
National average salary: $86,620 per year
Primary duties: A sports promoter is a marketing professional who develops ways to encourage people to attend a particular game or another type of sporting event. They can have many job duties, such as visiting and touring potential venues, creating projections for how many guests they expect to attend an event and producing marketing materials to attract new fans and customers. Many sports promoters work as independent contractors and promote for various events, such as wrestling matches, mixed martial arts fights and events where fans can meet famous athletes.
9. Sports agent
National average salary: $98,070 per year
Primary duties: A sports agent oversees the business aspects of a professional athlete's career. This can involve job duties like negotiating contracts for upcoming seasons, conducting research to ensure that athletes receive the appropriate amount of pay and finding new opportunities for the athletes they represent. A sports agent also typically travels often to visit their clients and meet with representatives from professional leagues and teams.
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