Careers in Sports Marketing

Dominique W. Brooks
Sports Marketing Jobs
Sports marketing is an ideal job for those who want to work in a field that allows them to combine their love of athletics with business savvy. The sports industry frequently relies on corporate sponsorship and marketing in order to help cover the massive costs of paying athletes, coaches, building contractors, and other employees. This results in a wide variety of opportunities for individuals to work in sports marketing.

Jobs in the Sports Marketing Arena

Sports marketing jobs can be with a variety of companies - from sports teams to advertising agencies and public relations firms. If you have a bachelors or masters degree in sports marketing, you have a better opportunity to get one of these jobs. Completing an internship in the area that you are interested in could also increase your odds in getting the job of your dreams.

It is also important to understand that you may have to start at an entry-level position and work long hours when you enter sports marketing. You may also have to work at several different positions and work your way up to get to the position that you may desire. For most positions in sports marketing, you should have good people skills and enjoy meeting new people constantly.

You also have to be confident because you will hear the word "no" quite often and you can't let it discourage you. A good attitude and a good work ethic will serve you well in every sports marketing positions.

Advertising

Some companies may use outside agencies to manage their advertising needs but some sports companies will keep some advertising personnel on staff. The roles that these people may have include copywriting, graphic design, and media ad buys. Other people may create actual ads or promotional campaigns for either the team itself or a specific product using sports as the focal point. Sports teams also may want to have advertising staff to handle these duties as well.

Sales

There are different types of roles in the sales arena in sports marketing. Customer service representatives maintain relationships with people and organizations that have purchased season tickets. These representatives can also work with people or groups who want to purchase large numbers of tickets for specific events. Salespeople may also sell luxury box seating or other premium seating.

Some people in sales sell sponsorship opportunities. Representatives of a team, facilities, or events interact with other businesses that may benefit from an association; the sports organization often has to approach the business with a proposal. Sales people may also approach advertisers who may want to advertise during a televised or radio broadcast, in a printed program, or at the sporting venue itself.

Event Management

People in this specialty are in charge of executing all aspects of the event. This also includes organizing sponsors, audio or video production, ticket sales, and promotional campaigns. The staff members on the event management team include:

  • Marketing Director
  • Sales Manager
  • Public Relations Director
  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Client Services

Public Relations

Public relations professionals write press releases and deal with the local and national media; sports teams, leagues, or organizations want to have positive images associated with them. The goal is to maintain positive press that improves the image in the community. You have to be skilled at both written and oral communications to be a good public relations expert.

Merchandising

Retail opportunities in sports marketing exist mainly through sports specialty stores. In merchandising, you could work in store management or purchasing for one of these entities. You may also work for a larger store and specialize in sports-related merchandise for that store; other organizations like colleges or pro teams may need someone to handle sports merchandising as well.

Marketing Research

To learn more about the marketplace that a specific sports entity may serve, many organizations hire marketing research personnel. These people learn more about the fans, participants and any competition that the team may have. Economic impact surveys and consumer satisfaction surveys are also other items that marketing researchers may provide. These positions may be as an independent contractor.

Facility Management

Since most sports stadiums are expensive to build and maintain, the people who operate these arenas have to develop alternative streams of income - such as concerts, exhibitions, and alternative sporting events -- when the original sporting events are completed. Scheduling, managing food and beverage supplies and sales, and employing the appropriate number of workers for each event are some of the duties that a facility manager has to perform.

Restaurant and Hospitality

Various businesses may use sporting events or teams to entertain clients, business associates, or for employee perks. In this role, you would market these opportunities to these businesses that might be interested; you may also have to develop the proposal including facility selection and food and beverage alternatives.

Sports Agents

Sports agents are often the sports marketing position that people are most familiar with. The main job of an agent is to represent an athlete but some agents work with licensing images and trademarks for athletes, teams, or organizations. This position does require some legal knowledge, so some agents do attend law school as well.

International Positions

International sports marketing positions can be found for those who want to work on the global scale. From the Olympics to World Cup Soccer, there are jobs all over the world in this field. For example, Octagon is a leading corporate and marketing service that specializes in managing the needs of over 500 companies and 800 athletes/personalities and administers over 3,200 events worldwide. Another example is IMG World, which represents many sports figures and sports groups around the world.

Sports Marketing Degree Programs

Although it may still be possible to work yourself up through the corporate ladder without formal training in the field, to truly be successful in sports marketing you should consider getting a sports marketing degree. Numerous colleges and universities have added sports marketing to their business and athletics undergraduate educational programs in light of the growing popularity of this field. Visit the following colleges to learn more about their sports marketing programs:

Hands-on experiences through internships are a great way for students to test out careers in sports marketing. Programs like the Panther Sports Marketing Career Experience Program offered through the University of Northern Iowa often give qualified students the opportunity to work within the intercollegiate athletic marketing department. By providing support in the office and at events, students learn about marketing, promotions and event management.

You do not have to go through your university to get a sport internship. There are websites that list available sports marketing internships all over the country like Internships.com. Some of these positions may also offer college credit or may help you with connections to get a full-time job later.

Your Sports Job

Job boards specific to sports like Jobs in Sports or Work in Sports can be of enormous help when looking for a suitable position. These will allow you to search for jobs without sifting through positions unrelated to your field.

Sport marketing jobs are often exciting, hectic, and entertaining. Getting one of these jobs will require some planning, education, and research. While landing the perfect job in sports marketing may take some time and effort, you can find this job can be fulfilling and allow you to be an active part of the sports world.

Careers in Sports Marketing