CSP’s Guide to Pro Sports Management Careers

Posted July 23, 2014 | By csponline

If you are interested in pursuing a sports management degree, it’s probably safe to say that you are more than a little interested in sports. Studying sports management is a great way to turn your passion for sports into a career. The goal of many students in this field is to work in the professional sports industry, but many don’t know where to start. At Concordia University, St. Paul, we know that our students want to know how to get into sports management and build a successful career. We’ve put together a guide to working in pro sports to help you do just that. Whether you are just getting started or are looking to advance your current career in sports management, read on to find out more about how to get the pro sports career you’re looking for.

Sports Management Careers

According to Forbes, there is good news when it comes to getting a pro sports job: In the case of most teams, staff sizes are growing. That means that job openings are much more common than they used to be. However, the professional sports industry is still highly competitive. The best way to get your foot in the door is to obtain an entry-level position and then work your way up. The sales department is the best way to do this. In most of these types of positions, starting pay is around $10 per hour, plus commission. That may not sound like much, but the flexibility of commission means that the harder you work, the more you can earn. Succeeding in sales is the surest way to gain management’s attention. The main goal is to get fans and customers to attend games, so if you can do that, you will get noticed. If you can get into group sales (a very competitive area of the pro sports industry), you have the potential to earn more than $100,000 annually. Corporate sponsorship sales are even more lucrative—and more competitive.

If you aren’t interested in sales, however, there are other options. Public relations is another great career path for entry-level sports management professionals. This may include writing media guides and press releases for teams. PR work can get you on track to higher-level roles in areas such as marketing and media. Getting real-world experience while you’re in school is a key component of getting hired in PR, so start looking for ways to volunteer for local teams and sports centers. Events work in customer service is an option as well. These types of positions include planning and coordinating events for sponsors and fans and are great for entry-level professionals who are interested in working on account management roles in the future.

Tips to Get Started

There are several ways to make sure that you’re ready for a sports management career. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track:

  • Earn a powerful degree: The sports management field is highly competitive, so it’s important that you choose a quality degree program. At CSP Online, we offer both a graduate and undergraduate degree in sports management so you can choose the program that’s right for you. Our programs focus on core concepts in kinesiology, exercise and sports management so that you are prepared to enter the workforce or advance your career through further study. We combine business and sports theory and teach you how to apply what you learn in the real world of sports.
  • Gain experience: For most careers in sports management, starting out as an intern or in an entry-level role is the best way to begin. Doing so will help you build contacts and figure out which area of sports management you’d like to work in. If you currently work in the sports field, you have this part covered, but for students who are new to sports management, volunteer work and internships are invaluable.
  • Make contacts: Sports is a business, and networking is a huge part of getting the job you want. Take every opportunity to meet new people and connect with them professionally so that you can create a network of contacts down the road. Attend pro sports job fairs and take advantage of all the sports opportunities available to you in your community or at your internship.
  • Put yourself out there: In a field such as pro sports, it helps to know people. Send your résumé out to places you’d like to work and request informational interviews. These types of meet-and-greets can help you make contacts in sports companies and learn as much as you can about the industry. Most professionals are willing to share their experience and expertise with interested students and those who are new to the field.


No matter what specific area of professional sports you are interested in, a specialized degree is the first step. The sports management field is one of the fastest-growing in the country and now is a great time to get the sports career you want. Learn more about our online degree programs and how a degree from us can help you get into the professional sports industry.


Also published on Medium.