Top Entry Level Sports Management Jobs

Are you are majoring in Sports Management and hope to have a career in professional sports?

Believe me you are not alone and the competition is fierce. Even people with advanced degrees are taking internships just to get their foot in the door.

However, for college students or recent graduates that have their sights set on a career in sports management, there are numerous entry-level jobs that can be very rewarding in the long run and open up more doors in the future.

While a specialized degree in sports management carries a lot of importance, professional teams are more interested in seeing what type of experience you have through internships and college athletic department work.

GROUP TICKET SALES REP

Like it or not, the biggest opportunity for recent grads is in group sales. Showing a sports organization that you can sell to groups and proving that you have sales skills will go a long way towards your goal of having an office overlooking the playing field.

Sports organizations love to see any type of sales experience in a résumé, even if it’s a part-time job in retail.

As a Group Ticket Sales Rep you will spend a lot of time on the telephone trying to drum up ticket sales for large groups. Top group sales performers usually make $100,000 or more a year by the time they reach 30 years old.

Few things make senior management take notice than being able to show that you can get paying customers to the game. Be warned however, for most people, if you don’t have good sales numbers you will be out within a year.

If you are successful at that point you could advance into the more lucrative role of corporate sponsorship sales and the sky is the limit as sponsors pay out tons of money to get their corporate name associated with a professional sports team.

PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSISTANT

If sales are not your thing, there are ways to go and public relations is another good way to think about as most professional teams and leagues offer entry level positions in public relations.

As an entry-level public relations worker you will be helping to write press releases and organizing media guides.

If you are currently in school and doing public relations work interests you, it would be a great idea to go to your schools sports information department and volunteer for any and all public relations duties. Having that experience on your résumé is a huge eye opener for hiring managers once you graduate.

In addition, if there are other people in your school going this route you can bet they are already doing this in order to get a step ahead of the competition.

This can also lead to more prominent positions such as:

  • Corporate Communications Manager
  • Director of Community Relations
  • Director of Sports Information
  • Director of Sports Media
  • Director of Sports Publicity
  • Vice President of Public Relations

Former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle went this route and began his career in public relations for the Los Angeles Rams.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP

Another popular choice is to work in customer service.

Many sports teams offer entry-level customer service jobs and have people that help put together special events such as pregame stadium entertainment, special days at the stadium or off-site parties for sponsors.

Showing you can get a band on the field at halftime, organizing sponsor functions at a local hotel or setting up a hospitality tent at the park for fan participation demonstrates excellent organizational skills and attention to detail that management loves to see.

This can also lead to more prominent positions such as:

  • Customer Relations Manager
  • Event Coordinator
  • Executive Director of Facility Operations and Entertainment
  • Facility Manager
  • Food and Beverage Manager
  • Guest Services Manager
  • Special Events Director
  • Special Events Promotion Manager

OUTSIDE AGENCY CLIENT SERVICE ASSISTANT

If Customer Service interests you, another avenue would be to look into being a client service assistant with an outside sports agency such as IMG or CAA.

Sports agencies are always looking to hire entry-level people who will service corporate customers and help plan client events. If you are well organized and show an interest in sports, you could have a shot with a sports agency.

Sports agencies are also a great place to look for internships as well.

OUTSIDE MARKETING AGENCY ACCOUNT ASSOCIATE

There are sports marketing consultants out there that have entry-level spots as an Account Associate.

This job entails media tracking and monitoring. In other words, keeping spreadsheets and analyzing records of the agencies clients’ media coverage.

In addition, logistics planning for agency vendors can also be part of the duties for this job.

OUTSIDE MARKETING FIRM MARKETING ANALYST

For people that have already graduated with a Sports Management degree and have strong analytical skills there are outside marketing firms that have entry level positions as a Marketing Analyst.

Marketing Analysts review sports sponsorships and help advertisers determine whether they are getting what they paid for by measuring market research results which will determine how well a sponsorship is actually helping a team brand reflect with the public.

This can also lead to more prominent positions such as:

  • Corporate Sales Manager
  • Director of Fan Development
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of Special Events-Promotions
  • New Business Development Director
  • Tournament Operations Manager
  • Vice President of Marketing

GRADUATE ASSISTANT – SPORTS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT

Even if your main goal is to work in professional sports, just as with athletes, starting out in the college ranks can be an excellent springboard to the professional ranks.

Major college sports programs, with their networking opportunities through bowl games and NCAA tournament appearances are particularly valuable to the aspiring Sports Management candidate.

Starting out writing press releases and putting together media notes can lead to a bigger and more profitable position such as suite and sponsorship sales.

COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT REP

Another good way to gain experience in order to get your foot in the door in Sports Management is to actually start outside the sports arena.

Major Colleges and Universities often have openings for recent graduates in alumni fundraising.

Working and being successful in alumni fundraising can open doors for the schools athletic fundraising department which can also be a good stepping stone for an athletic director position.

TELEVISION RESEARCHER

Would you prefer to get into sports broadcasting and get into the media side of sports?

Sports Networks are always looking to hire entry level researchers for events like the Olympics, tournaments, and other big time sporting events to write bios, compile statistics and to interview athletes and coaches for on-camera hosts.

This can also lead to more prominent positions such as:

  • Manager for Sports Web Page-Internet Site
  • Media Relations
  • Sports Video Manager
  • Sports Video Production
  • Vice President of Sports Communications

But remember, Sports Management is not a nine-to-five job. Between travel and various starting times for games, the hours can be crazy and a lot of time on the road and living out of hotels.

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