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Working in Professional Sports: Job Titles with a Master’s Degree in Sport Management

Growing up on the outskirts of Baltimore, Michael Phelps is a die-hard Ravens football fan. Phelps is an incredible athlete, but he can’t tackle a 300lb man or intercept a pass like the infamous former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

That never stopped him from getting involved with his favorite team in other ways. The Ravens let him lead the players onto the field, once paused a preseason game to watch his race, and even put Phelps in charge of their Twitter account for a day.

pro sports job titles

Like many sports fanatics, Phelps wanted to be involved with his favorite sports team and found a way to use his notoriety and connections to do it.

But how do you take a passion for professional sports and build a career from it if you’re not the most decorated Olympian or friends with Ray Lewis? There are a variety of professional sports degrees that can help qualify someone for employment in the Ravens organization or with any other professional team.

You could waste a lot of time chasing unpaid internships, taking jobs in the ticket office, and volunteering at events trying to make industry connections.

A better approach is examining which professional sports degree program is right for you, like an M.S. in Sport Management, thoroughly researching the job you want, and developing a solid game plan that builds out the educational and career milestones needed to succeed in working for a sports team.

When you’re thinking about a role in the professional sport industry or figuring out how to get a job with a sports team, consider the following job titles, descriptions and salary ranges.*

Job Title: Sport Event Planner

  • Average Salary (US): $45,730
  • Job Description: Works with operations staff to plan details necessary for properly preparing team and facility staff on game day
  • Career Pathway: Facilities Operations Coordinator, Event Setup Lead

Job Title: Competition Coordinator

  • Average Salary (US): $57,630
  • Job Description: Coordinates competition preparation including event planning, registration management, and budget analysis
  • Career Pathway: Coach, Coaching Assistant, Recreational Programmer

Job Title: Market Research Analyst

  • Average Salary (US): $58,760
  • Job Description: Analyzes current market conditions to help organizations stay aware of potential sales for their products

Job Title: Sports Accountant

  • Average Salary (US): $72,170
  • Job Description: Organizes financial records of franchise; ensures funding to draw in and retain talented players and coaches
  • Career Pathway: Controller, Accountant, Merchandising Accountant, Accounting Analyst

Job Title: Sports Agent

  • Average Salary (US): $98,010
  • Job Description: Sports agents serve as advisors, mentors, and legal guides for players; negotiate athletic contracts related to team placement, relocations and trades, as well as sponsorships and endorsements; stay current on other player’s deals within the league
  • Career Pathway: Lawyer, Attorney

Job Title: League Administrator

  • Average Salary (US): $98,930
  • Job Description: Provides strategic direction of the league; ensures compliance with a league or association’s governing rules

Job Title: Public Relations Manager

  • Average Salary (US): $110,640
  • Job Description: Shapes public perception and increases public awareness of team, athletes, and/or sporting events; presents favorable information to promote team profitability in the press and with the public
  • Career Pathway: Public Relations Specialist

Job Title: Advertising Manager

  • Average Salary (US): $118,190
  • Job Description: Develops and executes advertising campaigns to generate public interest in the team, events, players, and merchandise; optimizes sponsored programs to excite fans, boost team image, and increase profits
  • Career Pathway: Creative Director, Advertising Specialist, Purchasing Agent/Buyer

Job Title: Game Operations Director

  • Average Salary (US): $121,790
  • Job Description: Plans, executes, and manages all game day events in a professional sports arena
  • Career Pathway: Event Manager, Event Setup Lead, Game Entertainment Manager

Job Title: Sports Marketing Director

  • Average Salary (US): $122,100
  • Job Description: Sports Marketing Directors promote team events, players, services and products; design campaigns based upon signature players and the franchise to inspire fan support
  • Career Pathway: Director of Social Media, Digital Content Manager, Email Marketing Specialist, Brand Ambassador

Job Title: Brand Manager

  • Average Salary (US): $123,780
  • Job Description: Builds brand image; develops, plans and implements activities to boost brand value; generates profitable returns for organization and shareholders
  • Career Pathway: Market Research Analyst, Public Relations Specialist, Brand Ambassador

Job Title: Sports Revenue Manager

  • Average Salary (US): $149,010
  • Job Description: Capitalizes growth potential of organization
  • Career Pathway: Sales Manager, Account Manager

*Annual mean wages listed are provided by the United States Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016.

Actualizing your dreams of working for a sports team is certainly made easier with an Online Master of Science in Sport Management from the University of Florida. This comprehensive program helps students develop the latest advanced sport industry skills and knowledge. Our students explore essential administrative functions that make sport organizations successful and keep athletes on the field.

With over 1,600 alumni currently working in sport and fitness administration, UF understands your dream job requires a distinctive game plan that draws heavily on face-to-face networking with industry professionals. UF offers a non-credit professional and career development sequence ― The Training Room ― for students enrolled in the online Master of Science in Sport Management program specifically designed to leverage the Gator Nation’s vast alumni network and UF faculty members with close industry connections.

About UF’s Online M.S. in Sport Management

The online Master of Science in Sport Management from University of Florida readies professionals to take on complex financial and administrative challenges in the world of sports. The comprehensive sport management curriculum can help you develop the leadership abilities and administrative proficiency necessary to advance your career. Students can customize their education by taking electives in their areas of interest or choosing between optional specializations in:

Athlete Development readies graduates to counsel players on striking a healthy balance between their physical performance and mental and financial well-being in positions like athletic director or director of player engagement.

High Performance Coaching is intended for students who wish to pursue positions in managerial coaching or athletic administration, showing them how to foster the best performances in athletes.

Sport Law teaches lawyers and administrators about legal principles that can have important applications in the world of athletics, including insurance, real estate finance, insurance, and fair competition.

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