The global sports industry is growing fast, and with that growth, there’s an increasing demand for business managers with special skills suited to the industry.
It’s a great time for those who are passionate about the business side of sports, to kick-start a career in sports management. If you’re ready to turn your love of sport into a career, try getting started with these simple steps.
1. Do some research and choose a specialisation
Start your journey by familiarising yourself with what kind of jobs are out there, in this diverse field. Familiarise yourself with the industry. Look at the key sports institutions, corporations and government bodies in Australia, and check out what opportunities they might have to offer.
Sports management encompasses a huge range of positions, which require very different experience and skill sets.
Here are just a few of the roles you could be stepping into, check out this list for even more opportunities:
- Gameday Event Co-ordinator
- Sports Content Producer
- Public Relations
- Personnel Management
Where do you see yourself fitting, in this industry? What kind of roles do you enjoy, and what areas do you have skills and experience in? Knowing the particular role you want to focus your energy on will shape the direction of your career development.
2. Study a course or get some training
Just like playing sport requires training, working in sports management requires study. Although not every role requires formal training, enrolling in a course is the fastest way to equip yourself with skills, networks and recognised qualifications. You’ll be competing in the workforce with managers who have studied degrees, so if you have the time and money to commit to full time study, it will definitely be to your advantage.
When choosing your course, take a look at some of the job descriptions for roles you’d like to take on. Understanding what skills you’ll need for your particular area will help you determine which course or subjects you should choose to study, to get your career kick-started.
For example, with the Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) at Torrens, you can choose electives such as ‘Event Concept or Design,’ or ‘Understanding Public Relations.’ Obviously, if you would prefer a career in sports marketing over events, you’ll choose the public relations subject!
If you already have a degree in another area and you’d like to study a Masters of Sports Management, don’t panic! Your undergraduate degree will count. Because sports management is such a diverse field, you can come from another background such as finance or communications, and your existing skill set will be transferrable to your new career
3. Do some volunteering
The easiest way to test out a new role and gain some entry-level experience is to do some volunteering. There are sports events going on every week, in every part of Australia. Not-for-profit local clubs, schools or universities run many of these events, and they need volunteer help. Do a search online, find something happening in your local area, and see if you can have a try at organising event logistics or fundraising for your local sports team.
4. Get an internship
If you’ve already been studying and you have a little bit of experience under your belt, you may be ready for a more formal opportunity. An internship is the perfect stepping stone between your studies and your career. Often, an internship will lead to a paid position.
The best way to organise an internship is to approach your university or institution. At Torrens, you have access to a range of different industry partners, including sports associations like the South Australian National Football League, who offer internships to Torrens students. You also get a personal Success Coach who will help you with everything you need to do, to get an internship.
As part of the Bachelor of Business (Sports Management), you also get to participate in a two-week placement at the Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid Universidad Europea School!
If you’re not currently involved in studies, look up internships or other opportunities online, or approach a sports institution you’d like to work for and ask them what opportunities they may have to offer.
5. Go out and do some networking
In the world of sports, finding a job is often about who you know as much as it is about what you know. It’s essential to get yourself out there and meet people in the industry.
Of course, a great way to do this is via your school or institution. Many universities have alumni networks, sports clubs and events where you can meet people from the industry. And, of course, your institution will likely have industry professionals involved in the delivery of your course. Ask your lecturers who they might be able to connect you with!
If you’re not at school anymore, then you can network through membership to industry associations and events. For example, the Australian Sports Professionals Association (ASPA) hosts regular events, while a search on 10Times (listing website) reveals a broad range of professional sports conferences happening regularly all over the country.
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