Sports management degree jobs (with average salaries)

Updated 22 February 2023

A degree in sports management offers access to a wide variety of jobs in the sports and leisure industry. There are also many jobs not directly linked to sports where a sports management degree is valuable. If you've recently graduated or are soon to graduate with a sports management degree, you might be considering what your next step is and what types of jobs to apply for. In this article, we discuss sports management degrees and share the duties and average salaries of various sports management degree jobs to help you take the first step in your career.

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What are sports management degree jobs?

Sports management degree jobs are roles suitable for people with a sports management BSc. During a sports management degree, students develop leadership, business and analytical skills within the context of the sports industry. Many graduates go on to work in the sports industry although the skills and knowledge of a sports management degree are transferrable to a range of different industries, including leisure and hospitality.

Related: What is sports management and what does a sports manager do?

What does a sports management degree involve?

Sport management degrees equip graduates with marketing, accounting and management skills related to the sporting industry. The degree also develops students' understanding of economics, policy and governance. Students develop strong research skills throughout the degree to support their studies and prepare them for careers in which ongoing research and analysis abilities are essential. While the curriculum varies between universities, modules you might study during a sports management degree include:

  • sport and social sciences

  • principles of sport and leisure marketing

  • fundamentals of coaching

  • financial accounting for sport

  • the leisure market

  • sports law, equity and inclusion

  • sport marketing

  • HR in sports organisations

  • economic analysis of sport

  • health and physical activity

  • sport policy and governance

  • sport and physical activity for children

  • strategic management of sports events

What skills are important for a career in sports management?

Although the specific skill set varies for each job in the sports industry, sports management graduates benefit from developing the following skills to achieve positions related to management, marketing and events coordination:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills. This helps manage teams and build relationships with partners, clients and stakeholders.

  • Research and analysis skills. This is useful for identifying business opportunities, assessing the success of campaigns and events and understanding new developments in the sport and leisure industry.

  • Numeracy skill. You use this to conduct accounting, budgeting and other financial management duties.

  • Organisation and time management skills. This helps to successfully manage complex events, plan work schedules and handle a wide range of daily tasks.

  • Problem-solving skills. This is useful for finding solutions to complex challenges in the planning and management of campaigns and events.

  • Creativity. You use this to identify new opportunities and develop innovative marketing strategies.

Related: What is a sports CV? (Plus careers and how to write one)

Jobs related directly to sports management

The following jobs in the sports industry are accessible to people with a sports management degree:

1. Leisure and sports manager

National average salary: £23,547 per year

Primary duties: Leisure and sports managers organise and coordinate activities related to sporting and recreational services. They work in leisure centres, fitness centres, gyms, theme parks and holiday parks. Depending on the size of the facility they work in, leisure and sports managers may be the sole manager, or they may work alongside other managers. They often manage junior staff members and liaise with colleagues in different departments to coordinate events and activities.

The day-to-day duties of a leisure and sports manager include stock management, budget management, marketing and promotion, health and safety management and timetabling of activity schedules. The role requires a good understanding of sales, auditing, fitness management and key performance indicators (KPIs). Excellent management, communication, customer service and sales skills are important.

2. Sports marketer

National average salary: £29,126 per year

Primary duties: Sports marketers are marketing professionals with expertise in the sports industry. They oversee the promotion and advertising of sporting goods and events. They work at marketing agencies, retail businesses, sports clubs or sports venues. Sometimes they oversee a variety of different marketing duties but in other cases they might specialise in a single aspect of marketing such as social media or television advertising.

The daily duties of a sports marketer include planning campaigns, compiling and assessing data to measure the success of marketing activities, copywriting, managing marketing budgets and liaising with product development and events teams. Much of the work is office-based but in some instances, the role involves travelling to events, sports facilities or meetings with external stakeholders.

Related: Marketer skills: definition and examples

3. Sports sponsorship manager

National average salary: £38,424 per year

Primary duties: Sponsorship managers identify opportunities for fundraising and promotion. They work in corporate environments where they're responsible for reaching out to organisations and arranging partnerships that promote brand awareness. Alternatively, they might work for organisations that fundraise using sponsorships from corporations. Sports sponsorship managers specialise in corporate sponsorship in the sporting industry and may work at sports venues or for sports teams.

The daily responsibilities of a sports sponsorship manager include networking and building relationships with partners and clients, developing and monitoring the success of sponsorship plans and managing specific aspects of sponsorship activities such as press conferences, events and media management. Researching the sports industry and identifying opportunities for new partnerships is an important aspect of the job so a strong analytical mind is beneficial.

4. Sports coach

National average salary: £24,509 per year

Primary duties: Sports coaches help children, adults and teams of sports players fulfil their potential by delivering instructions, advice and support. They work in various settings, including schools, colleges and universities, fitness centres and gyms, sports clubs, councils and governing bodies. They may specialise in a particular type of sport or offer coaching across a range of activities.

The daily duties of a sports coach include teaching practical sports techniques, developing skills and tactics, monitoring and recording the progress of players, identifying strengths and weaknesses, developing and implementing training programmes and providing emotional support and encouragement. Sports coaches usually have a range of administrative tasks related to record-keeping and scheduling. They may also assist in the promotion of sports facilities or services.

Jobs outside the sports industry suitable for sports management graduates

Sports management graduates also have the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge in jobs beyond the sports industry. Such jobs include:

1. Residential manager

National average salary: £24,801 per year

Primary duties: Residential managers oversee the operations and daily running of residential facilities for people who require special care or supervision. They often work in nursing homes and care homes but depending on the size of their employer, they may work in an off-site office and travel to residential facilities when necessary. In some cases, they manage the operations of several sites and facilities or oversee the provision of domiciliary care.

Daily duties of residential managers include stock, resource and budget management, event and activity planning, health and safety management, assessment of service users and general management of staff and work schedules. Residential managers serve as supervisors to carers and other staff members which means they require excellent leadership and organisation skills.

Related: 10 simple reasons why work in a care home is worth it

2. Activity coordinator

National average salary: £20,100 per year

Primary duties: Activity coordinators plan and manage activities, events and outings in a range of settings, including schools, colleges, universities, care homes and leisure facilities. They usually report to a manager and liaise with colleagues in several other departments to coordinate resources, budgets and schedules. In some instances, they work with a team of assistants and therefore act as managers.

The daily duties of an activity coordinator include activity planning and implementation, risk assessment, health and safety compliance, assisting service users and making travel arrangements. An important part of the job is talking to service users to learn which types of activities are in demand and seeking feedback on past activities to assess success.

Related: What is event coordination? With duties, skills and salaries

3. Conference manager

National average salary: £30,085 per year

Primary duties: Conference managers ensure the seamless running of conferences at dedicated conference centres or other large venues such as hotels and universities. They oversee the management of several different departments including accommodation, catering, marketing, PR, sales and finance and staff recruitment. Conference managers both plan and run events and have strong problem-solving, interpersonal and leadership skills.

The day-to-day duties of a conference manager include liaising with various departments and teams, planning work schedules, managing budgets and resources, overseeing sales and marketing activities, complying with relevant health and safety procedures and dealing with customer enquiries and complaints. The role is complex and requires excellent organisation and time management skills.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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