Blog 4_June (The truth unpacked)

Written by: Luzuko Ndiko

The sport industry is a market in which people, business, and organisations are involved in producing, facilitating, promoting, or organizing activities, experiences, or business enterprises focused on sports.

The highly competitive field of sports management provides many business opportunities or exciting careers for those individuals whose interests lies in this field.Sports management professionals work as team managers, athletic directors, sports agents, and recruiters, marketing and PR professionals, facility managers and much more.

We all realize professional athletes go to work and get paid extremely well, but that’s not how we see sports. We see competition, tension, passion, and narrative. That’s why we care so much. Athletes see the business side of things. They negotiate, sign, and void contracts. They receive endorsement deals and negotiate over them. They try to balance family life with insane travel schedules. We see the uniform of our favorite team, and those colours are full of nostalgia and commitment and pain and celebration. We are fiercely loyal to that laundry. But players are loyal to their own personal needs: a paycheck, family commitments, professional fit, growth opportunities, etc. If you are employed, you are a professional. You work. You have a routine. You make decisions. Management moves affect you positively or negatively. You have good days and bad days, motivated times and times you drag. You leave one employer for another for a multitude of reasons. So do pro athletes and coaches, and this is what sport managers understand.

The sports industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. Thousands of people dream of working in sports at all levels, whether it be for professional sports organisations, minor league teams or colleges. Others look to work in areas that sell, market or promote products, events and merchandise that are a part of the sports industry.  Those pursuing a sports industry career need to have the right skills to find success and get a job. It’s not just about liking sports or being a fan. It’s about having a background, education and understanding of the business side of sports careers. The person with an understanding that sports is business will find the most success and happiness.

Sports always has been and always will be a big part of the South African culture. Locations where sports are a big part of the local economy will find great opportunity but a large market is open in previously disadvantaged communities and population groups. The reality is, sports-industry jobs can be found in any region of the country and internationally.

Of course, those with internship or professional experience in the various sports industries will be the most marketable and ready for career advancement. But previously playing sports is no indicator of success or failure in this industry.

Working in sports isn’t just about a love for sports. Those who succeed in sports careers understand that while sports provide a game, entertainment and fun for those playing them, it’s a business – big business. There is an opportunity to excel and find happiness – and succeed in a career in sports, but the first priority should be making sure you get into it for the right reasons. Then enroll with eta College to do a sport management course and be the best in what you love to do.

To see all our Sport Management courses, click here

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