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8 Jobs for Former Athletes (Hint: They're All in Sports)

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If you’re a former athlete, you know the rewarding and competitive nature of the sports industry. You may not know the valuable skills you’ve developed through sports that are directly transferable to the business world. The sports industry is full of ideal jobs for former athletes. But how do you pursue one of these elite careers?

Graduate education is an effective bridge to a fulfilling career post-athletics. A Master’s in Sport Management opens the door to a world of business opportunities while supporting your passions and staying in the game.

Sport business is a multi-billion dollar industry with a long history and a wide variety of career options, ranging from operational positions to financial expertise. Read on to learn more about eight in-demand jobs for former athletes and how you can set yourself up for success with a master’s degree. 

What is Sport Business?

Sport business is a field that combines the competitive nature of sports with the operational and financial management of a business entity. It entails all the activities associated with running sports and recreation organizations, including professional sports teams, fitness clubs, and sports marketing firms.

Some of its key areas include sports investment, sponsorship deals, broadcast rights agreements, event planning, and player contract negotiation. A dynamic multidisciplinary field, sport business also brings economic, social, and environmental impacts to society.

What is an MSSM? 

A Master of Science in Sport Management is an advanced graduate degree suited for those looking to deepen their expertise in managing sports organizations, athletes, events, and facilities. The program covers various aspects of sports business, including marketing, finance, ethical management, and organizational skills specific to the sports industry. Courses in an MSSM include Sport Sponsorship, Sport Data & Analytics, Sport Marketing Strategies, Financial Management in Sports, Sport Event Management, or Legal and Ethical Issues in Sport Management, among others. 

8 In-Demand Jobs for Former Athletes in Sport Business

Behind the world’s influential sports giants is a robust and thriving business industry. The “back end” of sports includes a variety of vital roles, just like in the corporate world. Your experience as an athlete gives you a competitive edge in entering the industry—one you can further sharpen by getting a Master of Science in Sport Management. A master’s degree will help you refine your skills, expand your experience, and get industry-specific training to jumpstart your career in the sports industry.

Here are our top jobs for former athletes in the sport business industry today:

Management Roles

  • Sports Marketing Manager: Utilizing competitive strategies to promote teams and athletes.
  • Team Manager: Leading from the sidelines with as much energy as on the field.

Operational Positions

  • Event Coordinator: Orchestrating game day is no less thrilling than playing on it.
  • Facility Operations Manager: Ensuring the stage is set for athletic excellence.

Development and Engagement Opportunities

  • Athletic Director: Shaping the future of sports programs.
  • Community Relations Coordinator: Building team spirit beyond the field.

Financial and Contractual Expertise

  • Sports Finance Advisor: Managing wealth and financial strategies for sports organizations.
  • Sports Agent: Negotiating on behalf of the stars of today with the strategy of a player.

Why Pursue a Master's in Sport Management?

There are many clear benefits to pursuing a specialized education in sport management. Research data on career trajectory shows the improvement in career success when you earn an advanced degree. Getting your master’s degree might mean a significant jump in income and a world of new career opportunities.

Advanced education can also open the door to networking opportunities, internships, and the chance to gain real-world experience under the guidance of industry experts. Consider the differences between an MBA and an MSSM, and analyze your career aspirations and educational goals to decide if graduate education is the right choice for you.  

An MSSM from SMU 

Your background as an athlete is the perfect starting point for a successful career in sport business. SMU’s premiere MSSM program allows you to apply your abilities and understanding of sports while training you in industry-specific skills in the best location for sports jobs

Still wondering if you have what it takes to succeed in sport business? Explore our guide to pursuing a job in sport management to see how an MSSM can be the catalyst to your unstoppable career in sport management. Consider taking the first step in this transformative educational journey and discover your future in the world of sports.

Your Path to a Job in Sport Management–Pursue a Master’s in Sport ManagementeBook Cover Mockup_SM-1


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