Sports Business

4 minute read
Sports Business

When you sit back on your couch to watch your favourite sports channel on TV, do you wonder about those working behind the scenes to bring the entertainment to your home? Do you know how much effort goes into organizing the games we watch and play with so much enthusiasm? Have you ever thought about the amount of effort and hard work which goes behind all these events to bring forth your favourite sport? There is an entire team of people who are working towards this and it is called Sports Business. Let’s explore what Sports Business is, its salient features and how it is different from Sports Management.

Check Out: How to Build a Successful Career in Sports?

What is Sports Business?

Sports business covers everything that goes on in the off-field business. It includes everything that is needed to manage and facilitate sports. It comprises various business areas which are needed to ensure that all the games that we watch are well-organized. Listed below are the areas that are covered under Sports Business –

  • Sponsorship
  • Marketing
  • Athlete Management
  • Broadcast
  • Licensing and Merchandise
  • Finance
  • Hospitality
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Legal
  • Event Management
  • Creative Design

This list does not comprise the entire areas of Sports business but covers the broader ones. However, as you must have noticed, the list does not consist of any on-field function like coaching or medicine.

This field is all about the business activities that are needed to make the sport happen such as sponsorship, marketing, selling TV rights etc. Doesn’t this sound fascinating? Sports Business is actually a great industry to work in if you love sports and have the skills to manage a business, then you can build a career in this specialisation.

Top Universities for Sports Business

The following are the top universities for sports business:

Universities QS World Ranking 2023
Rice University 100
Pepperdine University –
Coventry University 651 – 700
Columbia University 22
University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign 85
University of British Columbia 47
University of Derby –
University of Greenwich 801 – 1000
University of Queensland 50
University of Michigan 25

Eligibility Criteria

The following are the eligibility criteria to pursue sports business:

  • The candidate must have completed their 10+2 level of education in any field with a minimum aggregate of 50% – 60%
  • To pursue a business course, the candidate may be asked to submit their GMAT or GRE score
  • The candidate may be asked to submit their English language proficiency test score like IELTS, TOEFL

Business Groups

All the above-mentioned roles can further be categorized into four business groups:

  • Rights Holders
  • Brands
  • Agencies
  • Media

Rights Holders

This group generally includes sports events, teams, federations and athletes. For example – FIFA holds the rights for the FIFA world cup.


This business group is self-explanatory, in the context of sports business. It means sports brands like Nike, EA Sport etc. Not only this, but it also includes sports brands through associations like Visa.


This is one of the biggest groups which covers all disciplines of sports business. There are agencies for all areas that are covered under this field such as legal, broadcast etc. Such agencies are hired by brands or rights holders, to help them manage their work.


This group includes organizations which are focused on covering sports events, it comprises TV, print, online and social.

There are four major employer categories, but as media owners may often also be copyright holders and vice versa, the distinctions between them are becoming blurred. For current and prospective sports business practitioners, this is not a bad thing as movement between groups is now more fluid than ever before, offering more opportunities to all.

Sports is a multifaceted and often complicated beast, but if you enjoy sports and you are confident in your own capacity, it is dynamic, large scale and extremely satisfying.

Careers in Sports Business

There are certain fields in Sports Business which are similar to other industries as well. These areas are needed to manage any business in general and you can build a career in any one of those areas. You can specialise in any one of these areas since all of these are lucrative career options. Here is a list of different careers in Sports Business –

  • Sales
  • Creative Ideas
  • Designing
  • Negotiating
  • Contracting
  • Managing People
  • Promoting and Publicizing
  • Digital and Social Media
  • Writing and Presenting
  • Researching

If you are interested in any of the fields mentioned above and have the skills for it, then you should take it up and build a career in it.

Job Profile and Salary

The following are the popular job profile in the field of sports business:

Job Profile Avg. Salary
Sports Department Manager 4 – 6 Lakh
Sports Instructor 2 – 4 Lakh
Sports Nutritionist 2 – 5 Lakh
Sports News Reporter 2 – 7 Lakh
Athletic Administrator 2 – 6 Lakh

Sports Business VS Sports Management

Often students get confused between Sports Business and Sports Management, but there is a difference between the two. A professional in this field needs to possess an understanding of every aspect of the business, like sales, marketing, finance, economics, law etc. whereas a Sports Management professional focuses on meeting the goals set by the organization. It includes areas of marketing, research, analysis and the logistics of selling and delivering products.

We hope that this blog helped you learn the key features of Sports Business. Want to pursue a degree in Sports Management, reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will guide you in finding the right course and university to ensure that you make an informed decision towards a rewarding career.

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