Sports marketing is a growing specialization within the field of professional marketing. It relates directly to the promotion of professional athletes, athletic franchises, college and university athletic programs and more. Specific leagues and entire sports also require expansive amounts of marketing and marketing materials. With the introduction of e-sports and the increasingly global face of traditional athletics, sports marketing jobs have been exploding: it's one of the fastest-growing specialties within the marketing industry.
So, bearing that in mind, what is the outlook for sports marketing jobs in general, and are there any particular specializations within the field that are doing exceptionally well?
A Rapidly Growing Specialization Within the Marketing Industry
Marketing, as a field, offers expansive growth opportunities for qualified candidates. Within the overall discipline, however, a few areas stand out in terms of their aggressive expansion in recent years. These include digital marketing, which covers an entire new medium of advertising and promotions not accessible to generations past, and sports and athletic marketing. The two primary reasons for the growth of athletic promotions in recent years are the development of e-sports, and the increasingly global face applied to formerly regional sports franchises and athletic pursuits (for example, there is a growing following of American soccer enthusiasts, and American football is gaining traction around the world). There is overlap here; e-sports marketing and digital marketing frequently coincide, but the skills associated with sports marketing programs remain applicable.
Cutting-Edge Marketing Practices
Professional and collegiate sports, two of the biggest employers of sports marketing professionals, are extremely high-energy programs that draw on huge fan bases. As a result, sports promotions often incorporate some of the most cutting-edge ideas available in marketing today, capitalizing on new ways to draw the attention of established fans (while simultaneously drawing in new fans). Training and experience in sports marketing focuses on all of the traditional skills required to be successful as a marketer, but is also representative of one of the most innovative specialties around. It encourages outside-the-box thinking and resourcefulness, which makes a sports marketing degree (or other qualification) exceptionally relevant in a general or cross-specialization sense.
Lots of Flexibility Regarding Where and How You Work
As a sports promoter, you may focus on a particular sport, or on a given venue, working in association with particularly important events. There are positions available within a given league, or for a particular team, which involve their promotion both to fans and to prospective venues. Individual athletes, particularly star athletes, also hire sports marketing professionals to help promote themselves. Universities, colleges and even some high schools also retain sports promoters: athletics are a big part of the academic scene, bringing in a great deal of money to their respective schools. There are opportunities in sports promotion for teamwork, solo work, and projects of all sizes, as well as for engagement with athletes, fans, athletic programs, and venues. Whatever you might want to do, you can do it, and every day will provide a varied and interesting workload.
The sports marketing job outlook is above-average, in terms of their overall prominence among new jobs being created during the next 12-14 years. The US federal Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps the sports marketing industry in with the overall umbrella of marketing, advertising and promotions, which is slated to do slightly better than average in terms of job growth. Within this field, however, we already know that athletic promotions and e-sports have propelled sports and athletic promotions into an industry-leading position, which is predicted to see anywhere from 14-18% job growth by the middle of the next decade.