Idealizing a career in sports is often treated with disbelief, pessimism, and mockery. Spotlight finishes require a lot of time, talent, and a sickening work ethic. The glamour, bonanza, and glory endowed are exotic to hold onto and gain motivation from parents and peers. There are ways to experience and even organize such high moments by carving for yourself a career in sports even if you are a non-athlete, now, in India.
The IPL saw Indian cricket adding extravaganza to the mad following it already had. The introduction of actors and industrialists to the game have diversified the ways sports enters into the economy and adds glitz to the competitions. Teams involved in the league have established academies to increase the visibility of talent. Sports managers, sports agents, talent scouts, event managers are needed more than ever. The success of IPL was too contagious for other sports to ignore.
These are top sporting leagues in India
- Vivo’s Indian Premier League (Established in 2008. Happening between March and May)
- Hero’s Indian Super League (Established in 2013. Happening between )
- Vivo’s Pro Kabbadi League (Established in 2014)
- Vodafone’s Premier Badminton League (Established in 2013)
- Rupay’s Pro Volleyball (Established in 2019)
Several reports confirm the effect of such sporting leagues on India’s GDP. Outside the IPL, the Indian Super League holds the bragging rights for being the fourth most prominent league in the world. FICCI’s 2014 report on the demand for sports-related jobs is expected to rise to 43 million by 2022. Sports management is likely to rise by about 19%, sports event management by 8%, sports manufacturing by 9%.
What are some alternative career options through sports?
Various job titles for career options in sports are sports marketing, sports event management, team manager, player-manager, grassroots development manager, sports media person, relationship managers, business development executives, sports journalists, data scientists, sports statisticians, to name a few. A projection of 4.5 million jobs in sports is close to .4% of India’s population.
Where can you find these sports jobs?
Viren Rasquinha, former Indian hockey captain and chief operating officer, Olympic Gold Quest says, “Sport in India is gradually maturing, becoming more professional and creating many job opportunities. We need more and more professionals as sports administrators, sports event managers, team managers, coaches, and physiotherapists.”
These jobs are often threatened by contractual obligations and short-term employment. This is because most of the jobs are generated by professional sporting leagues. These leagues last for one season a year, which lasts up to two-three months.
Many of these teams are now establishing grassroots development academies. This shall involve clubs all around the year. This requires sports managers, sports coaches, sports agents to be involved throughout the year. The adoption of professionalism in their recruitment and management activities boosts the jobs in the sporting industry, which previously was limited to the good sports industry and sports journalism.
One can point out the various aspects of a sporting event that can generate employment opportunities. Various aspects such as sponsorships, tickets and merchandise sales, social media management can pioneer the development of managerial opportunities for the ever-growing job seekers in the country.
Though one may not enjoy the spotlight by working behind the scenes, one can extrapolate their passion for the game by pursuing a career in sports. Some popular sports management companies that recruit sports managers are
- Kooh Sports,
- Rhiti Sports and Professional Management Group, and
- Broadcasters such as Sony, Neo Sports, ESPN, Star Sports recruit roles related to sports management, sports analysts and sports marketing and communication. Various job portals such as Employment News in India, Sports Naukri, Indeed, Shine enlist various roles related to sporting careers.
Base salary: Rs 3,50,000
Path way: MBA in Sports management, MBA in Operations
Eligible job titles: Sports manager, Relationship management, Team manager, Business Development etc.
Sports management is perhaps more of an umbrella term for all managerial and organizational and operational activities that happen off the court. Various titles can be conferred on these degree holders. A typical day in sports management involves looking after operational activities of the team, event management activity. Many team managers hold prominent positions that provide access to dressing room discussions. A business development manager identifies opportunities for the brand, here the team. A successful business development
Base Salary: Rs 2,10,000
Pathway: Diploma or MBA in Sports marketing, MBA in Marketing
Eligible job titles: Sports marketing manager, social media executive( team accounts), brand associate
Sports marketing is not always similar to traditional marketing fields. To give you a gist, marketing professionals use the popular marketing mix framework which helps them to plan strategies according to a product, promotion channels, placement, and pricing. This becomes completely different in the realm of sports where there is no product but an experience to strategize for. This calls for specialized help from aspirants. Considering the IPL alone to be a 400 million dollar event over three months consider the amount of experiential marketing that will go into making it the glitz and glamour it lives to be.
A role in sports marketing involves activities in sales, account management, sponsorship management, branding, etc. If you have a creative flair with persuasive abilities and strong verbal skills, these activities like advertising, a salesperson for selling radio spots would be most loved by you. Another that mixes these skills is a sports publisher who markets content published to a website and the writers and authors who published them. A more matured role is promotion director, a marketing director who directs the marketing activities of the team. A role that can get you a front seat to all your favorite stars and action is this role. The role involves selling the team, its brand, and its players. The success of a marketing director of a sports team depends on the fanbase, their engagement, and retention levels. A role more into the sales side of sports marketing is managing the operations behind ticket sales. Ticket selling is one of the sure-fire ways to generate revenue for a franchise. You will be responsible for the selling of tickets, season passes, sky boxes, game day sales, etc.
Base salary: Rs 3,50,000
Pathway: A degree in journalism, strong passion for writing
Eligible job titles: Content writer, Copy writer, Editor, Junior editor, reporter, Sports Columnist, Sports editor, Sports Writer, Sports news reporter.
One of the most competitive job titles and a career path with plenty of opportunities. In a world where content is king and consumption of quality of content defines consumer retention, editorial titles are important. A sports reporters’ role relates to sporting events, interview athletes, coaches, and other sports figures. They respond to current sporting events including outcomes and scores, injuries and knocks, sports dignitaries, and all other sports-related information. A sportswriter, columnist, and publisher is related to writing and maintaining the quality of articles. They also direct the narrative regarding a particular sporting incident. They are often the voice of the fans and harshest criticisms.
Sports event management
Base salary: N/A
Pathway: MBA Event management,
Job title: Sports event manager, sports event co-ordinator
The experience behind consuming sports is organized using a lot of psychoanalysis and careful planning to get the best brand out there onto audiences to increase sponsorship activities. Combining the best ad placements and yet organizing a carnival of sorts for fans requires a knack for detail, impeccable organizing, and management skills. Namely, they are responsible for court or the field, and this same person is responsible for the parking, seating capacity, facility modifications, traffic, media, public relations, players accommodations, concessions utility hookups and hooking up with the press at cocktail parties.
Sport Data Scientists and Statisticians
Base salary: Rs 6,00,000
Pathway: B.E Computer Science, M.A Mathematics
Job title: Data analyst, Data scientist
Every tea shop in India has the necessary knowledge, sometimes too creepy of knowledge of the number of matches, number of international 50s and 100s and runs Yuvraj Singh has scored. However, what is the nature of play of the mighty southpaw’s first 20 balls when he deals a right armed fast bowler under overcast conditions in a pitch that is fairly slow?
Welcome to data-driven sports! Where all the mathematics geeks and the computer science grads with a passion for sports are the best finishers of the game. In cricket, data analytics saw its application during the cricket world cup 2015. Every team had their own war rooms of analysts who worked to better captain’s decisions off and on the field. With data analytics being rated as the sexiest job of the 21 century the demand is only reasonable. With plenty of leagues coming into India and Indian sports becoming more professional, data analytics and statisticians require a high skill set. The field shall be competitive as a few numbers of spots will only be up for grabs.