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5 careers in sports for non-athletes in India

Contemplating a career in sports in India is often treated with disbelief, pessimism, and mockery. Spotlight finishes require a lot of time, talent and a sickening work ethic. Of course, the glamour, bonanza and glory endowed are lucrative. However to gain the required motivation and acceptance from parents and peers is also a rarity. So, we offer you a way/s to experience and even organize such high adrenaline rushing moments. Have you been combing the web looking for a career in sports for non-athlete?

Check out these sports jobs tailored for non-athletes!

The IPL saw Indian cricket adding extravaganza to the mad following it already had. The introduction of actors and industrialists to the game diversified the ways sports enters into the economy and adds glitz to the competitions. Now, teams involved in the league have established academies to increase their visibility for talent. Sports managers, sports agents, talent scouts, event managers are needed more than ever. With success of IPL, other sports too caught the bug (and the brilliant business model) of glamour and extravaganza.

Top sports leagues in India

Currently, these are the top sports 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 have confirmed the effect of such 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 reveals that 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 in sports?

There are several careers in sports for non athletes. Some of them are  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. You know what! The demand is huge for non-athletes who desire to have a career in sports.In fact, to give you a clearer and optimistic picture, one can say that the expected projection of 4.5 million jobs in sports is close to .4% of India’s population.

career option in sports

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 sports leagues. These leagues last for one season a year, which lasts up to two-three months.

However, things are about to change. Many of these teams are now establishing  development academies at the grassroot levels. This shall involve clubs training sportspersons all around the year. Such a club shall require sports managers, sports coaches, sports agents to be involved throughout the year. When corporates involve themselves in sports it shall lead to more professionalism. Hence recruitment and management activities shall change. This shall in turn boost the jobs in the sports industry, which previously was limited to the good sports industry and sports journalism.

One can point out the several smaller aspects that contribute to a mega sports event to understand how sports shall generate employment opportunities. Sponsorships, tickets and merchandise sales, social media management pioneer the development of managerial and administrative opportunities for the ever-growing job seekers in the country.

You may not enjoy the spotlight by working behind the scenes. However, by developing these skills and careers in sports for a non-athlete, you can still be close! One still feel passionate for the game as if you are having a athletic job in sports. Some popular sports management companies that recruit sports managers are

  • Procam,
  • 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 sports careers.

Career option in sports

5 careers in sports for non-athletes

Sports Management

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

Sports Marketing

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.

Sports Journalism

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. It is also a career in sports for non-athletes with high investigative acumen and writing skills. In a world where content is king and consumption of quality of content retains more readers, a writer’s role can never be downplayed. The role of a sports reporter is to report on sports events, interview athletes, coaches, and other sports figures. They are always on the look-out for sports events. They need to stay updated of all outcomes and scores, injuries and knocks, sports dignitaries and all other sports-related information. The responsibilities of a sportswriter, columnist or a publisher is related to writing and maintaining the quality of articles. They also direct the narrative regarding a particular sports incident. They are often the voice of the fans and harshest criticisms.

Sports Event Management

Base salary: N/A

Pathway: MBA Event management,

Job titles: Sports event manager, sports event coordinator

The experience viewers get from sports is organized using a lot of psychoanalysis and careful planning. It is also important to get the best brands to audiences to increase sponsorships in future. Combining the best ad placements and yet organizing a carnival of sorts for fans requires a knack for detail, impeccable organizing, and management skills. Ever wondered who carries out these activities?

They are called sports event managers. As a non-athlete, this is another sports career you should think about.

Sports events management is one heck of a career in sports for non-athletes. They are responsible for the court. The field! The turf! They are also responsible for the parking facilities, seating capacity, facility modifications, traffic, media, public relations, players  accommodations, concessions utility hookups and hooking up with the press at cocktail parties.

If you love challenges, planning and have extremely high organizational skills then this is job is up for grabs for you. Also, you can get close to sports stars as well!

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 is filled with knowledgeable conversations, (sometimes too creepy of a 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!

It is 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 2015 Cricket World Cup. Every team had it’s own war room 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 perfectly justified. 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.