What is Sports Business Management?

December 7, 2022

It’s natural to want to combine something you’re passionate about with what you do for a living. And as professional and amateur sport have both become big business in recent decades, there have never been more opportunities to work in the sports industry, whatever your skills or expertise.

This has led to a surge of interest from people wanting to put their own sports business ideas into reality, but there are also plenty of career opportunities to explore behind the scenes, too. Every sport, competition and organisation needs good management, to ensure that it runs smoothly, works hard towards its goals and is kept on a sound financial footing.

So if you’re considering your career options in sports business management, this guide is the perfect place to start. We’ll cover all the basics, including the kinds of qualifications you should aim to get, the types of job that will generate the highest salaries, and why insurance is vital if you decide to start your own business.

What is sports business management?

Just about anything related to sport that doesn’t directly relate to competing, coaching or training could be considered sports business management. This could be general business administration duties like finance and contracts, media and publicity services such as marketing and PR, or co-ordination of sports events themselves.

However, it’s also important to remember that working in sports doesn’t necessarily have to mean being involved at the very highest professional levels. There are plenty of job opportunities in helping amateur sports thrive and operate smoothly, as well as work in more general fitness areas such as managing gyms, studios and training centres.

Which courses are best for sports business management?

Sports management can be a highly specialised field to work in, and so it’s strongly recommended that you gain the highest level of qualification that you can. This will help you be considered more favourably when applying for jobs, and prove that you have the skills and expertise to work at a good level.

Ideally, you should look at gaining a sports business management degree, as competition for jobs is likely to be high and graduates are more likely to be preferred. Typical bachelor courses you can look at include Sports Management, Sports and Leisure Management and Sports Event Management. If you want to focus your skills with a particular type of work in mind, you can go on to take a masters degree in the likes of International Sports Management, and Sport Policy, Management and International Development.

There are a number of universities and higher education institutions across the UK that offer these courses.

Which sports business management jobs pay the best?

Putting aside the people in professional sports who earn the really big bucks, there are lots of more achievable career options through which you can earn more than respectable amounts of money. Of course, how much you can earn depends on many things: your skills and experience, where you live, your ability to attract and retain clients, and how hard you’re willing to work to get what you want.

However, generally speaking, these career options can be very well-remunerated:


Anyone who gains a reputation for staging and promoting successful sports events is normally highly sought-after by similar events, who see the value in investing in someone who can maximise their profitability.


As long as there are sportspeople, there will be injuries. And as long as there are injuries, there will be a need for therapists to help them recover. There are lots of different types of physical therapy and rehab career options, focusing on different areas of the body.

Personal training

Delivering one-to-one PT sessions is a very broad career option, from helping people lose weight in the gym, to refining the peak performance of professional sportspeople. In the case of the latter, and other high net worth individuals, the best personal trainers around can command sizable fees.



If you can’t find the right job that suits your career and financial ambitions, then why not strike out on your own and start a sports business. With a sound knowledge of sports business management, you can apply your know-how to running gyms, sports clubs or sports-related service companies. Your earning power is potentially limitless, depending on the growth of your business.

The importance of getting sports business insurance

Every business needs good insurance cover, and the world of sports is certainly no exception to that. Insurance protects you against financial loss should the unforeseen happen, and the sports industry is one where the unforeseen can and will happen on a regular basis.

For example, you could suffer an accident or injury yourself that renders you unable to work. Or you might make a mistake that leads to one of your customers, or a member of the public, getting hurt. And aside from people, there’s always the risk that your buildings, assets and equipment are lost, damaged or stolen, disrupting your normal business operations.

In all of these cases, the knock-on impact can be severe, but insurance cover can kick in to make sure you aren’t left out of pocket and your business can continue to thrive.

Get sports business insurance with Protectivity

At Protectivity, we’ve been helping budding sports business managers like you with comprehensive insurance cover for more than two decades. Our policies for sports businesses encompass Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Equipment Cover and Employers’ Liability, so that you and your business are protected if something happens.

Whether you’re self-employed or branching out with your own business, we can help you grow and progress your career with confidence. Take a closer look at our sports business insurance policies.

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