What Is the Sport Business Industry?

Everyone has memories of great sports moments. Who can forget the baseball going between Bill Buckner’s legs to give the Mets a stunning win in the 1986 World Series?

Tom Brady’s magic and longevity on the football field, remarkable soccer comebacks, and so many more sports memories gave us so much joy.

Behind those memories is a massive business. The sport business industry is worth about $1.1 trillion. That’s right, trillion.

What makes up the business behind the unforgettable moments? Read on to learn what the sports business industry is and how you can make a career in sports.

What Is the Sport Business Industry?

The sports business industry is pretty much anything that ties money to sports. Sports is a big, big business.

It includes professional sports leagues, such as the NFL, NHL, La Liga, NWSL, MLB, MLS. These are just a few sports business examples. Many sports have their own professional and semi-professional leagues in countries throughout the world.

They make money through sponsorships, ticket sales, concession sales, and merchandise sales.

The large professional leagues like the NFL, Premier League, and La Liga make the majority of their money through television rights.

Broadcasters in each country have to negotiate with leagues to license the broadcasting rights. That license enables a broadcaster to show games and events in that specific territory.

The NFL has broadcasting deals with Amazon, CBS, Fox, ESPN, and ABC to broadcast games to American audiences for the next 10 years. The deals are worth about $100 billion.

The league has other deals with Sky Sports and European broadcasters for the right to broadcast games in the UK and other parts of Europe.

The Premier League may command broadcasting rights for as high as $3 billion over nine years. They’ll get that just for the rights to broadcast in the United States.

Don’t forget about the publishing industry. Think of the magazines, websites, and podcasts devoted to sports. These publications need photographers, writers, and on-air talent.

People love to bet on sports as well. Sports betting is just getting started in the United States but has been legal in countries throughout the world.

Sports betting brings in billions of dollars to casinos and sportsbooks. New Jersey just hit $1 billion gambled on sports in a single month.

Fan Participation in the Sport Business

Another area of the sport business is gaming. eSports is becoming a hot property as fans emulate their favorite players in sports games.

Finally, there’s the recreation aspect of sports. People purchase bicycles, sporting equipment, and gear to participate in their favorite sports.

Many of these sports have competitions, such as master’s rowing or swimming events. These events generate income for the main organization that puts on the event.

Believe it or not, some of the biggest sporting events are run by nonprofit organizations. FIFA, which puts on the World Cup, is a billion-dollar nonprofit organization. So is the NCAA, which oversees collegiate athletics in the United States.

Getting Involved in the Sport Business

Do you think that working in the sports industry is an exciting prospect? The sports industry is huge, and you can take any skillset and apply it in the sports business.

The first thing to do is to decide how you’d like to get involved in sports. You can be an active participant as a player, coach, team owner, or go behind the scenes.

Pick the sport that you want to get involved with and at what level. For instance, you might want to own a racing team, but don’t have billions of dollars to start a Formula 1 team.

You can start a karting team to get kids involved in the sports and develop their racing skills. There are countless sport business ideas that you can use.

The next step is to develop your skills. Sport business management skills are a must. There are so many parts of the business of sports, you need to know each part no matter what your chosen career path is.

Even if you’re an athlete, you need to develop your business skills along with your athletic talents. You need to know about contracts, sponsor relations, and licensing image rights on top of your athletic skills.

Start From the Bottom

One of the best ways to get involved in sports is to start from the bottom and work your way up the ladder. There are probably teams in your local area that need volunteers, coaches, or sport business management help.

For instance, if your passion is basketball and you want to become a general manager of a team, find a local team to run.

You’ll be able to handle every aspect of the team. This gives you a broad range of knowledge to apply with other teams.

Learn about managing sports injuries too. According to, you should always have a plan in place to notify parents and get the young athletes the attention and care they need.

You can do the same thing as a coach. You’ll have to learn about athlete management, psychology, tactics, and motivation.

Grow your network within the sport business industry as you develop your skills. Attend sports industry events in your area. Show that you’re eager to move up the ladder and grow your skills.

Your network becomes the most powerful asset you have. Use your network to obtain other sport business jobs until you get your dream job at an elite level.

Navigating the Sport Business Industry

The sport business industry is enormous. It’s so much more than athletes performing at their best. There’s everything from broadcasting to sponsorship.

There are so many ways to get involved in sports. Learn as much as you can, grow your skills, and network with people in the industry.

You’ll be able to reach your dream, no matter how you want to get involved in sports.

Check out the Jobs and Career section of this site for more helpful career tips today!

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