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Career Opportunities in Sports and Leisure Management

Hub for Jobs | Find the Right Job Vacancies in Nigeria

Sports, recreation, and tourism are common grounds that everyone appreciates and loves. Regardless of ethnicity, race, and everything else that diversifies the human race, we all collectively enjoy sports events and natural aesthetics. This is what makes the industry so appealing to sports professionals and onlookers alike. Sports management covers everything from hosting athletic events to coaching athletes for events and managing fitness and leisure centers. While getting a degree in sports management may not be conventional, it can open a lot of career doors that will be both lucrative and rewarding for you.

What is the General Job Description for a Graduate of Sport and Leisure Management?

Graduates of sport and leisure go further to acquire a master’s degree to specialize in a particular area. This could be sports development, coaching, culture and event management, arts and culture, research, sports business, and so on. Depending on the field of specialization, sport and leisure management professionals are often responsible for officiating events, overseeing the affairs of fitness and leisure centers, teaching and coaching athletes, and providing expert advice to sports marketing agencies.

Career Opportunities in Sport and Leisure Management Include:

1. Athlete Development

Experts in this particular niche focus on helping athletes attain their peak height. They assist athletes in training and contribute to their overall physical and mental health development. This is where we have the roles of athlete agents, nutritionists, physiologists, fitness instructors, personal trainers, sports therapists, and so on.

2. Sports Law

Sport and leisure management graduates who specialize in sports law often learn about the rules and regulations of a variety of games, and the national and international laws guiding the practice of these games. Experts in this field work with sports governing bodies, and evaluation councils at sports events.

3. Coaching

Graduates of sports and leisure management also have the option to teach and train young athletes. They work as game coaches for various sports such as basketball, and as mentors and trainers at sports training camps and centers. Experts in this niche focus on enhancing athletes’ sports performance using the understanding and application of technology and proven techniques.

4. Games and Events Coordination

Experts in this niche of sport and leisure management oversee all the technicalities of hosting and promoting games and sports events. They often act as the link between fans and athletes, and the management of game centers and vendors offering relevant services. They ensure that games and sports events run smoothly, and both the athletes, performers, and viewing audience have a delightful experience.

These professionals work at tourism centers and game parks and are often contracted to host important sports events or may be part of the facilitators. They work as commentators, games and sports events hosts, and so on.

5. Athletic Coordination

Athletic directors function as decision makers in sports organizations. They supervise the activities of the management, staff, and athletes, and ensure that relevant rules and regulations are being implemented as directed. Everything from hiring coaches and enrolling more athletes in the club or facility, to buying necessary performance enhancing and training equipment is subject to their discretion.

6. Marketing

Sport and leisure management graduates who work as sports marketers function in the same role as regular marketers, except that they specialize in sports management and have built credible authority in the industry. Their focus is to promote the sports club or organization, build brand integrity, and generate more revenue.

These experts carry out their duties through digital marketing and traditional marketing. They organize promotion campaigns and navigate social media to increase their audience reach and number of engagements (sponsorships, partnerships, and attendees) for events. Sport and leisure management graduates who specialize in sports marketing often take on an extra social media strategy course for the knowledge.

7. Operations Management

Operations managers are like property managers and event planners of sports and leisure management. They oversee the maintenance of sports events venues and manage the organization of everything venue-related – ticket sales and seat reservations for example. They are always on call in case of emergencies, or oversights. This career opportunity is open to graduates of sports and leisure management who specialized in sports event management.

8. Contract Analysis

Professionals in this career path are responsible for evaluating the terms and conditions of a sports organization’s contract deals, to ensure that it is most profitable to the establishment. These experts have a similar job role as the human resource managers in other industries. This career opportunity is best suited for sports and leisure management graduates who specialized in sports law.

9. Guest Relations Management

Guest relations managers are like the customer service representatives of sports organizations. Their goal is to ensure that all fans and attendees of games and sports events have a positive customer experience. They are the professionals called upon to resolve conflicts that may arise between event participants, hosts or performers, and venue staff.

10. Corporate Partnerships Management

Sports organizations often work with affiliates to promote a product, service, or event for a fee. The corporate partnerships manager oversees these deals. They also oversee the partnership, sponsorship, and collaboration deals of a sports club, organization, or recreational facility. They communicate with the media and members of the press, influencers, brand ambassadors, and other channels for publicity. These professionals function as the media and publicity managers of sports management.

Skills that can be developed in these Career Opportunities Include:

Apart from the more obvious sport-related skills, a career in sports and leisure management will also help you develop the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Project management and analytical skills.
  • Great teamwork ability.
  • Marketing and negotiation skills.
  • Budgeting and finance management skills.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Active listening skills.
  • Interpersonal relations skills.
  • Business planning and strategizing skills.
  • Relevant skills for health and safety.
  • Customer service and networking skills.

The beautiful thing about getting into a career in sport and leisure management is that you get to develop a blend of transferable soft and technical skills that are also relevant in administrative and management positions in other career paths.

Typical Establishments You can Work in with a Degree in Sport and Leisure Management Include:

  1. Fitness and leisure centers – gymnasiums, workout hubs, and game centers are the most popular places that hire experts in this field.
  2. Hotels and accommodation facilities.
  3. Professional sports clubs.
  4. Marketing Agencies for sports clubs.
  5. Rehabilitation centers for injured athletes.
  6. Companies in hospitality management that host sports events.
  7. Sports training camps.
  8. Agencies that serve as governing bodies for sports activities, events, and professional clubs.

Is a Career in Sports and Leisure Management Worth It?

The average salary of a person working in sports and leisure management in Nigeria is NGN280,000 per month. That makes it as lucrative as career opportunities get. The sport and leisure management industry is expected to grow and thrive even more in the coming days – it is estimated to be worth $501.43 billion by the end of 2022.

Although pursuing a degree in sports management is still hailed as unconventional in Nigeria, experts in the industry are heavily paid and greatly valued. If you have the zeal and passion for sports but not enough stamina to become an athlete, get a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, and start your career – you would love it.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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