Sports is a booming industry with a growing footprint, globally. In India itself, the sports economy could reach as high as $10 billion figure in the coming years, according to Star India’s MD, Sanjay Gupta. The government and citizens are waking up to the importance of sports. The Indian government, on their part, have launched copious schemes like the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) to help increase the country’s performances at the Olympics and other world events. The federal government has set aside a 1,045 crore of its budget for the ‘Khelo India ’ program in 2023. Apart from a career as an athlete, there are several other alternative career choices in the sports industry like the jobs of sports management, sports scientist, sports psychologist, sports sociologist, etc.
India has also witnessed many new sports institutes like Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences and Global Institute of Sports Business mushrooming, another indication of sports’ rising prominence in the country.
However, there still exists a prevalent misconception that a career in sports is only limited to athletes and sports professionals. Here we list down top 5 most rewarding jobs in sports for non-athletes.
1. Sports Scientist | Non-athletic jobs in Sports
Sports science is an amalgamation of many different disciplines combines branches of science, including physiology, psychology, biomechanics, and nutrition, with business and management. It focuses mainly on the scientific principles behind fomenting exercise performance.
The most common domain for sports science professionals is the sports performance industry. Year after year, as the competition to achieve new records in different sporting disciplines gets intense, the demand for deserving sports science specialists increase too.
Particular job areas for sports scientist are as physiologist, fitness centre manager, sports motivator, sports administrator, coaching, sports therapy, event and activities management.
Salary: According to indiaeducation.net, an average sports scientist can expect anywhere between ₹ 40,000 and ₹ 1,00,000 per month. If you count some of India’s best athletes as your clients, you could expect that figure to rise to over ₹ 3,00,000.
2. Sports Management
Are you passionate about sports but are also seeking a high paying career? Look no further. If there is a new MBA course worthy of intense interest, it is Management in Sports Science.
Sports management allows one to participate in the thrilling world of sports purely from a business standpoint. What these professionals do is to learn the fundamentals of management and try to fit them in the field of sport. They look ways in which to make the industry more beneficial and profitable for every person or organization involved.
The definition of sports has dramatically changed over the years. Today, it provides for a serious entertainment value and big business. As a result, the need for a manager specialized in sports science is at an all-time high. In fact, they are elemental to ensuring that the players, fans, coaches, and financial backers involved coexist in a peaceful manner. If you are contemplating a career in sports management, this is probably the best time.
Salary: The median salary for a sports manager is ₹ 3,50,000 per annum, according to idreamcareer.com. The figure may also go on to reach ₹ 10,00,000 based on experience and portfolio.
3. Sports Psychology | Non-athletic jobs in Sports
Sports is as much a physical contest as much as a mental game. An athlete needs to be fit in both these aspects to perform well in competitive games. That is where psychology kicks in. It is an interdisciplinary science that includes fields like biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology, and psychology.
Sports Psychologists study the psychological factors that affect an athlete’s in-game performance. Their primary job is to not only see to it that athletes are mentally fit but also to oversee smooth injury rehabilitation, career transitions, and team building.
Salary: According to idreamcareer.com, experienced Sports Psychologist can earn as much as ₹ 2,00,000 per month.
4. Sports Agents
If you may have watched Tom Cruise’s 1996 flick Jerry Maguire, you may well know how thrilling a sports agent’s job is. Sports Agent’s sole purpose is to negotiate contracts for athletes. Their only aim – to ensure their client gets the maximum monetary gains. They may draft the details of athletes contracts or negotiate deals with team owners and endorsers. sports teams as well as between athletes and endorsers. Agents also promote their clients to surge the athlete’s brand value.
As you may have known by now, sports agents need to have exceptional communication, negotiation skills although a degree may not be necessary. They should be a thorough itinerant as well.
A profession as a sports agent could be one of the most high-paying careers for many reasons. Firstly, they get paid in form of commission for the athlete’s deals. The average fee is around 10% of the deal. Secondly, and more importantly, an agent can work with multiple athletes at the same time.
Salary: Sports agents can expect to be paid anywhere from a few lakhs to even crores, depending on the profile and the number of athletes that they represent. World’s most successful agent is Scott Boras, who netted a cool $105 million last year. He has over 67 clients and last year, the gross value of his negotiated contracts stood at $1.9 billion.
5. Sports Sociology | Jobs in Sports
Being a sportsperson, one has to constantly travel to different cities and even countries over extended periods. As a result, athletes have to face initial challenges like cultural shock among others. Nevertheless, they are expected to adjust to the new environment and settle down faster in the new role by their new team owners. However, this may turn out to be a daunting task and one which can mar an athlete’s on-field performances.
That is where sports sociologists come into the picture. Sports psychology may be considered as a sub-discipline of sociology that focuses on social phenomena of game.
It takes into account the various socio-cultural structures and the patterns involved and how they affect an athlete’s performances.
Sports sociologists also research on other deeper topics related to the discipline such as effects of globalization and labour migration on sports processes, elite sports systems, the relation between sports and violence, gender, race, ethnicity.
Salary: In developed countries, a sports sociologist can expect to earn as much as $79,460 per year, according to work.chon.com.
Sports scientists use knowledge of how the body works to help athletes improve their health or sporting ability.
Sports psychologists help athletes develop strategies to deal with nerves, anxiety, self-confidence, concentration and motivation. Sports psychologists also support athletes in coping with injuries, and giving advice to coaches on team communication.
Sports managers are responsible for a wide range of organizational duties. From running a professional sports team, sports managers serve as the glue that links the athletes to the organization itself.
To become a sports manager, you are required to pursue a Masters degree in Sports Management at a well-known university or business school.