Sports Management Graduate Degree FAQ

Our Sports Management Graduate Degree FAQ will help answer questions you may have about items like the difference between sports administration and sports management.

Can sports administration internships help with job placement?

Yes, many students choose to participate in an internship during their studies to gain hands-on experience in the field, discern career options, and network with potential employers which may help improve their chances of job placement.

Is there a difference between sports administration and sports management?

No, in general the two terms are interchangeable.

What is the average starting salary for a sports administration major?

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics the 2012 mean annual wage of agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes was $88,6201.

What careers could sports administration majors pursue?

Sports administration majors have a variety of career options, including, but not limited to: marketer, agent, athletic director, head coach, recruiter, communications assistant, media relations assistant, video manager, facility manager, event coordinator, food and beverage manager, customer relations manager, accounting manager, general law counsel, corporate sales manager, and public relations director.

What are some resources for people interested in a career in sports administration?

Those studying or working in sports administration can take advantage of the myriad resources for the field. Many organizations, associations, and sports marketing firms are dedicated to disseminating information about the field and the culture of sports administration and providing resources for students and professionals working in the field.

Organizations and Associations

Sports administration students should be aware of the prominent organizations and associations in the sports administration industry that offer valuable resources. Membership in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), for example, presents many great opportunities for students, such as internships, scholarships, conventions, awards, and a comprehensive online career center with resources and job postings in the many subfields of sports administration2.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is geared toward students and professionals in the sports administration field. The NASPE Web site’s resources include grant and career opportunities, information from the field, and national standards for sports and physical education3. The North American Society for Sport Management and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance may also be of interest to students4.

Major Sports Agent Firms

Sports administration majors are keeping their eyes on the leading sports agent firms in the changing industry. In 2013, Forbes named 13 of the world’s most valuable sports agent agencies, including the Creative Artist Agency (CAA), the Boras Corporation, Relativity, and Wasserman, among others5. These sports agent firms rank the highest in net worth, but sports administration majors should, of course, not exclude any opportunities with a firm that could be a good career fit. Two leading sports marketing firms are discussed below.

Nelligan Sports Marketing

Nelligan Sports Marketing (NSM) is a leading sports agent and marketing firm, and is both a great resource and a great firm to work for due to its small-business environment but large-scale influence. NSM, which is based in Little Falls, NJ, was founded in 1999 by TJ Nelligan. The firm has strong ties to sports administration education, as half of the employees at NSM have served in positions on college campuses. Nelligan Sports Marketing is a great resource for students due to its dedication to the improvement of college athletic departments and the career opportunities it offers6.

Octagon Sports Marketing

Octagon sports marketing firm was founded in 1983 as a sports marketing and talent representation agency. Octagon is an up-and-coming sports marketing agency to work for, and was named by Forbes as one of the world’s most valuable sports agencies7. Octagon has an online job search tool that is a great resource for students who are graduating soon and looking for employment opportunities (

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