With sports turning into an ever-expanding, multibillion-dollar industry, career options in allied fields are also finding many takers.
Think sports management, sports law, or sports medicine — the number of subsets within the industry have opened up a plethora of opportunities for students.
Educationists in the filed state that there are many career opportunities in sports administration and professionals can fit into the roles of sports marketing, event management, sports data analytics, business development, digital marketing, and administrators, among others.
Many educational institutions in the country have introduced courses in sports business management, including DY Patil School of Management in Navi Mumbai, Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences in Pune, and National Academy of Sports Management (NASM) in Mumbai. The Indian Institute of Management in Rohtak, Haryana, also has a specialized program for experienced professionals, sports graduates, and sports enthusiasts.
Rupesh Mahindra, owner of a sports management firm in the city, points out, “The success of these programmes is co-related to the success of various leagues such as the Indian Premier League, Indian Super League (ISL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Premier Badminton League (PBL), Pro Wrestling League (PWL) and Pro Volleyball League (PVL). Apart from this, athletes also require managers on a personal-level and the professionals graduating from these courses could earn themselves a slot after gaining some experience.”
The curriculum at the institutes usually includes theory and practical experience. Education in the classroom comprises orientation with the industry, management concepts and assignments, students are encouraged to take up internships during sporting events.
The Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences recognizes the need for skilled sports managers. The institute’s director Nayana Nimkar shares that graduation in any stream and a passion for the sports industry is a pre-requisite for a person willing to join the course.
Nimkar said, “The filed is growing at a fast pace and it is a sunrise industry. Therefore, more and more areas are opening up. It is growing at a 100% rate since the last three years and it is expected to grow at the same pace over the coming years.”
The institute offers an MBA in sports management, a postgraduate diploma in sports technologies, among other courses.
Nimkar shared that another emerging and promising field is sports law. “It looks into contracts and the legal aspects of an athlete’s career, a sports team, a league and an association. It involves a lot of work on licensing and memorandums. It’s a great field to be in and India has a dearth of legal professionals focusing on sports law,” said Nimkar.
Most courses in sports management begin with an introduction to the field. As the course progresses, students can choose to focus on a variety sports-related subject such as:
With more people turning health conscious, a gym membership has become an inevitable part of urban life. In an effort to keep up with the trend, the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has started a three-month certificate course for gym instructors and gym management.
The course ensures that students pass out knowing about gym machines, diet and nutrition. “This is the fifth batch and we have an intake capacity of 50. Nowadays, there is a huge interest in the field and a lot of career options. We try to ensure that the student has knowledge about the human anatomy and about diet as well as nutrition. The most important thing is to make sure that the instructor understands a client’s basic needs, her/his illnesses and then work around it to create a suitable workout pattern. We equip students to do this,” said Deepak Mane, director of the Board of Sports & Physical Education at SPPU.
Rajesh Sapkal, club manager at Mayur Colony’s Solaris Sports World, said that the biggest, industry-wide problem is finding trained women instructors.
“There is a huge demand because many female members feel comfortable training under them. I think there is a huge career opportunity for women in this field. Secondly, trainers with international certification are good but they seek a huge salary. On the other hand, locally trained instructors tend to have shallow knowledge about the field. A university certification would certainly help improve the situation,” said Sapkal.
He added that apart from technical knowledge, the instructors should also be trained in social skills. “Sometimes, a client may be a slow learner or have a health problem. All this need must be taught to students, who wish to be instructors,” said Sapkal.