Definition and Nature of Field
Sport management involves any combination of skills related to planning, organizing, directing, controlling, budgeting, leading, and evaluating within the context of an organization or department whose primary product or service is related to sport or physical activity (DeSensi, Kelley, Blanton and Beitel, 2003).
Sport managers carry out these skills in a variety of organizational settings, for example: college sports; professional sports; amateur sports including the Olympics, sport marketing and management firms; sport communications and news media firms; corporate sponsorship and advertising firms; sporting goods firms; arenas, stadium, and civic centers; among many others.
According to Parkhouse (2005), the most recent research on the economic impact of sport identifies it as a $213 billion-a-year industry, making it the sixth largest industry in the United States (“The answer is,” Sports Business Journal, p.23, December 1999). The wide range of organizational settings where sports occur means that individuals can select and pursue careers in the kind of work environment of their choice and for which they are best suited. Besides traditional sports, the sports industry now involves new alternative, action, and extreme sports (skateboarding, boogie boarding, ice climbing, snow kayaking, etc) and new professional sports, especially for women.
An upsurge in the numbers and variety of sports publications, sports related internet sites, and enhanced mass media presentation and exposure of sports events and activities is resulting in an increase in the need for individuals with special qualifications in sport communications/media. Likewise, growth in the number and variety of specialized sports facilities, an increase in sports tourism and adventure travel, the rapid progression of the globalization of sports, and the provision of sport related goods and services for diverse market segments, is contributing to the continued growth of the sports industry. These developments ensure that the sports industry will continue to rank among the largest and most diverse industries in the nation, thereby, sustaining career opportunities for the future.