Lucrative careers in sport for non-athletes  

June 23, 2022

Many of us have a passion for sport, but only a few are sufficiently good at it to play professionally. That doesn’t mean you can’t forge a career out of what you love. These sports-related roles can generate a good income – and best of all, you won’t have to worry about finding some new direction when you hit 40!


Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. George Bernard Shaw’s famous epigram always sounds a little harsh, but it’s been proven time and again in the sport. Yes, there are plenty of players who go into coaching after they retire, but personal experience is not a prerequisite. Some true geniuses turned out to be very poor at coaching, while some of the great coaches, from football’s Bill Belichick to cricket’s Mickey Arthur, were very average players. It’s all about having a deep understanding of the game and being able to communicate it effectively – just like any form of teaching!


In years gone by, bookies operated in a shady underworld. these days, it’s all much more mundane, and the mainstream popularity of sports betting in the US means you can forge a respectable career in this rapidly growing industry. A little statistical knowledge will get you a long way, as even though odds are calculated automatically, an understanding of the theory will help you communicate better with customers. Being a bookie is a high-pressure job, so you’ll need to be able to keep your head. It’s also highly competitive so a little marketing savvy is also a valuable asset.


The media business has been through a period of dramatic change over the past decade, especially with the shift from print to online. But good quality journalists are always in demand, especially in the world of sport. The great thing about sports journalism is it is an area in which you can learn your trade informally and on your own dollar by blogging and guest posting. Make shrewd use of social channels too and if you’re good, freelance opportunities are plentiful.


Show me the money! If you think you’ve got a little of that Jerry Maguire magic about you, a career as a sports agent could be for you. Successful agents are typically from a business and marketing background, but that will only get you so far. You’ll also need great interpersonal skills and often a good deal of patience. A genuine passion for sport also shows through and can be the deciding factor in closing that crucial deal.

General manager

You might hear people complain that sport is more like a business these days. In fact, the pro sport has always been that way, and a good business needs a good management team to thrive. The only real difference in 2022 compared with 1922 is that there is more transparency and accountability today. But that spells good news for sports managers who can help their teams achieve success while paying proper attention to crucial areas of responsibility such as diversity, equal opportunities, and sustainability.

About the Author Elle Gellrich

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