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Arkansas State University

Sports Are Big Business in Arkansas

Sports are a way of life in America. Of course, the United States periodically participates in global sporting events like the Olympics, but Americans sustain their love of sports all year, every year. American athletes are iconic in popular culture, and fans wear their team emblems proudly for all to see.

When it comes to choosing a career path, however, many people overlook the options in the entertainment and recreation industry. Perhaps the idea of hobnobbing with professional athletes seems like an elusive dream, or maybe we simply forget about all the people behind the scenes who make the sports industry possible. Whatever the cause, many people do not realize that a career in sports is fully within reach.

How Important Are Sports in Arkansas?

While Arkansas may not have a professional football team, the state has teams in nearly every other sport and certainly no lack of sports fans. Additionally, sports are popular beyond the professional level: “Amateur youth sports account for a surprisingly significant portion of the tourism revenue for Arkansas communities that host competitive sporting events,” says Trey Reid of AMP Power of Business magazine.

Arkansans are devout sports enthusiasts, so naturally the job market in entertainment and recreation is promising. In fact, in the first quarter of 2016 alone, employees in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry earned nearly $48 million. Employees in spectator sports earned more than $10 million, according to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. In 2015, the city of Little Rock took in $54.3 million in revenue from sporting events. If you’d like a piece of the action, a Master of Science in Sport Administration from Arkansas State University may be the right fit for you.

What Types of Jobs Are Out There?

When it comes to finding a sports job in Arkansas, there is something for everyone. Even if you are not an athlete or competitor, there is a wealth of opportunity waiting for you. Consider a career in coaching, scouting, refereeing, commentating, sports reporting, public relations, communications, sound engineering, photography, and legal services. If you are not sure which path is right for you, earning an MS in Sport Administration can help define your interests.

Graduates of an MS in Sport Administration program go on to find jobs in a variety of areas, including sports marketing and promotion, athletic directing, sports research, media relations, guest services management, special event promotions, and college or professional team management. There are many options when it comes to joining the sports industry in Arkansas, and an MS in Sport Administration can help you achieve your dream. You can even pursue a career in sports finance and fundraising or sports law and contract negotiations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agents and business managers of athletes in the U.S. earn an average annual salary of $97,560. Coaches and athletic scouts average $71,220, and the average for umpires and referees is $77,410 per year. If you are more interested in the public relations and management side of sports administration, advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers earn an average of $146,080 per year, and general managers and operations managers make an impressive $158,370.

The sports industry in Arkansas is lucrative. Based on the average wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sports industry professionals are compensated quite well. Choosing a career path really comes down to what interests you. With the right preparation, you can make your dream career a reality.

How Can I Prepare for a Great Career in Sports?

Earning a Master of Science in Sport Administration from Arkansas State University can set you up for success. While a bachelor’s degree provides a foundational understanding and general knowledge of one’s specified major, a Master of Science degree helps you build the skills and working knowledge for a specific field. At Arkansas State University, Sport Administration students receive guidance to navigate the intricate world of sport management.

You will take classes such as ESPE 6103 Ethical Issues in Sport, which will help you understand the moral and ethical issues facing athletes and professionals in the sports industry today. You will also become familiar with the legal aspects of sport administration in your ESPE 6113 Sport Law course. The ESPE 6133 Sport Finance and Budgeting and ESPE 6163 Governance and Operations courses will teach you practical skills for operating a successful business in the sports industry.

Toward the culmination of your MS in Sport Administration program, you will complete two seven-week internship terms that will give you hands-on experience in the world of Arkansas sports careers.

Joining the world of sports can be more than just a dream. You can become an integral part of the sports industry in Arkansas with a Master of Science in Sport Administration from Arkansas State University.

Learn more about the A-State online MS in Sport Administration program.


Arkansas Department of Workforce Services: Arkansas Employment and Wages by Industry, Private Ownership

BLS Occupational Employment Statistics: Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures

Sports: Games and Tourism

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