What is a Career in Sports Administration

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

The main question you get asked after you graduate high school or even get through those first couple of years of college is, “what are your plans for the future?” I absolutely hated answering this question literally once a day for about four years, I’m sure I’m not alone either. Why I didn’t like answering wasn’t because I didn’t know what I wanted my career to be, I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a career. Marketing and Creative Communications of Collegiate Athletics. The look of confusion on family and friends’ faces when I said that prompted their next question, “what’s that or what can you do with that?” My answer: A game doesn’t just magically appear and run just because of the coaches or athletes. There is so much work that the typical sports fan has NO IDEA about!

Sport Administration


There are many departments when it comes to a breakdown of an athletic office at the collegiate level besides the athletes and the coaching staff. Let me break it down for you. 


At the top you have the Athletic Administration, this is where the Athletic Director and Associate Athletic Directors of each department rein. The departments have an Associate Athletic Director to oversee the Directors, Assistant Directors, Senior Associates,  Associates, Assistants, Faculty, Graduate Assistants, and Interns. 


Now let’s break down the different departments: 

  • Compliance – Athletic compliance involves adhering to the spirit and intent of the rules and regulations of the NCAA.

  • Sports Information – a type of public relations worker who provides statistics, team and player notes, and other information about a college or university’s sports teams to the news media and general public.

  • Student Services – For some schools, this involves working with existing tutoring services. For others, it means creating a tutoring program specifically for student-athletes.

  • Name, Image, and Likeness – to create a conduit that better connects our student-athletes to our community to help with NIL information. 

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – to foster and sustain an environment of inclusiveness that empowers us all to achieve our highest potential without fear of prejudice or bias. Commit to building an exemplary educational community that offers a nurturing and challenging intellectual climate, a respect for the spectrum of human diversity, and a genuine understanding of the many differences-including races, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, and religion-that enrich a vibrant metropolitan research university.

  • Development and Ticket Operations – examining the revenue streams for major college athletics, areas of corporate sales, development, and ticket sales clearly.

  • Student-Athlete Health & Performance – to create an integrated health and performance ecosystem, and to develop the next generation of elite performance professionals.

  • Sports Medicine, Athletic Training, and Sport Science – to provide state of the art comprehensive medical care services. These services will be provided using these four domains: prevention of athletic injuries, recognition, evaluation, and treatment of athletic injuries, rehabilitation and reconditioning of athletic injuries, professional development, and responsibility

  • Nutrition – provide student-athletes with nutritional resources and education to maximize performance.  We implement attainable goals within each student athlete’s performance and health curriculum.

  • Mental Health and Mental Performance – self-explanatory. 

  • Facilities – the sole responsibility of coordinating, planning, and supervising the operation of various sporting facilities.

  • Equipment – is responsible for all new and used athletics supplies of a team.

  • Finance – pretty self-explanatory 

  • Marketing & Fan Experience – is responsible for coordinating all of the marketing, communication, and promotion activities related to a college or university’s sports teams.

  • Student Life and Housing – also self-explanatory

  • Human Resources – This position will be responsible for developing and delivering integrated and inclusive people strategies through talent and performance management and organization and employee effectiveness, with a goal to deliver solutions and change management plans. This position will integrate all aspects of the employee life cycle for 235+ full-time staff and a high volume of temporary staff, interns, and volunteers in a fast-paced human resources function, to align with the mission and core values of the Athletics Department.

  • TV Production – another self-explanatory 

  • Student-Athlete Leadership and Development – A program focused on helping student-athletes in communication assess behavioral and communication styles, and gain leadership skills on and off the field.

  • Digital Strategy, Brand Creative Solutions, and Creative Communications – all things social media and branding 

  • Graphic Design – self-explanatory again 

  • Multimedia – pretty much a motion graphic designer 

  • Photo – photographer 

  • Sponsorship & Partnerships – negotiates all the sponsorships/partnerships for the department.

That’s a lot, and each department is essential in getting collegiate athletics where it is today. So next you are at a game or watching it on television, writing a mean comment on social media, or complaining about anything, know that there is an army of athletic staff standing behind those athletes on the field or court, seeing the hard work they are putting in and wanting what is best for them to succeed in their athletic career but outside athletics. I’m proud to be a part of collegiate athletics and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I hope this showed you a little behind the scenes of what we mean when we work in college athletics.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: