The ultimate guide for graduates in choosing your ideal career in the sports marketing industry.

Marketing is about selling a product or experience to the public. Whether it’s a football match, replica shirt or hospitality package, how you convey your message is of key importance. There 101 different ways to market a product, and every brand is different. Sports organisations have the advantage of household names being readily available to them to sell a product, however, as a marketer, you must still be clever and original enough to ensure you are promoting the right product to the right people…

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Marketing director

You simply must buy the new shirt this season – the email in your inbox said to, right? That would be the marketing director and their team promoting their brand and product. A multi-billion-dollar business needs personnel in place to keep the money rolling in and help buy a new striker in the next transfer window. The marketing team will work in tandem with sponsors and stakeholders vital to the business to ensure their products are front and centre and available to the largest possible audience.

PR executive

Do you enjoy networking, talking to and meeting people, and generally try to convey a positive message? Then PR could be for you. A PR executive’s role is to manage the information between organisations, known as B2B (business to business) or from organisations, in this case, a club or governing body, to the press and general public. An effective PR executive will generate positive news for the organisation and have in place across the various forms of media, whether print, digital or broadcast. Another vital part of the job is keeping on top of daily news to see where your organisation is being published. If it’s a negative story, how do you spin it in your favour? The world’s biggest football clubs like Bayern Munich and Barcelona, and the world’s biggest brands like Nike and Adidas, all employ a huge army of PR professionals, ensuring they’re always in the headlines for what happens off the pitch as well as on it.

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Tom Jarvis, UCFB graduate and Media Officer at Blackburn Rovers

Brand manager

Sports teams are some of the most lucrative and recognisable brands in the world. The Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League, the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball and Manchester United in the Premier League are listed by Forbes as the three most valuable brands in world sport, with a combined worth of over $10 billion. Then of course there’s the likes of Adidas, Nike and Under Armour. The brand manager is responsible for the image of the brand, will know the marketplace it belongs in like the back of their hand oversee everything from the website to printed materials and to television adverts. You’ll be creative, full of ideas and be a great communicator – building relationships internally and externally are vital to the role.

Business development executive

Amy O’Connor is a UCFB graduate and business development executive at Premier League club Watford FC. Her job is to develop relationships with clients and acquire new business for the club through new sales leads. This can include sponsorship, selling matchday hospitality packages for high end clients and advertising space on pitchside perimeter boards. As a business development executive, you’ll be a high-level sales professional and will research companies and individuals to identify new leads and income for your club or organisation.

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Amy O'Connor, UCFB graduate and Business Development Executive at Watford FC

CRM manager

A huge part of working in a sports marketing team is collecting the data of fans (or customers) and potential fans. Their name, age, where they live, social media details – that kind of data. Then once you have it you can choose how to contact them and what information or product to provide them with. The CRM (customer relationship management) manager looks after this data and plans and delivers strategies that will drive fan retention, loyalty, and increased numbers. You’ll oversee the communication with fans to ensure their needs are being met and to find out what it is they want in the future.