You may be reading this from a tablet, laptop or phone while sitting in a sports management class. You might even be a sports management major. Ever wonder what kind of company you’re in?
Based on this link, there are 471 schools in America that offer either an undergrad or masters program in sports management. Let’s say that, conservatively, each program dumps 20 graduates with either a four-year degree or master’s degree in this discipline every year. That’s just under 10,000 men and women vying for a place in the world of sports business.
Now, if you’re trying to get a degree in sports management, I applaud you. Based on my research, more and more young NFL scouts have just such a degree (some a master’s, even). It’s not as common a degree for young agents, most of whom were pre-law in college, but I’m sure the number is growing. What’s more, I’m fully aware that not all young folks in these programs have the passion for football that I — and maybe you — have.
Still, I think it’s fair to presume that many, maybe most, are at least open to a career in football. Let’s say half. That means whatever year you graduate, you have to be better than about 5,000 people every year just to get an internship or entry-level job with an NFL team.
That means, in the business world, you’re a commodity. Generally speaking, unless your last name is Rooney or Kraft or you’re Jerry Jones’ nephew, you’re not a Ferrari but more of a Ford Taurus. Your job is to make yourself unique.
Hey, that’s not impossible. This blog is about going for it and trying to beat the odds, and I’m hopeful that our daily read gives you an edge in that endeavor. But you’re gonna need to help yourself along by volunteering with a team, networking until you find that key mentor, or doing something that separates you from the pack. Here’s an interesting thought.
As I think I’ve mentioned in this space, I attended a conference on ‘EntreLeadership’ hosted by Dave Ramsey earlier this month. He said you don’t have to ‘kill’ the competition, or ridicule them, or even hate them to beat them. I’m paraphrasing, but he said you’re going to be smarter than about a third of your competitors, and you’re going to be able to outwork another 50 percent of them, so that leaves only about 20 percent of the competition that you really have to worry about. That really reduces the numbers. It doesn’t guarantee you anything, but your odds just got a lot better if you make that realization.
If you’re getting a sports management degree, good for you. I wish I’d had that chance when I was in college. But realize that attending the right classes and hearing the right lectures is a long way from guaranteeing you’re going to get where you want to go.