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People with a background or passion for sports may be drawn to some type of sports-related field. From coaching to management, there is a wide range of career choices available in the sporting world. Not all careers are created equally, however, and different careers require a different educational background. Two different types of sports-related careers are sports marketing and sports management. Here is an overview of some of the key differences between sports marketing and sports management. 

Sports Marketing
Sports marketing is the use of sports or athletes to market a product or the marketing of a team or athlete themselves. Companies like Gatorade and Nike have very clear ties to the sporting world, but even companies like Gillette or Proctor & Gamble create strong ties through marketing. In some cases, sports marketing involves recruiting athletes to be a spokesperson, while in other cases, strategic ties are created through product placement or sponsorships. 

If a company is large enough, they may even be able to obtain the licensing rights to a sporting arena or field, like Staples Center in LA or the Patriots Gillette Stadium. A career in sports marketing involves finding ways of using athletes or sporting events to create better brand recognition and even brand loyalty by aligning their brand with a certain team or athlete. While sports marketers may have some interactions with individual athletes, sports marketing generally involves more interaction with teams and management companies. 

Sports Management
Sports management involves directly managing the career of an individual athlete or a specific team. There are many different aspects to managing an athlete’s career, ranging from contract negotiation to negotiating endorsement deals. Some managers may choose to manage the career of a single athlete while others work for a management company that manages multiple athletes and may have several clients. 

Every team also has a management team that is responsible for the scouting, recruiting, hiring, firing, and trading of athletes in order to build the best team possible. Sports management is generally a very hands-on career and can sometimes be a round-the-clock job. As public figures, the personal lives of athletes can have a strong impact on their professional careers. Sports managers may be called upon to manage scandals, usher a client through a nasty divorce or break up or even get them into rehab while managing the potential negative publicity of such acts at the same time.