Whatever current skillset you have, the sports industry probably has an opportunity for it! If you’re passionate about sports, there are so many ways to break into the industry. Former athletes may decide to open their own coaching facility, restaurateurs may decide to launch a sports bar, and licensed massage therapists may decide to specialize in sports massage. The possibilities are truly endless.
By the end of 2022, the sports industry is expected to be worth about $181.47 billion with a projected growth of $272 billion by 2026! There couldn’t be a better time to turn your passion into a career. To help inspire your entrepreneurial journey, read on for a comprehensive list of unique sports business ideas. If any of these opportunities catch your interest, remember to keep all these options at your fingertips with our free Small Business Startup app—available for both Apple and Android.
If you successfully competed in college sports and are looking for a way to use your talent, consider sports coaching. As an athlete, you already know that it takes more than athletic ability to succeed in this arena. You must also demonstrate certain academic achievement while following a code of conduct. Only about 7 percent—or 1 in 13—high school students who participate in sports go on to play a varsity sport in college. As a sports coach, you can help students work toward the goal of playing at the college level. As of 2022, the average annual salary for a high school sports coach salary is $55,575. While these services are typically limited to wealthier families, you may also consider offering services pro-bono to one student each year as a way of giving back to your community.
Gym & Fitness Center
Opening a gym and fitness center is another great way to break into the sports industry. To get started, you’ll first need to secure a proper location along with basic equipment like barbells or any sports-specific equipment—for example, a baseball conditioning/training center will likely need batting cages and pitching mounds. The amount of space you need for your fitness center will vary greatly based upon whether you specialize in a certain sport or simply provide a place for athletes to practice barbell movements. In either case, you must come to this field with enough industry knowledge to position yourself as an expert. On average, it is estimated that memberships make up about 60% of a gym’s revenue. You must have excellent sales skills, and remember, it takes time to build up a steady clientele base. While this industry can be profitable, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Gym owners can expect to make anywhere from $17,000 to $180,000 a year.
Sports nutrition is one business idea where initial startup costs can be low. As a sports dietitian, you can work one-on-one with athletes directly from your home, a preferred gym, or workspace. By taking the work-from-home approach, you can cut out the overhead costs such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and property taxes. However, keep in mind that building a sports nutrition business isn’t easy! To turn this into a full-time career, you will need a steady clientele base with tons of referrals. However, if you are already working in the nutrition industry and you are looking to break into sports, this could be a wonderful opportunity. Like other segments of the nutrition industry, the average annual salary here varies greatly depending upon your clientele and experience. The average sports dietitian salary in the United States is $49,174. However, it is very possible for dietitians in this niche to earn as much as $300,000.
Break Into the Sports Industry Today
There are so many unique ways to break into the sports industry, and the above list is only the beginning. No matter what skills you have, there’s likely a way that you can use them to build a business in sports. Writers may choose to launch a sports-specific magazine while those with experience in sales may decide to launch a retail shop. Whatever path you take, remember to explore all your options in this incredible industry!
Launching your own business is an exciting opportunity, and we know you’re probably eager to get started. But remember, take your time to explore all your options. Yes, you always have the “opportunity” to start a small business, but sometimes, it makes more sense to invest in an opportunity that already exists and doesn’t require you to do all the heavy lifting alone. These are called “Franchise Opportunities.” To learn more, explore a few franchise opportunities in the sports industry, below!
If anything special catches your interest, remember to download the free Small Business Startup app to keep all these options at your fingertips—available for both Apple and Android.