How To Launch a Career in Sports Analytics

learn sports analytics

Moneyball made sports analytics a dream for many, Sports Management Worldwide is making it a reality for you

Data driven decision making.

This terminology is common vernacular to anyone in the typical business world. Decisions on marketing efforts, revenue projections, advertising, supply lines – are all rooted in data mining.

No guesswork, no assumptions, no hypothesis, important business decisions are made only after crunching and interpreting the available data.

The same decision making model is becoming more and more evident in the sports world, but it isn’t just in team operations, where dynamic ticket pricing and merchandise sales rule the day, it’s in actual talent evaluation.

“The frontier of analytics is just beginning and there is no end in sight to the potential,” says Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, Sports Management Worldwide President and Founder. “With the explosion in sports in regards to gambling, fantasy, gaming industries, and media companies, the need for sports analysts is also exploding. Analytics is a lucrative field with unlimited opportunities.”

How To Launch a Career in Sports Analytics #sportsbiz Click To Tweet

Careers in Sports Analytics Have Staying Power

While the movie Moneyball helped make sports analytics mainstream, the reason this evaluation tool isn’t a passing fad is because the results match the hype. Careers in research and analytics are in their boom cycle, primarily because there is the perfect mix of high demand and low supply.

“More and more teams, collegiate and professional, are developing and expanding their in house analytic staff,” explains Lashbrook, an active NFL agent having represented over 100 clients. “For example, there are 302 NCAA Division One Baseball teams. Of those 302 teams, about ten has someone on staff who does Baseball Analytics. Our research shows, that most all teams will employee at least one Analyst in the very near future.”

And that is just a sliver of the potential market, there are a growing number of opportunities in professional sports leagues of all sports, third-party consultants including fantasy and gambling, and collegiate programs.

Sports analytics is no longer just a baseball specific process.

Our research shows, most teams will employee at least one Sports Analyst in the near future Click To Tweet

What Do You Do When Demand Outweighs Supply?

Collegiate programs are inherently slow to respond to career changes. They wait and wait, before developing pertinent studies around an emerging field. Colleges lack agility.

Students interested in analytics have been trying to create their own curriculum for years, wondering, “If I major in sports management and minor in statistics…will that be enough?’

Maybe it will, but there is a better answer out there, a more targeted education focused on the specifics of sports analytics.

Welcome to the Future of Sports Analytics Education

Sports Management Worldwide, a trend-setting organization with years of sports industry experience, is offering five different 8-week courses in sports analytics. Each class offering is specific to an individual sport:

Creating sport specific classes, rather than one ubiquitous class was important to Dr. Lashbroook, “just like every game has a different set of rules, every analytics course has a specific and different set of applications.”

The need for sports analysts is exploding, this is a lucrative field with unlimited potential Click To Tweet

How Do These Sports Analytics Classes Work?

Classes are online and available no matter where you live, and unlike many online programs, class sizes are limited to enhance learning and networking.

These aren’t your traditional webinar where someone on your screen talks while you sit back and listen. Instead, it’s more like a group of students sitting together at a virtual conference table. Every student gets to interact by chatting and asking questions live via a microphone in every session.

But most impressive are the instructors leading the classes.

“Each 8 week online course has live interactive audio chats with the instructor, which we prefer to call mentors because they are so much more than a lecturer. We selected the most respected experts in each sport who currently consults or works in the major leagues,” explains Dr. Lashbrook.”They are the best mentors as they can relate to the students exactly how to disseminate objective knowledge about their sport, including sabermetrics, analytics, data science, and the statistical tools used by each individual team.”

Learn Sports Analytics from the experts and start working for a team #sportsbiz Click To Tweet

What a Successful Sports Analyst Looks Like

The first impression you get of a sports analyst could be that of a cubicle warrior burdened with thick glasses and a devilishly smiling Einstein poster hanging nearby. Sure, math skills and idolizing Einstein are important, but there is an even greater skill necessary to succeed in this growing field.

“Understanding the statistics is one part,” explains Dr. Lashbrook. “The most important part is translating the analytics to a Coach, Scout, or GM so they can incorporate it in their strategy. A knowledge of scouting in a specific sport is an essential foundation for success in any analytic career.”

This isn’t a career for introverts, this is a career for sports-minded people with an eye for scouting, who desire every advantage when it comes to evaluating players and team performance.

Have we captured your attention yet?

The Sports Management Worldwide Sports Analytic courses are perfect for individuals who are:

  • Seeking paid positions with sports associations, teams, & leagues
  • Looking to work for third-party vendors that consult into teams
  • Fans who want know in depth statistical tools to evaluate players and teams

The concern with any emerging field is that you will miss the window. By the time you become qualified for the work, maybe the demand will subsist. While there are never any guarantees, we can apply a data driven decision model to this as well.

“The opportunities in all sports in regards to analytics is growing so rapidly, the opportunities are unlimited,” according to Dr. Lashbook. “Technology has opened the door for infinite analytic advancement. Analytics is one of the fastest growing jobs types in the market according to our research. Teams are hiring now. This is a new career path with vast potential.”

The time to pursue a career in sports analytics is now, and now you know how to do it.

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How To Launch a Career in Sports Analytics
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How To Launch a Career in Sports Analytics
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Careers in Sports Analytics are one of the fastest growing employment opportunities in sports, but how do you become qualified... we have the answer:
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WorkinSports.com
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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

And if you want to know where our privacy policy is before you submit your comments below, it's right here.

Comments

  1. Good post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..

  2. Jeff Janson says:

    I have over 20 years experience in Business Developement, Sales Management, Marketing Management , Volume Sales, and Vendor Relations. I want to utilize my experience I have acquired in these areas and work in the sports world for a team in either the NCAA, NFL, MLB or NBA . KIND REGARDS -Jeff

    • Check out the listings on our job board Jeff -that’s the place to find what you are looking for! – Brian

      • Hey Brian, I have a couple questions for you. Could I have a min of your time to talk to you 1 on 1? Please let me know. My email is aramsow1@yahoo.com. Thanks

        • You can email me – bclapp at workinsports.com

          • Hi Jeff, thanks for this post Brian. I have started a new start up focused on sports analytics and statistics. I’m basically an athelete and I believe bringing in Analytics to sports will give a different all together. It helps to understand the insight within your game.

            Look forward to connect with you in LinkedIn.

  3. Hi,
    I am planning on studying MBA in Sports Management in order to get into the soccer leagues business in the USA. I was wondering whether receiving an MBA degree from the UK (FIMBA from Liverpool University) or from some of the great universities in Switzerland would outweigh receiving a degree in sports management from the US? I was thinking maybe the MLS would prefer to hire people who studied in a specific type of field (Football Industries MBA) than to hire someone who has a MBA degree in Sports Management in general… What is your opinion on this? Is a degree from Europe in a specific sports field better than a degree from the US? Which one would have better possibilities and future prospects?

    • Jawad, I’m sorry I can’t give you an honest opinion because I don’t have any first hand knowledge of the European programs you speak of, it would be irresponsible for me to have an opinion either way without knowledge. All I can tell you is even in the US, programs differ from place to place, so strudy the curriculum, make sure it fits what you need for your career, study their alumni, where are they now? Study their internship and placement programs – how do they help you? Do they have connections in the league you want to be in? These are all the questions you should ask no matter where you go! – Brian

  4. Miles Jones says:

    Hey, I am currently an undergraduate student and I am planning on majoring in Quantitative Science with substantive field in Economics as well as double major in Psychology. I want to do sports analytics but there seems to be a good amount of computer science involved with sports analytics. I wanted to try to do Behavioral Economics or a Decision science in graduate school but I am not sure if that will do me any good with sports analytics because of the computer science skills necessary for analytic jobs. I just need some guidance.

    Thank you,
    Miles

    • I’d reach out to some of the pioneers in sports analytics – guys like Dean Oliver in Basketball, Aaron Schatz in Football, Ari Kaplan in Baseball – get their take on your best approach to the industry, they have the intimate knowledge and expertise and are pretty responsive via twitter/social media – Brian

  5. Alex Lee says:

    Hello Brian,

    Great post. I’m currently a rising senior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Business Analytics with a collateral in Information Management. After I graduate in May of next year I’m looking for a sports analytics position within a sports team (preferably in the hockey industry). Will it hurt my chances that I do not have a minor in Sports Management in trying to obtain a position? Also if you know, what are the routes/steps I should take in trying to find an entry-level analytics job once I graduate? Or is it pretty much a lost cause if I do not know someone within a particular organization?

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Alex – you may want to look into Sports Management Worldwide – they have an online Hockey Analytics course taught by people directly in the hockey industry..they are well known for helping place people after completing courses too, so they will help you get to know people within teams etc. You’ll learn the business and the techniques of hockey analytics and make industry contacts – well worth it. – Brian

  6. Could someone tell me how much these courses are? I’m a senior in HS, heading to Houghton College in the Fall to play soccer. Right now I’m planning on studying Physical Therapy as well as Athletic Training. I’m looking to get into a sports related career after I graduate. Sports analytics is unbelievably enticing to me! Great article!

    -Ben

  7. Mike Hudec says:

    Hi Brian,

    I am heading into my Senior year at a D2 school in Ohio, and I’m majoring in Actuarial Science with a minor in finance. I’m on the baseball team, and Moneyball has inspired me to pursue a career in baseball data analytics. I think with my baseball passion and my background with stats and numbers would be great for me in this business. However, I am having a hard time finding out how to get my foot in the door to these sports teams. I was hoping to you could help me find some contacts in the field. I appreciate your help.

    -Mike

    • Contacts no — but you may want to look into Sports Management Worldwide – they teach a course on Baseball Analytics, in fact Ari Kaplan teaches it and he is one of the pioneers of the industry. Take the class, learn the ropes, and they’ll help you network and make contact with teams. – Brian

  8. Hey Brian,

    I am an IT engineering student in India but I’m interested in a career in the sports industry. I have been through your blogs and after much research I am considering taking a course in Sports analytics (as my current subjects like mathematics, programming and database match with the course and I prefer it among marketing and PR as I love maths and statistics).

    The problem is that most of the courses I have found are of sports management. I could only find Indiana University which offers a campus course in sports analytics. Also I would prefer a campus course to an online one.
    So could you suggest some of the other universities which offer a course in sports analytics.
    Also should I consider taking a course in Sports Management first and then make my way into the analytics aspect of sports?
    Thanks a lot for the blogs.

  9. Hey Brian,
    I am currently an IT engineering student in India but I’m interested in a career in the sports industry. I have been through your blogs and after much research I am considering taking a course in Sports analytics (as my current subjects like mathematics, programming and database match with the course and I prefer it among marketing and PR as I love maths and statistics).

    The problem is that most of the courses I have found are of sports management. I could only find Indiana University which offers a campus course in sports analytics. Also I would prefer a campus course to an online one.

    So could you suggest some of the other universities which offer a course in sports analytics.
    Also should I consider taking a course in Sports Management first and then make my way into the analytics aspect of sports?

    Thanks a lot for the blogs.

  10. Yogesh Adik says:

    Hi Brian sir!!!
    i am basically do my master in Statisticsand also i have a good knowldge of computer science so is there i have a chance to become Sport analyst?

  11. My son is going to be in high school next year and wants to be a sports statistician. What high school courses would you suggest for him?

  12. Christopher Scott says:

    Hello my name is Christopher Scott and I am 42 years old and I am very interested in sports analytics. I am considering attending school at IUPUI and studying sports analytics. I would like some advise on this and a little feedback as far as this goes and if I am making the right decision. Eventually I would like to become a analyst for either MLB, NBA, or NFL team. Thankyou and I will be in touch.

    • I don’t know the IUPUI program well enough to say that their sports analytics program is good or bad. But I have a suggestion — look into the sports analytics classes offered by Sports Management Worldwide. They offer 5 different online courses in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey and Soccer analytics — much less expensive that IUPUI, and you’ll be taught by active participants in the leagues they teach. Plus, they are very connected so they help you network for jobs after you are done in the course. I’d try one of those classes first — you can always go back to IUPUI if you don’t feel you got enough out of it… but I don’t think that will be the case. As for if sports analytics is a smart career to pursue, I say yes… the growth in this area is rapid. – Brian

  13. Hi Brian,

    I’m pursuing MBA and wants to move into the sports analytics field in future. Will a certification in sports analytics be any good ? along with my conventional MBA program that is. If I land a job in the analytics field after the MBA, then will it help me in eventually moving into the sports analytics role. Thanks

    • Yes to all — a certification in sports analytics along with your MBA is a great starting point for a career. Also, getting a job in the analytics field could be a great way to eventually pivot into sports analytics. – Brian

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