When Mark Cuban speaks, people listen. Recently the Dallas Mavericks owner and co-host of Shark Tank, spoke negatively about getting a sports management degree.
We listened, we thought about it, and we disagree with the majority of his premise. Watch this short video to see how we arrived at our conclusion:
Video Transcript: “Why Mark Cuban is Wrong About a Sports Management Degree”
Brian Clapp, WorkinSports.com Director of Content: Mark Cuban has become one of the biggest names in sports, and I have to admit I’m a bit of a fan. I love people that are unabashed, that are unafraid to throw out their opinion, that challenge convention and make me think about my own perception of things – Mark Cuban does that. I often read his blog, which is aptly titled BlogMaverick.
Cuban wrote and article recently about how he thought a sports management degree was a complete waste of time, and I’ll link to the article here (editors note: the part on a sports management degree is near the bottom) and you can read it for yourself.
His basic premise was that there are a limited amount of actual professional teams, and a limited amount of jobs that they have and if you do the math there are more people graduating with a sports management degree than there are jobs available at teams.
He says, you should focus on getting experience in sales, a revenue generating job that will always have opportunities and an ability to get hired.
I think he has some flaws in his premise and he also makes some strong points. The first major flaw is that he is isolating the sports industry to just revolving around teams, but the sports industry is so much more than that, and a sports management degree can teach you so much more about the intricacies of the sports industry.
Think about broadcast media rights, agency relationships all the sort of things that are specific to sports. There are so many different avenues of the sports job marketplace – whether it is merchandising, publicity, agency, there is much more than just working for a team and much more that a sports management degree can prepare you for.
So there are more opportunities out there than Mr. Cuban is actually leading you to believe.
BUT, his underlying point about getting experience in sales makes a lot of sense. Revenue generating jobs are easier to come by, if your role can show that it makes money it is much easier for a business to say “we need that role”. If you talk to most executives across any facet of the sports industry, they will tell you the majority of their workforce is in sales. It’s just a fact.
So if you learn sales, you will have a much better chance at getting hired. But if you pursue a sports management degree, you are going to learn so many things specific to the sports industry, which is where you passion clearly lies that it is always going to line up with your values and who you want to be.
Sports Management is not a misguided major, despite what Mark Cuban says.