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Analysis of jobs in the Indian sports industry

History and growth

The Sports Management Industry in India is growing at approximately 15% per annum (source: DataPOWA) which is far more than the average growth rate of 5% worldwide. While globally, the sports industry contributes to 0.5% share of the GDP, in India it contributes only 0.1% to the GDP. According to a FICCI report published in 2018, India would require an estimated 4.3 million sports professionals working in the industry by 2022. To highlight the growing demand, IPL over the last decade has created employment opportunities for and also created employment for over 15000 professionals. Although the sports industry’s contribution to employment in India is just 0.5% as compared to 2-4% in developed countries, the number is estimated to rise rapidly in the coming years. Back in 2010, there were only a meager of colleges in India that offered sports management and related courses, and interested students mostly opted to study abroad. But now there are over 70 colleges/universities offering sports management or sports related courses right from degree to masters to diploma level.

Sports participation Vs Career option

While at least 50% of sports-crazy individuals actively participate in sports or choose sports as a career in other parts of the world, only 1 % out of 62 % youngsters ‘interested in sports’ end up choosing sports as a career option in India. It’s 35% in the USA and 30% in China. A area India needs to address deeply on converting participation interest into career option.

Funding for various sports by the government

Recent job trends in sports industry

Job searches for sports-related opportunities like personal trainer, sports centre manager and nutritionist have risen steadily in the country but postings for such positions have been gradually declining over the years, according to a report.

Searches for jobs related to sports have gone up by 11 % while postings for these jobs went down by 25 % in the period, according to a report by global job site Indeed.

Job seekers in the age group of 21-25 years showed the most interest in sports-related jobs, making up almost half (45 %) of all clicks in the category.

Different sports jobs available in India

Here is a list of jobs in the sports industry which are currently active:

Sales & Marketing

  • Sports marketing

  • Sponsorship sales


  • Match day operations

  • Venue operations

  • Hospitality

  • Ticketing

  • Ground staff

  • Spectator/Crowd management

  • Team manager


  • Social media manager

  • Communications officer

  • Content writers

  • Photographer

  • Videographer


  • Sport Lawyers


  • Data analysts

  • Video analysts

  • Statistician


  • Merchandising

  • Goods procurement

Broadcast & Media

  • Producer

  • Broadcasting and media rights


  • Scouting

  • Player management/talent representation

  • Development officer

  • Physical education teachers

  • Sport lecturers

  • Trainers/Physios

  • Sport center managers

  • Nutritionists/Dieticians

Leading sports jobs market by state

Metros cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have contributed big in creating sports jobs in India. With various factors like ease of business, professional sport clubs, fitness centers, schools/colleges, events, sports infrastructure, e-commerce boom helping drive the growth. Here's a state wise break-up of the jobs market share -

Delhi - 24%

Maharashtra - 20%

Karnataka - 15%

Telangana - 8%

Tamil Nadu - 8%

Sports courses offering colleges in India

As per the latest data from educational websites, India has more than 78 colleges/universities that offer various sports related courses ranging from diploma to masters. Private colleges form the majority of the colleges offering courses with 80%. Various colleges/universities have also introduced tie-ups with renowned foreign universities to bring the courses to the Indian students.

Some of the well known public or government aided colleges are:

  • LNIPE, Gwalior

  • LNCPE, Trivandrum

  • National Sports University Society, Imphal

  • Swarnim Gujarat Sports University, Gujarat

  • Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University, Chennai

Few of private colleges offering sports related courses:

  • National Academy of Sports Management (NASM), Mumbai

  • International Institute of Sports Management (IISM), Mumbai

  • Global Institute of Sports Business, Mumbai

  • Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), Kolkata

  • Symbiosis School of Sports sciences (SSSS), Pune

  • Institute for Sports science and technology, Pune

  • IIT Rohtak

  • DY Patil Management college, Mumbai

Majority of the students choose to study sports related courses post their graduate studies with Masters (MSc.) and MBA in sports management being the most popular degrees.

Average length of the various program in India:

Bachelors - 3 to 4 years (Full-time)

Masters - 2 years (Full-time)

Doctorate - 4 to 5 years (Full-time)

Women participation in sports jobs in India

Average Female participation in full-time sports jobs in India is below 30% (based on LinkedIn research from 5 companies in the field of sports and entertainment). In Europe, it is 46% of females when it comes to gender balance in employment and in Australia it is 48%.

Preferred jobs by Women in the field of sports:

  • Sports content writers

  • Nutritionists

  • Marketing

  • Operations

Generic organisation structure of a sports team

A full fledged sports organisation can employ up to 30 people in a full-time role and similar number in part-time positions during matches and events.

A comparison view at the Employment Generated in Australian Sports Industry

The employment level in the Sports and Physical Recreation Activities industry has risen substantially over the period between 2000 and 2019, however in 2020 employment levels dropped by almost half, to 61,200. Projections predict a rise in employment levels, to 133,900 by 2024. The Amusement and Other Recreation Activities industry has followed a similar pattern, with a gradual overall rise between 2000 and 2019, followed by a steep decline to 6,000 in 2020, with projections indicating a rise to 22,100 by 2024.

Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials make up 16% of the Sport and Recreation Activities industry workforce (excluding Horse and Dog Racing Activities) with Sportspersons accounting for close to 7%. Employment levels for both occupations are projected to increase between 2019 and 2024, by approximately 16% and 13% respectively.

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections

  • By AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION 3 digit industries, employment projections to May 2024

  • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities

  • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities.

  • By AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND STANDARD CLASSIFICATION OF OCCUPATIONS, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2024

    • 4523 Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials

    • 4521 Fitness Instructors

    • 4524 Sportspersons

    • 1491 Amusement, Fitness and Sports Centre Managers

    • 3623 Greenkeepers

    • 5421 Receptionists

    • 6211 Sales Assistants (General)

    • 4522 Outdoor Adventure Guides.

No skilled occupations are currently in shortage in the sports and recreation industry.

  • In the 2011 Census 95,590 persons were employed in sport and physical recreation occupations, an increase of 17% compared with the 2006 Census.

  • Of those employed in a sport and physical recreation occupation, the largest numbers were reported for Fitness Instructors (21,514 persons), Greenkeepers (11,345 persons) and Swimming Coaches or Instructors (10,281 persons). Since 2006, the number of Fitness Instructors and Swimming Coaches or Instructors increased by 36% and 26% respectively, while the number of Greenkeepers fell 7%.

  • There were more males (58%) than females (42%) employed in sport and physical recreation occupations. Males strongly dominated the Footballer (99%), Gunsmith and Boat Builder and Repairer occupations (both 98%), as well as the Greenkeeper (97%) and Golfer (95%) occupations. Females predominantly worked as Horse Riding (85%), Gymnastics (81%) and Swimming (76%) Coaches or Instructors.

  • The 20–24 year age group had the largest number of persons (18%) employed in sport and physical recreation occupations, of which 23% were Fitness Instructors.

  • The most common sport occupations held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons are Greenkeepers (22%), Fitness Instructors (11%), Recreation Officers (9%) and Footballers (8%).

  • Less than half (40%) of persons, whose main job was in a sport and physical recreation occupation, were employed in a Sport and Physical Recreation industry. Of these people, the most popular industry was Health and Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation (27%).

  • The private sector engaged over 90% of persons employed in sport and physical recreation occupations.

  • Just over half (55%) of persons employed in sport and physical recreation occupations worked part-time (i.e. less than 35 hours), with 30% working 15 hours or less.

  • The majority of persons employed as Sport Umpires (96%), Swimming Coaches or Instructors (90%) and Gymnastics Coaches or Instructors (85%) worked part-time. Conversely, the majority of persons employed as Horse Trainers (81%) and Boat Builders and Repairers (80%) worked full-time.

  • In line with the prevalence of part-time work, over half (60%) of persons employed in sport and physical recreation occupations received a total weekly income between $200 and $999, while 20% received $1,000 per week or more and 19% received less than $200 per week.

  • More than 60% of Footballers who reported their main job as being a sport and physical recreation occupation, received a weekly income of $1,000 or higher. In comparison, 86% of Sports Umpires and approximately half of the Hunting Guides and Gymnastics Coaches or Instructors received less than $200 per week.


Indian population is one of the youngest in the present world and is considered to be a sports enthusiast population owing to the large interest of youth. While at least 50% of sports-crazy individuals actively participate in sports or choose sports as a career in other parts of the world, only 1 % out of 62 % youngsters ‘interested in sports’ end up choosing sports as a career-option. People are interested in pursuing sports as a career, across age-groups. Since every one cannot be a part of the on-field team, Indian youth is looking towards getting a piece of action from behind the scene by taking sports as a career option either as coach, instructor or even as administrators and managers, thereby ensuring proper development of the Sports Industry. The current growth rate and report by the Sector Skill council of FICCI suggest that there will be a humongous number of job opportunities available in the sports sector by 2022. However, being one of the most closed industries with respect to job opening and opportunities, entry into the Sports Industry is easier said than done. One needs extremely good skills and performance to get a chance in the industry.

In order to change this present scenario, various steps need to be taken at multiple levels. The Government needs to partner with foreign governments to enable transfer of knowledge, which is mutually helpful. Special programs can be arranged to introduce youth to world-class training in sports practices both on as well as off the field, in which they have the potential to excel but are lacking in terms of exposure. One of the best ways to break into a career in sports is with an internship, and most programs include them as a curriculum component. Working as an intern gives individuals a chance to earn practical experience while learning valuable information about a specialty area, whether it's managing a facility, reporting sports news, or providing health care for athletes. In addition, interns have the opportunity to network as they connect with players, coaches, administrators, and others in the industry. These relationships are essential when it comes time to find a permanent position later on. Here are some tips on landing an internship. Since India has been a hub of these pre-existing industries, an advent in the Sports Industry is boosting them providing more job opportunities. All in all, the sports industry in India has tremendous business potential, especially in the fields of marketing, management/sponsorship, exporting of goods or apparel, and sports medicine and tourism.

We would like to thank and acknowledge the effort of below individuals in putting together this analysis of the sports jobs industry -

  1. Paul - from BizBehindSports. Paul runs a sports community in India with aim of networking within the sports professionals and companies. He is currently working with Nimida sports. He handles their partnerships and business development.

  2. Ishaan Michael - is pursuing his studies in integrated course of Bachelor in Business studies and Bachelor in Law from KIIT(Kalinga Institute of Industrial Training). He is interested in sports law and keen to contribute his knowledge to the sports ecosystem.

  3. Aayush J - a sports enthusiast who is juggling between an IT Job ,by working as Business Intelligence Analyst, and passion for sports by pursuing masters in football Business.

We would like to collaborate or partner with organizations to create a bigger and impactful report on sports industry in India. Please write to us here if you are interested.


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