Sports Development Officer: Duties, Outlook and Salary

Oct 20, 2021

Community sports bring people together and promote a healthy lifestyle. Sports development officers oversee the introduction and functioning of sports within a community. Job growth in this field is expected to be much faster than average through 2029. Sports development officers fall into a career category that reported median earnings of around $118,000 a year, as of 2020.

Essential Information

Sports development officers find ways to incorporate more recreational and competitive sports within different communities. For example, some sports development officers organize youth sporting leagues within cities. Other officers may manage and promote sporting events for school districts or universities. Some professionals may also verify that city parks are equipped with recreational sports equipment. Aspiring sports development officers could pursue bachelor's or master's degrees in areas such as journalism, English, fundraising, public relations or communications.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree in public relations, English, journalism, communications or fundraising
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 9% for public relations and fundraising managers
Median Annual Salary (2020)* $118,430 for public relations and fundraising managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Sports Development Officer Duties

The duties of sports development officers often fall under the categories of sports management and sports marketing. Management duties may include hiring and training sports personnel, organizing fundraising events, writing public policies, and making sports development budgets. Marketing duties often vary based on different factors, such as available support staff. Some of the major tasks include distributing press releases, setting-up media interviews, creating advertising campaigns, promoting upcoming events, and speaking to the public.

Sports Development Officer Outlook

Currently, there are no job outlook statistics for sports development officers. However, sports development officers share a lot in common with public relations workers, especially those in management. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that between 2019 and 2029, open positions for public relations and fundraising managers were expected to increase by 9% (

The BLS attributes this expected rate of job growth to the trend of more industries becoming aware of how their public image affects sales. Essentially, organizations need to increase consumer awareness about their products, and they can accomplish this goal through developing their corporate image and improving public relations. The sports industry also appears to be following this trend, which may mean that sports development officers can expect to find more job opportunities.

Sports Development Officer Salary

As of May 2020, the BLS reported that public relations and fundraising managers earned median salaries of $118,430. Not all industries hire these workers for careers related to sports development. Nevertheless, some industries can be linked to potential sports development careers. Those industries - along with what they paid public relations and fundraising managers on average in 2020 - are as follows:

  • Colleges and professional schools: $119,810
  • Management of enterprises and companies: $150,260
  • Public relations and advertising services: $161,180

Sports development officers oversee sports programs for community youth leagues, public schools, and universities, among others. They may be responsible for advertising campaigns, fundraising and public speaking activities. Above average job growth is expected in this field through the next decade. Salaries in the lower to mid six-figure range have been reported for related careers.

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