Baseball’s minor leagues serve many purposes. For one thing, they make it easy for fans all over the United States to see current and future stars without having to fork over an arm and a leg in cash. In doing this, the minors also broaden the reach of baseball and make it perhaps the most accessible professional sport.

There is another use for the minors too, and that is with sports management degrees. But wait, you may be asking, what is a sports management degree? Basically, it’s a way for anyone with a love for a sport (or sports in general) to work in management, marketing, organization, journalism, fitness, or one of many other areas. Former players, athletes who couldn’t cut it in the majors, and hard-core number crunchers alike can all flourish in the job.

The Minors Are an Entry Point

Ask someone who is considering a sports management career what his or her dream job is, and the answer is probably somewhere on the professional level. I’d love to handle public relations for the Atlanta Braves, or I’d be an agent for the top baseball players, are common answers. On the product side, someone might answer, I’d develop and market the best new Nike cleats.

How realistic are these goals? Actually, they can be pretty realistic, but perhaps not for a brand new graduate. That is where the minor leagues come in. Just like college baseball does, the minors serve an invaluable role in helping aspiring major league players and aspiring major league execs learn their craft.

Job Examples

Here are a few examples of how minor league baseball can help sports management graduates who have big goals. They’re also great jobs for someone to hold for life.

Journalist/Blogger: You can cover your local minor league baseball team. If you’re not being paid to do so by a newspaper or media outlet, there is nothing stopping you from blogging. Where your blog might become just one of a thousand with a major-league team, you can really stand out by covering a minor-league team. Competition is less, so let your words shine, and establish yourself as an authority on future baseball stars or on a niche topic.

Marketer: Minor league teams market. They hold wacky promotions such as speed dating night, and they lure fans to games by offering happy hours. If you’re a sports management graduate with ambition and creativity, helping with the marketing for a minor-league team could land you in the majors one day. Other marketing opportunities for minor-league teams may be in social media and public relations.

Trainer: You’ll need to prove your mettle before you can work on baseball stars. The minors provide a great opportunity for you to stretch your muscles and to prove you have the right stuff. Baseball players who make it big will remember you and vouch for you.

P.S. The networking you’ll get from any minor-league endeavor is invaluable. You’ll come into contact with baseball players past, present, and future, agents, coaches, fans, and more. At least one person should be able to aid you immensely with your career.

Not All Are Baseball-Related

Say the word minor leagues, and chances are that baseball is what jumps to mind. However, plenty of other sports have minor leagues too. There’s hockey, auto racing, soccer, wrestling, basketball, and football. So, you have plenty of areas to choose from, which is an especially good thing if baseball is not your preferred sport.

If you love travel, you can find even more minor leagues overseas. You’ll discover many of the same sports you would in the United States plus others such as rugby. The minor leagues are not just for players and fans. They’re for sports management graduates too.