25 Small Business Ideas for Athletes

25 Small Business Ideas for Athletes

To be successful in sports doesn’t always require being gifted with athletic talents.

Some of the greatest coaches weren’t the best players and some never played the game at all.

To that end, there are plenty of business opportunities that have a focus on sports that don’t necessarily require you to be able to run fast, shoot a basketball better than anyone, or even sink a 10-foot golf putt. But that doesn’t disqualify you if you are good at sports. There are chances to turn that talent into a lucrative business or even a brisk side business.

Business Ideas for Athletes

Here’s a list of 25 business startups for those who love sports.

Open a Sports Store

It doesn’t matter where you live in the country, people play sports. Taking the extra time to make sure your idea for a sports store fits in with the local culture is important. For example, offering beach volleyball supplies works better in Malibu then a ski shop.

Become a Coach

If you’ve been an athlete, you probably want to pass along some of your knowledge and experience. Getting involved coaching at the high school level usually means meeting some educational requirements too.

Become a Sports Blogger

Setting up a blog as your sports business requires very little capital. You can blog about the sport you were involved in or choose a wider swath. Insider information from colleagues with athletic backgrounds will position your blog in a good place.

Become a Sports Photographer

25 Small Business Ideas for Athletes
Some of these ideas will require you add to your sports background. Some sports photography jobs you might apply for will want you to use both manual and digital cameras.

Start a PR Business

Athletes have an insider scoop on relating to people who are currently playing games. Starting a public relations business to manage sports personalities is another idea. You’ll need to understand how to pursue deals and advertising while managing your client’s reputation.

Start a Magazine

Some of the best apps for creating your own publication include Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. You can monetize the publication by getting in touch with old colleagues and selling ads.

Open an Academy

If you want to help develop young talent, this is one way to go. Don’t forget to put together a solid business plan so you can get a loan.

Become a Scout

Looking for new talent for an organization in the sport you play or played in is another option. Be forewarned here. This business isn’t for a homebody since you’ll be spending a lot of time on the road.

Start a Sports Betting Website

This a a growth industry that can certainly be helped along with past sports experience. You’ll need to find the right kind of software and stay abreast of the requirements in the jurisdiction you’re setting the website up in.

Become a YouTube Trainer

Take advantage of how easy it is to make and upload a YouTube video. You might need to buy a professional camera but your initial cash outlay should be small. A series of short training videos can be directed to a website where you offer full courses.

Open A Gym

Remember that being a boxer is good if you’re looking to open a gym. However you’ll need some business punch too. You’ll need to learn about financing and pick a good location. Don’t forget about getting the right insurance as well.

Start a Sports Radio Station

The Internet makes this easy. All you need to get started is a computer, a good internet connection and the right software. If you’re looking to keep costs way down, consider the open source software available.

Start a Jersey Customizing Business

Everyone wants to wear the name and number of their favorite athlete. Make sure any and all suppliers are licensed properly. A good graphic designer is another must have for this idea.

Start a Sports Promotion Business

Before you jump into any particular niche, it’s a good idea to investigate the competition. Having a good business plan is a prerequisite. These cover everything from a target market description to marketing essentials.

Produce Sports Video Games

Game designers all say that designing credible people for their games is a big challenge. People with sports backgrounds are great consultants to help accomplish this goal.

Sell Sports Memorabilia

You should have the inside track here, especially in the sport you played. These types of trinkets are big sellers at events and festivals. Renting a table can be an alternative to opening a brick and mortar store or even putting up a website.

Open a Sports Bar

25 Small Business Ideas for Athletes
Build on the theme of the sport you played in or are currently playing in. One way to make the place unique is add memorabilia from your career.

Open a Sports Camp

Make sure to bring in other coaches and athletes so campers get a well rounded perspective. If you can get a local sports personality’s endorsement, all the better. Scale is important here. If your camp lasts for several weeks you’ll need a bigger staff.

Become a Golf Instructor

The capital that you might need to start a business like this is smaller than you think. An online golf instructor can easily upload videos to YouTube. You really only need a good video camera or a GoPro to get started.

Become a Swim Instructor

Your municipality more than likely has courses for you to take to get licensed. If you are an athlete looking to stay in shape, this is a great way to do that, make some money and help people in your community.

Become a Referee

Looking to put your knowledge of your sport to the test? Being a referee is one way of doing just that. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be accredited by the local sports organization.

Become a Sports Therapist

You’ll more than likely be a part of a larger team of trainers and doctors if you get on with a team. Of course the other route is to open your own business and serve individual athletes.

Become a Sports Equipment Manufacturer

If you’re going to start out small and have an online presence, make sure you offer multiple payments methods and discounts.

Develop Sports Apps

Building mobile sports apps is big business. Remember that the most successful apps are easy to use. They should have what’s called a finger friendly design too.

Sell Tickets for Sporting Events

Having the right strategy is important here. A pre-public release schedule for members is a good option to attract a client base.

Related reading: 51 Business Ideas for 2020

Football Practice Photo via Shutterstock

More in: 2 Comments ▼

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

2 Reactions
  1. Thanks for telling me that if I plan to open a sports camp someday, I’ll need a bigger staff to accommodate the long weeks of my customers’ training. I’ve heard that a lot of people want to lose weight nowadays because they want to get abs and muscular bodies, and I think that this might be something I can take advantage of in order to get a good income. I’m guessing that I’ll need insurance coverage for it, so I might try to look around.

  2. I never thought about a professional athlete opening a gym, but that would make a lot of sense. They would have the skills needed to know what types of workouts people need while training. I wonder if there are any athletes out there who have thought about doing this.