Corporate to Sports Consulting: The Mass Migration

There’s a trend taking place that is impacting the sports industry…

And it’s the historic rise of consultants.

This is interesting for a handful of reasons:

  • less talent at the corporate level
  • more help for startups/leagues
  • fragmented employment

Let’s dive into where this all began 👇

A New Standard In Employment

When 2020 sent everyone to remote environments, the emergence of consultants exploded.

Management consulting is a massive business…

Global revenues are estimated at $900 billion — with data showing the industry will cross the trillion-dollar mark before 2026.

sports consultants strategizing with a client

And the current economic climate is only increasing it…

Uncertainty gives rise to more demand for external advice — this makes independent consultants attractive as they are more budget-friendly and flexible.

A few other interesting stats worth noting:

  • 75% of those who left an employer to work independently say they make the same or more income than they did in their traditional job.
  • 58% of non-independent workers who began working remotely during the pandemic are now considering working independently moving forward.
  • 57% of independent consultants set their own prices.
  • 48% of U.S. adults are either currently working or have worked as an independent professional at one time.
  • In the UK, small consultant firms have grown at a rate of 18%.

So what’s driving this?

Fractionalization + Niches

Startups are more likely to work in unique market niches — making them more likely to require more specific consulting support.

For example…

A startup might not need a standard marketing consultancy, but rather a more tailored offering such as an “influencer marketing” consultant.

female athlete influencer

And there is an increasing number of individuals and small consultancy firms that are aligning with such demands.

Hiring new staff with specific expertise is expensive…

So it can often make sense to work with consultants who can provide advice and assistance at a much lower overall cost.

While those are the macro trends — there are forces at play in sports accelerating the consulting space even further.

Archaic Industry, Outdated Models

Sports federations can make being an employee and creating a diversified portfolio tough.

For example, let’s say you work for the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

top sports federations

They won’t let you invest, advise, consult, or engage w/ any other sports-related companies.


Sports governing bodies want you to have absolutely zero potential conflicts of interest (in part, this is why sports is such an archaic organization).

Look at:

  • golf
  • tennis
  • combat sports
  • college football

All of them have outdated models that need to be revamped.

This has created a vacuum of opportunity — and the Saudis have been the first to take advantage.

But “necessity is the mother of invention” which has promoted others into quick action. Proven consultants are helping to ignite the next revolution.

Hypothesis Behind Sports Consulting

The rise of consultants has further fragmented the sports industry.

But that’s potentially a good thing…

As it’s enabled emerging companies and leagues further insights into how to build faster and more efficiently. The blueprint lives in the hands of these consultants.

investing in sports

For example, many independent consultants are helping the next great leagues take off (compared to being an executive at a major power player like the NFL or NBA).

On top of this…

Look at all the new fast-growing verticals within sports:

A fragmented global industry, remote work, an increase in worldwide monetization, and more talented people running their own businesses have created a massive inflow of sports consultants.

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