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Field Of Dreams

You don't have to be Mark McGwire to score big in sports. Here's how you can hit a home run with a sports event franchise.

In high school, you were on the football team, yet now you're sitting behind a desk wearing a suit. While shuffling paperwork, you pray for weekends and calculate whether a 7-iron will make the 14th hole. You had thought about a career in sports, but that seemed about as likely as becoming a rock star, so you opted for an MBA program.

Sound familiar? If so, it's high time you ditched the 9-to-5 life and returned to the world of team sports because, even if you don't play like Jordan, you can still make a career out of your love of sports. There may only be a few Jerry Maguires out there, but there are countless amateur enthusiasts waiting for someone like you to organize and guide their events.

With so many people stuck indoors during their working hours only to go home and watch TV after work, amateur athletes are itching to breathe fresh air and enjoy the camaraderie and friendly competition of team sports. "There's nothing better than sports to reduce the stresses and tensions of everyday life, personally and professionally," says Mike May of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. "We need physical release to bring balance to our lives, and that's where sports come in."

To make amateur sporting events more play than work for participants, sports event companies organize teams for sports like golf, softball, in-line hockey and billiards by providing venues for events, recruiting team members and calculating score sheets and handicap systems. Since this is such a hands-on, customer service-oriented industry, companies like American Poolplayers Association and Triple Crown Sports are franchising their services to provide better local service. "Many people gravitate toward a sports franchise because, in their minds, it has instant credibility," says May. "There's organization and structure."

If you know the pleasure of playing a competitive team sport, it's not a big leap to imagine how much fun it would be to bring games into the lives of stressed-out weekend warriors. So suit up and get ready to play.

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Field Of Dreams.

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