As I am moving towards shooting sports I would like to shoot college, high school, even pro games. I understand away teams do often contract local photographers, but I have no idea what this pays. (I fully realize this is a tough question to answer)
I recently shot 12 college basketball games at a tournament, and offered photos to the teams after. I had asked $800 for a complete set of the photos. (4 games per team). I had some interest in a few photos but nobody took me up on it or even made a counter offer. I'd have shot the games for free for my own entertainment, so I'm not really out anything. But if I was going to make this arrangement before the contest, what would I ask? Was $800 too much?
BTW, I am OK at this. I've been a photographer for 30 years and have the right equipment. You can see my work from the tournament here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/103147492@N02/sets/72157638495325753/
Usually D1 teams have their own staff photographer and student photographers. Sometimes they go on away trips, maybe not so much the student photographers unless the game is within some reason of close, the team photographer is more likely travel to a good number of games.
My impression was when nobody goes the school papers just borrow shots that the school photographers at the away team took (for free) and if the team really wants some they'd just get some from staff photographers from papers in their state or maybe AP or Getty. I really don't see the likelihood for sales much.
At a tournament it's pretty often that both student photographers and staff photographers get sent.
I'm not sure, but MAYBE you'd find some scenario here or there, very rarely, where you could get sales. In the (very) few where it might be possible you'd want to act FAST and someone make sure you are on their radar ahead of time. But I really can't see it terribly likely to work out. I was involved shooting some big time D1 stuff and from what I saw internally I'm just not terribly sure you will have much luck.
For pro games sometimes the passes are super restrictive and you are not allowed to even give the photos away to any organization than the exact one your pass says you are shooting for. Heck, most of the time you wouldn't even be allowed to post them in that flickr galler you have (NBA can be ULTRA restrictive). And those were just NBA pre-season press passes.
Lower than D1 colleges probably don't care enough about shots to ever pay for away game shots and any school paper certainly won't have the money to buy them.
My pseudo-educated input.
You're somewhat lucky to be managing to get passes to D1 college stuff for purely just shooting on your own! And for tournaments that's really quite a shock. I don't see how you'd manage that for the NBA (then again I'm not sure how you are managing it already, so who knows).