Sports massage is treatment given with the understanding, not only of anatomy and physiology but also, of the particular demands placed upon the body by the client and their specific sport or general day to day life.
Sports massage is done with the principal mandate of returning you to your desired sports or even just normal daily activities with the same or an even better level of function.
Sports massage will often utilise a variety of modalities such as remedial massage, trigger point therapy, cross fibre techniques and deep tissue work. Primarily, the difference lies with function. That is, returning you to your chosen activity in optimal functional.