Sports Managers have many interesting responsibilities within a spectrum of athletic endeavors. Simply put, sports managers are responsible for managing athletes and organizations. Some professionals in sports management deal directly with college and professional athletes while others have more behind-the-scenes responsibilities which center on the business of sports and entertainment. While many athletes who desire to stay in the realm of professional sports decide to pursue careers in sports management, it is in no way a prerequisite that sports managers must have played on a collegiate team or have experience as a professional athlete in order to begin working in the field.
The business of sports management after all is just that: business. While it certainly may benefit a sports manager to have been an athlete in the past in terms of being able to relate to young athletes or even broaden a network of business associates who at one time also played sports, a solid education in sports management will go a long way in showing a potential organization that the applicant is serious about his career. One of the best foundational degrees that an undergraduate can pursue is an online Bachelor’s in Sports Management. This degree will not only cover the latest trends in the sports and entertainment industry, it will also provide the student with a solid foundation of business theory. Here are three main areas of sports management that a professional can expect to focus on as a sports manager.
A sports manager may be responsible for being the face and voice of an organization to its fans and the media. Sharing information with the media through press conferences and planning how a team or program will utilize social media in order to promote is an important part of a sports manager’s job. A sports manager may shoulder the responsibility of planning fundraisers and initiating creative ways to grow a team’s exposure in the market. A good sports manager will use the assets of an organization to their advantage and perhaps coordinate meetings and photo opportunities for athletes and potential donors or offer free skybox seats for investors and their families. Sports managers understand the need for high-quality marketing in a fast-paced and global market.
Professionals with good leadership skills make excellent sports managers. With so many levels of management needed in sports because of so many people and groups working together, sports managers need to be able to communicate well and make decisions quickly for the betterment of their organization. Sports managers working for professional sports teams must be able to draw the best out of athletes and coaches by sharing the owner’s expectations and inspiring them to continue to find a way to win. While it is the job of the team’s coach to build a winning program through the success of his athletes, it is the sports manager’s job to make sure the coach and coaching staff have everything they need in order to make it happen.
The duties of hiring and firing within any organization can be a daunting one. Even with a glowing resume and impeccable references, a new hire may still struggle to find their place within an organization. Team chemistry has often played a major factor in the success or failure of a sports team for as long as sports have been around, and it is true for an organization as well. Couple that with the uncertainty of future performance, whether it is from a slump in the industry or low performance, and it is clear to see that it may come down to a sports manager’s need to let an athlete, coach, or staff member go in order for the organization to have a greater opportunity to succeed.
These are just three areas of leadership that a sports manger may find herself working in. There is a wide range of responsibilities for sports managers and many occupy positions outside of high school, college, and professional sports.