If you love sports, you’ve probably dreamed of earning a living as a star athlete. That kind of career is, of course, extremely competitive; however, there are many other professions to pursue in this field, and not all of them require you to score on it! You may find that some of the most powerful positions you can hold in sport actually exist behind the scenes. So why not explore sports management careers instead?

As a sports manager, you’ll always be a key player.

What does a sports manager do?

The workload of a sports manager involves applying the principles of business to the exciting world of professional sports. Any informed sports fan can testify to the importance of smart business decisions when it comes to a team’s trajectory.

A sports manager plays a vital role in attracting support, overseeing athlete activities, and making the money that’s needed to ensure a team’s ongoing success. Managers are responsible for ensuring that athletes have the required resources to train effectively.

In this role, you’d work alongside coaches and recruiters to find and nurture new talent. Many sports manager duties fall under the category of human resources: hiring, firing and negotiating contracts, for example.

Every sports organization has a budget, and the manager is responsible for ensuring it’s used constructively and responsibly. As a sports manager, you’d be expected to bring in money through lucrative deals and spend it towards your team’s success.

Because sports managers play such an important role, they’re often considered one of the public faces of the organization. For this reason, they’re expected to participate in press conferences and interact with the media through interviews.

Remember, sports managers work in a range of contexts beyond the typical professional sports team. They can also perform these duties on behalf of athletic programs, educational institutions and even resorts.

What skills are needed to be a sports manager?

Sports managers are leaders, so they should inspire confidence in others. This requires excellent communication skills. To be an effective sports manager, you must be able to clearly and convincingly explain your plans to stakeholders at all levels.

Great leaders need to have strong instincts and processes when it comes to decision-making. Alongside a passion for the sport and an understanding of its mechanisms, you’ll also need business acumen to succeed in this role.

Because you’re responsible for many different elements as a sports manager, time management skills are essential. You should have the ability to prioritize competing concerns, and you’ll need to stay updated about all areas of the organization.

This is a job that keeps you very busy! That’s why discipline and energy are important qualities for a sports manager. You’ll need to remain motivated and even motivate others during difficult periods. It will certainly help if you’re sincerely passionate about sports.

To keep the trust of athletes and all other stakeholders in the organization, sports managers must be transparent. Anyone in this role holds a lot of responsibility, and they’re expected to act with integrity. The success or failure of the team or organization could depend on their contributions.

What qualifications are needed to be a sports manager

Sports is a multibillion-euro industry. Candidates with a specific set of skills and knowledge are required to work as sports managers. For this reason, it’s now possible to study a BA and an MBA in the subject of sports management.

Looking at the wide-ranging responsibilities of a sports manager, it’s obvious that any well-designed degree program must include diverse topics and have a multidisciplinary focus. To succeed, sports managers need to understand sports in the context of business, and vice versa!

Alongside this niche knowledge, any aspiring sports manager should know how to navigate financial services, build networks and present both themselves and their ideas with impact. Their education program must cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset demanded by this work.

Specific courses like those offered at EU Business School prepare students to meet the unique challenges of a career in sports management. The curriculum consists of practical and relevant topics such as negotiation, broadcasting, marketing and media relations.

Due to the global expansion of sports and its associated business opportunities, many students choose to study the subject in an international environment. This empowers them to make useful connections with fellow sports managers all over the world.

What is life like as a sports manager?

Sports manager salaries have the potential to be very competitive. It depends on the level you reach and the sport that you work in. For example, general managers in the NFL and NBA can make an impressive $1-3million per year.

At college level, salaries are naturally lower; however, they’re still very attractive for anyone who wants to make their passion for sport part of their career.

The work schedule for a sports manager is known to be heavy at times. This isn’t a typical 9-5 job! Sports tend to operate based on seasons, so some parts of the year will be much busier than others.

This is a great job for anyone who thrives in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. Imagine a high-pressure business context combined with the passion and energy of sport.

The good news for those looking for sports management degree jobs is that this is a relatively steady industry. As long as sports continue to be popular, sports managers will be required. The best ones will always be in demand!

Now that you know how to become a general sports manager and what to expect when you get your dream job, the next step is to study for it. With the right education, motivation and mindset, you will be a strong candidate for these competitive roles.

EU Business School offers an MBA in Sports Management and a BA in Sports Management. Students are prepared for this competitive field through case studies and group activities that reflect the realities of a career in sports management.

There are also opportunities to participate in exclusive conferences, learning from industry leaders such as Omar Berrada: EU Business School alumnus and COO of Manchester City F.C.

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