As a sports manager, youíre not just a fan, you donít just sit and watch
the game, you become a part of it. You cheer and yell and know exactly
whatís happening on the field or on the court. It isnít a team or a
player that you love but the sport itself. You want to get in on the
action but not by playing... You want to get to know the business behind
Sports managers work in front offices, behind the scenes or right beside
their clients to turn a game into a business.
As a sports manager, you will work with your team or player to find the
best opportunities for play, training and advancement and help your
Sports managers must be able to manage, negotiate and lead others.
Sports managers work with athlete clients to execute contracts,
promotions and affiliations.
Sports managers need to know their sport up
and down- from the rules in the book to the most current events.
- Can you use that knowledge to take charge?
- Can you step up and help your
- Can you manage a player, an area or a team?
of sports management programs can become promoters, sports journalists,
agents, coaches or even start their own consulting agencies. Thatís what
sports managers do.
Getting started. 1. Foster a love for sports.
Playing and watching a variety of sports, including high school, minor
league, major league and niche sports will give you a breadth of
opportunity when you are looking for degree programs, internships and
employment. Many employers prefer people who have at least lettered in
sports in high school and college.2. Receive your high school certificate.
This is the first step in your education. Prepare yourself for a
bachelor's degree by getting a good grade in business and science and
gaining confidence in public speaking.
3. Apply for a bachelor's degree program in business, athletic
management, sports management or sports business.
If you have already chosen a specialized field in sports, such as sports
training, graphic design, sports psychology, sports law or sports
medicine, then you may want to start the road to this field before
getting a specialized degree in sports management because a degree may
take more time to acquire.
Research and apply to schools that offer specialized sports management
programs. Some schools offer a bachelor's of science sports management
degree, while others only offer a master's program. A specialized
bachelor program will give you a head start, and you can always consider
getting your master's of business administration (MBA) at a later date.
4. Begin arranging internships as soon as you start college.
Many experts in the sports industry believe it is the internships and
other relationships you form during college that are the most important
aspect of getting a job after college.
Volunteer for a local sports team or large sports event in your freshman
Volunteer to work in an organizational capacity so that you will
get experience in managing as soon as you can.Look for your first official internship in your second year.
search with major sports teams and move on to auxiliary sports teams, if
you cannot find one right away. With one year of schooling, you will be
more valuable to an organization than you would your freshman year.
During school breaks, get an internship or job that helps you to work
part or full time in the sports arena. One position to look for is a job
in ticket sales. Many jobs prefer that you have some experience
supporting a sports team through selling.
Choose the area of sports management you would like to pursue in your
senior year in college.
For example, if you want to be involved in
sports marketing, sales, events, public relations, sponsorship,
hospitality or sports and recreation. Pursue an internship in this
chosen field during your senior year.5. Research the entry-level jobs available in your specialty.
Call your alumni association and ask to speak with someone who now holds
your ideal job. Look for the paths that successful people have taken to
get to where you want to be.
Some entry-level jobs are easier to determine than others. For example,
if you want to be involved in sports finance, then it is a good idea to
start in a commissioned sales job. If you want to be involved in a parks
and recreation capacity, then look to support the current program
directors in your community.
Forbes magazine recently rated the best entry-level jobs in the sports
industry. They listed group sales, junior public relations staffer,
sponsorship or entertainment customer service and outside accounting
experience as the best jobs for breaking into the higher management
levels later on.6. Get valuable work experience.
Just like internships, where you work and how you work is more important
than where you went to school. Try to move through the ranks at your
7. Network throughout your career.
Just like many other types of jobs, you discover the best jobs by
knowing the right people. From the moment you start classes and your
first volunteer position or internship, make sure you are meeting people
from all aspects of sports culture who may be valuable in the future.8. Consider getting your MBA
A master's degree is not strictly essential, but it is especially
important if you don't have many connections to sports teams out of
college. You will also need a master's degree if you want to be involved
in sports medicine or sports law.
9. Look for promotions.
Sports management is highly competitive, so you need to make your mark
on the job. If your current job is not helping you to break into the
next level of management in a few years, then look for a better job
while you work at your current job.
Written by: Sam Mwangi