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 client grow.
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 client succeed?
- Can you manage a player, an area or a team?
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 year.
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. Start your 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 current position.
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.
Author: Sam Mwangi