sports management career

A Brief Introduction to Sports Management as a Career Option

A good number of individuals with potential and relevant experience are looking to find a career in sports management today. Unfortunately, they often approach the subject with incomplete knowledge, which diminishes their chances of success. In this post, we will focus on the concept of sports management from the perspective of someone who is looking to build a career in this field.

What Is Sports Management Exactly?

It’s a common mistake to think of sports management and sports coaching as the one and the same. While the same individual can theoretically be tasked to handle both aspects, that’s not usually how it works. The coach does exactly what their title suggests, which is to say that he/she coaches the athlete/team they are assigned to. They are also responsible for all things related to the athlete’s/team’s practice, conditioning, training, behavior, performance, etc.

A sports manager on the other hand, handles all aspects of the athlete’s or team’s business. This includes managing sponsorships, endorsement proposals, term contracts, promotions, marketing, travel plans, event plans, and more.

A sports manager is also the sports agent for his/her clients who creates those business opportunities for them. They use their contacts and communications skills to find and close everything from employment contracts and one time gigs to temporary endorsement deals and long-term sponsorship contracts for their clients.

How Do You Become a Sports Manager?

There are no fixed requirements to become a sports agent, but people who take up sports management as a career generally have one or more of the following attributes:

  • A genuine interest in and thorough knowledge of any one or multiple sports.
  • A basic understanding of how the world of professional sports works.
  • A degree in sport and recreation management.
  • Athletic experience at school and college level.
  • Athletic experience as a professional.
  • Amateur experience in managing teams and athletes.
  • Amateur/professional experience in coaching teams and athletes.

In short, aspiring sports managers should have a genuine interest, knowledge, relevant qualifications, and preferably, some related experience with the sport. Note that you don’t necessarily need experience to join a course in sport management, but you will gain plenty while at it.

How Much Do Sports Managers Earn?

The average income in sport and recreation management for managers is roughly $128,470, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, the true potential to earn as a sporting agent is virtually limitless. It all depends on the sports manager’s skill, experience, clientele, sport of choice, and success rate.

Not only do sports mangers earn a salary based on contract, but they also earn a percentage of the deals they bring in and close for their clients. Leading sports mangers easily earn over a million dollars per year, while chart toppers like Scott Boras and Constantin Dumitrascu collect over $100 million per year from their respective contracts alone!

If you are interested in becoming a sports manager, now you have the basic know-how to start preparing for a career as one. While on-the-job experience is how you progress as a sports agent, a degree in sports management will help you in getting the head start.

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