What They Do
Sport managers are part of a diverse profession that requires business acumen, organizational skills and leadership abilities. The basic responsibilities of a sports manager are to organize and schedule clients. Coaches are in charge of what happens on the field, and sports managers are responsible for what takes place off the field.
Education and experience are key to success. Networking skills are also essential. A team, organization or individual can hire a sports manager. Ideally, a sports manager makes it easy for a client to focus on their training and competition without worrying about contracts, promotions or other issues.
A sports manager may be asked to perform duties like hiring trainers, supporting and advocating for clients, and serving as a spokesperson. Sports managers make sure that all of the basic needs of their clients are met and that the athlete’s life is well-organized.
Some sports managers work specifically with promotions and marketing for their clients. They work with the media to promote their clients and with corporations or organizations to foster business deals and endorsements. Sports managers may deal with the finances of their clients or they may hire accountants or financial managers for that purpose.
Sports managers who work with entire teams or organizations have different responsibilities compared to those who manage individuals. Managing a team requires a large network of people who can run the daily operation from the top to the bottom. Sports managers may be responsible for resolving conflicts between departments and individual athletes and the team. They are responsible for the general happiness of everyone in the organization, the public image of the organization and the day-to-day function of the business.
Advancement in sport management requires education and experience. Some sports managers who work with amateur organizations go on to manage collegiate or professional teams or athletes. In order to advance, a sports manager must have at least five years of proven experience and a graduate degree.
It is important to note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that California and New York have the largest numbers of agents and have the highest salaries among agents.
The BLS reports that the median annual salary for managers of artists, performers and athletes is $97,220. Those who work in spectator sports specifically make around $78,500 a year.
Depending on the level of the team or organization employing sports managers, there may be different educational requirements. Those who work at the local, amateur or high school level, for example, may only need a bachelor’s degree in sport management or a related subject.
Sports managers who work with collegiate or professional teams and athletes are often required to have a master’s degree in sport management. Courses relating to finance, law and leadership are important for the educational background of a sports manager.