Sport management can be a very fulfilling and lucrative career. Possible positions include coaches, managers, agents and scouts. They work for parks and recreation departments, amateur leagues, professional teams or leagues, promotion and marketing firms, and more. Many have earned a college degree in sport management to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in this field.
Coaches of sports teams provide direction, organization and strategies that lead athletes and teams to victory. The basic responsibility of a coach is to teach athletes the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to be successful in their sport or competition.
A head coach of a professional team in any sport oversees and leads their teams concerning strategy, organization and general well-being. They work with a team of other coaches with varying specialized skills.
The kinds of requirements needed for professional coaching depend on the level of the team, athlete or organization. Amateur leagues require fewer requirements than professional teams or leagues. However, a prospective coach should have at least a bachelor’s degree and some professional sports experience to obtain a coaching position.
For higher-level organizations or athletes, a coach may be required to have a master’s degree in sport management in order to understand and meet the full responsibilities of the job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual salary of a coach who works at a college or university is $39,960. However, coaches in professional sports like football, basketball and baseball make considerably more.
Scouts act as recruiters for teams, schools or organizations. This job requires some travel and the ability to evaluate the skills of particular athletes and to be able to judge their potential as a part of the team or organization. They must have a deep knowledge of the sport and, preferably, experience in the sport as well.
Scouts can work for specific teams or schools, or as freelancers. They attend games and competitions and determine whether an athlete is worth investing in joining a team.
The educational and professional requirements of a scout are similar to that of a coach. Depending on the level and size of the organization scouts work for, they may need further education. An academic background in sport management can prove helpful when pursuing this kind of job because of the business-related nature of sport management.
Sports managers for teams, organizations or individual athletes care for the mental, physical and financial well-being of their clients. Some sports managers advance from being managers for specific athletes to general managers for teams at the professional level. Education and experience lead to better pay and high-profile positions.
For those who want to become managers at the professional level, requirements include at least five years of job experience as well as a graduate degree in sport management. The success of sports managers hinge on their understanding of not only the sport or competition, but also the business of sports in general.
Skills relating to marketing, leadership, finance and other business-related subjects are essential to success. Sport management programs at the graduate level cover these subjects.
The average salary of a sports manager is $97,220, according to the BLS. However, the expected growth of this occupation is slightly lower than the national average.