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Sports Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a sports manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about job duties, employment outlook and salary statistics to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Sports managers are in charge of the basic organization and scheduling of their clients. Both individual athletes and entire organizations hire sports managers to see that everything off the field is going smoothly. To become a sports manager it is helpful to get a bachelor's degree, find a related internship or have experience within the sport. Graduate level degrees in sports management are available and may enhance job prospects in this career, which has an average job growth expectancy.

Required EducationBachelor's degree is generally required by employers
Projected Job Growth* (2012-2022) 10% for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes
Median Salary* (2013) $64,490 annually for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Sports Manager Job Description

A sports manager is someone that is hired by either a team or an individual athlete to ensure that everything that happens off the field goes smoothly. They have numerous responsibilities that revolve around making it easier for their clients to focus on winning without worrying about the business or organization side of sports. Unlike sports agents, managers do not focus on contracts for their clients, instead managers ensure that their clients are getting the proper attention and training to allow them to compete at their highest level. Sports managers are hired at a wide variety of venues including academic institutions, amateur and professional leagues, sporting goods companies, and even sports marketing firms.

Sports Manager Duties

The duty of a sports manager ranges widely depending on the clientele. Some sports managers are responsible for an individual athlete and keeping them in good mental and physical health. This can mean doing everything from hiring trainers to working out issues between the team and the player. The manager is somewhat of a spokesperson for their client, charged with making sure all their needs are met and that they are in the best possible position to succeed. This also means they must work with the media to ensure their clients are getting a good image. They must make sure that all aspects of the athlete's life are organized well and that they are getting the recognition they deserve

For a sports manager of a team or organization the duties are quite different. Working with an entire organization the manager must be sure that the vast network that is required to run the operation is working well together and organized correctly. They are responsible for smoothing out any conflicts between departments and overseeing the inner workings of the organization. This involves working as intermediary between the owners and players, working with the marketing division to give the team a good public image, and keeping the right balance of employees to make everything function smoothly.

Requirements for Sports Managers

There are many different avenues to take to become a sports manager, but there are a few common advantages that help someone get hired to manage. Many sports managers have a college degree in a field that is related to managing, such as a business, marketing, or law degree. Many sports managers have to start with an internship with the organization and work their way up to managing. Often experience within the sport is a big help, as many former athletes go on to manage after their playing days are through. There are some colleges that offer master's degrees in sports management, and earning this graduate degree may enhance job prospects. To become a sports manager it is important to have a good business sense and the ability to communicate and negotiate in serious discussions about big issues.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes, including sports managers, earned a median annual salary of $64,490 in 2013. The BLS predicts that the employment of such workers will likely grow by about 10% between 2012 and 2022, which is average compared to all occupations.

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