Sports Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Jan 08, 2020

Sports managers are skilled in sports management and sports administration; they help oversee the business dealings of athletes or sports teams. Get career information about sports management jobs and find out the requirements for becoming a sports manager.

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Sports Manager Job Description

Sports management focuses on the business side of sports and recreation, including facility management, promotions and marketing, and event management. Those interested in sports management need to have skills in areas like financial management, sports administration, public relations, and/or accounting.

Sports managers are professionals who may work a wide range of jobs; all of them aim to help a sports organization by promoting its interests and ensuring profitability. These managers are needed at every level of sport, from amateur leagues and high schools to professional teams. Sports managers usually work in an office setting, but may need to travel for events and/or work extended hours or 7-day work weeks during an athletic season.

Sports Manager Job Duties

Sports managers' job duties may vary depending on the level of sport they oversee. For example, a high school sports manager will likely not have as many duties and responsibilities as a sports manager for a professional sports organization. These managers may help manage an entire team or organization, but their primary duty is to handle the business side of the sport so that athletes and coaches can focus on competing. This may require sports managers to perform such duties as:

  • Creating and organizing schedules
  • Promoting clients through various forms of media
  • Seeking endorsement deals
  • Handling and negotiating contracts
  • Maintaining positive public relations
  • Ensuring compliance with rules and policies

Sports Management Degree and Other Requirements

Sports managers need to have at least a bachelor's degree. Although aspiring sports managers may benefit from free online courses in business management or other courses in areas like law, finance, and leadership, they must have a background in sports management. Sports management degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's levels. Bachelor's degree programs in sports administration are also available. At the bachelor's level, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sports Management. These programs may be available in online formats, often include hands-on learning experiences, and may include coursework in areas like:

  • Sport marketing
  • Business finance
  • Sport facility management
  • Law
  • Fundraising

A bachelor's degree may be enough education for working at a high school or with amateur sports teams, but those wishing to advance their career to work at the collegiate level or with professional athletes usually need a master's degree and at least 5 years of work experience. Master's degree programs in sports management are commonly offered as Master of Science (MS) degrees and may be available in online formats.

Sports Manager Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies sports managers with agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes. These professionals made an average annual salary of $90,930 in 2018, per the BLS. Those in the management of companies and enterprises made the highest average salary that year at $109,010.

The BLS also reported that the job outlook for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes from 2018 to 2028 was 10%. This outlook is faster than average and equates to 2,000 new jobs in the field.

Other Sports Management Jobs

Sports management is a broad field that includes an array of potential careers outside of sports managers. Some of these jobs may focus on a particular area of sports business, while others oversee multiple areas. Some other sports management jobs may include titles like:

  • Coach
  • Scout
  • Athletic director
  • Sport lawyer
  • Public relations manager
  • Facilities manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Fundraising manager
  • Event coordinator
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