Who's a Sports Manager?
Look at the top sports teams in the world. Behind each talented team stands an equally talented sports manager, the one who inspires, coaches and drives teams to victory. Sounds like the kind of job you’re cut out for? Try your hand at sports management!
As a sports manager, you will handle all matters related to sports teams and athletes. From negotiating contract terms and closing business deals to maintaining media relations and promoting events, you will do it all. You will be responsible for the financial aspects of the team, its relationship with the outside world, the quality of players, adequacy of coaching staff etc. You will also look at maximising revenue for the team. Sounds interesting? Read on to know more!
What will you do?
Ensuring the team trains and prepares well.
You must decide on the ideal training and fitness regimen for your players depending on the leagues and tournaments they participate in. You will convey this to the coach.
Example: In wrestling, according to your players’ potential, you will decide which of them with participate under which weight category – whether they need to put on mass or lose it for the tournament.
Strategising and planning gameplay.
You will come up with strategies and decide the overall playing philosophy of the team. You may have noticed that some managers are known for sticking to a particular playing style, which they imbibe in the teams they manage.
Example: When it comes to cricket, depending on the opposite team, the weather conditions, field feasibility, etc., you will help your players decide whether they should choose to bowl or bat first.
Managing remuneration and resources.
You will interact with the top management and negotiate with them on decisions like compensation of players and support staff, infrastructure requirements like better training equipment and playing facilities etc.
Example: If you feel that your cricket team needs a new set of bats, you will appeal to the management and help them understand why they need to buy new equipment and how it will help.
Liaising with sporting companies.
You will have to ensure that your team is up-to-date with the latest technological advances in sporting goods and accessories. This is necessary for the team to remain successful in the competitive world of sports.
Example: You will associate with a particular sports company that will keep you up-to-date with the new training gear, enhanced equipment, etc., in the market.
Motivating the team.
Apart from proper training, facilities and coaching staff, you will have to constantly motivate your team. Sports is mostly about the psychological preparedness of the participants and you will play a key role in ensuring the same.
Example: The famous speech – Sattar (70) Minute – delivered by Shahrukh Khan in the movie Chak De India, is a class example of how much motivation can help players.
Managing the team.
Team sports involve many players and, at a higher level, includes several superstars in one team. It is extremely critical that you keep player egos and superiority in check and avoid biases in your dealings.
Example: If you feel a new player is better suited to take the field than an older one, do it. However, help the old-hand to understand why it is best for the team and how their strengths are better utilised in another match to avoid negativity.
Marketing and promoting the team.
You are required to look for avenues to promote your team in the market to increase the popularity of the team and establish its brand value.
Example: You can look at doing documentaries or ads for sports-company ads to help your players gain visibility and grow your team’s revenue.
Performing administration duties.
You will maintain your players’ records, have to check in on old contracts and business deals and sign new ones. You will be managing health records, benefits for players, etc.
Example: If a player’s contract is coming up, you will look at negotiating a new contract, or terminating the player depending on performance.
Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as a Sports Manager.
Where will you work?
You will attend and manage every event your team participates in. You will represent them, guide them to make statements to the media and support them through it. You will also check in on your players and coach during training and practice.
Your managerial duties call for our presence at seminars and meetings. This would involve meetings held before leagues, launch for new sporting goods, etc. Internally, you will have regular meetings with the top-brass about the players, your progress, requirements, etc.
A lot of your time will be spent doing administrative duties like negotiating contracts, closing business deals, maintaining player and staff records, etc.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
Analytical and Data Skills
You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.build this skill
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
India is a breeding ground for sports. Gone are the days when cricket was the only game known to Indian sports viewers. With leagues coming up in every sport, be it football, hockey, and even kabaddi, the sports industry in the country is booming. Thus, sports management is a lucrative career option for those who are interested in sports but do not wish to play on the field themselves. There are two ways one can pursue sports management – through Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management or Bachelor of Sports Management. The BBA degree is offered by various institutes in India, with the cost of studying coming up to INR 3,00,000 here. The cost of BSM, on the other hand, ranges from INR 1,73,000 to INR 6,29,000 for a span of three years. These degrees can also be followed up with masters and post-graduate diploma courses.
While India has a great market for jobs related to sports management, you can also pursue this career abroad with a famed university, which adds to your portfolio. Getting a scholarship for such universities can be tough unless you already are a sports player at the national level in India. Once you complete your education abroad, you can have several opportunities in India as well as in other countries. Many major and minor leagues, prominent institutions, and talent agents are on the lookout of professionals with a degree from a top university and you can choose to work wherever you want in any kind of role. Some of the top countries to pursue sports management abroad are the UK (European School of Economics, University of Wolverhampton), USA (Full Sail University, Post University, Ashford University), and Australia (Flinders University, University of Sydney). The charges for the Bachelor’s degree can go up to INR 20,00,000 while special programmes can cost up to INR 50,00,000.
How much would you get paid?
The exact number will depend on your skills and experience and the sports team you manage. In India, cricket is the most lucrative field to work in.
What are your career options?
Sports is a selling business but a business development professional is required to make it sell better and faster. You will not physically hand out any tickets but are a part of the sales strategy, conduct market research, meet donors of sports groups and forge relationships with them, create strategies to attract more fans while retaining the existing ones, draw in more season ticket buyers, and manage the production and distribution of all kinds of promotions.
Public relations professionals excel in project management and implementation. As the sports industry grows bigger every year, the need to manage the public image of teams is essential. You will do that by writing press releases, creating website content, managing portfolios of the players, becoming the public face of the team, promoting the activities of the team, and using digital and social media to attract followers and keep the existing followers engaged.
Personnel management professionals in sports not only manage the existing players but are also involved in recruiting talent. For this, you will need an in-depth knowledge of the game and the industry and have the skills to negotiate a contract. You could also work privately with players, helping them with contract negotiations, finding the right endorsements, and looking for other business opportunities in the industry.
Aspirants with a passion for sports and a talent for numbers are best suited in the field of financial management. You will manage the finances of the team by tracking, evaluating and reporting their financial activities. You will also adjust the budget of the team, monitor the streams of revenue, make financial forecasts, create budgets for special events, and make decisions regarding ticket and merchandising prices.
This is a job at a school, college, or university level. You will manage the entire athletic department of the institution and ensure that it runs smoothly. As an athletics director, you are also required to schedule the team’s travel arrangements and budgets. Depending on your rank, you might get involved with monitoring the streams of revenue and increasing participation of sports in the institution.
Business operations professionals are involved in the daily operations of the team. You will be required at all levels, be it a school-level team or an international sports team. Your work will involve directing the daily activities of the team by creating a plan for the coaches, athletic directors, team players, administrators and other executives. You must be skilled at project management, planning, and implementation.
Apart from personnel managers who mainly work with teams as a whole, sports agents manage players or coaches individually. Right from negotiating contracts, salaries, endorsements, and other business opportunities to handling their clients’ finances, investments, taxes and more, you will act as managers to your clients and find ways to promote them using their relations with people within the sports industry. Needless to say, good communication skills are a must for this job.
The sports industry has boomed in the last few years due to higher ticket sales.You will not hand out tickets to buyers but creates strategies that will lead to higher sales. You will be responsible for bringing in corporate clients, selling season tickets, and making sponsorship deals that would prove beneficial to the team. From here, you can climb up the ladder to business administration and management in sports.
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