The sports industry in North America is worth billions. So, a degree in sports management is not a bad investment in your future. But if you are thinking sports management is all free tickets and championship rings, you have got a few things to learn. Yes, sports management can be a profitable career, but it is not an easy one. Sports managers have to have experience in leadership, business, communications and athletics. They have to be adept at working with teams and individuals. They are managers, coaches and mentors.
Sports management grads do not usually just graduate and jump into managing the hottest teams in the country. They have to prove their worth, first. Sports management grads usually cut their teeth by working on marketing programs, publicity, sponsorships, deals and arena operations. Some sports management grads become agents or talent scouts.
But, no matter what career path you end up on, to be successful in the field, you will need to have a few important skills.
The Basics of Sports Management
1. You can go with the flow.
Sports management is a fast-paced field. And when you are dealing with teams of athletes, there are always issues that will need your attention. You have to be able to focus on what you are doing in the moment, but also be able to pivot quickly to something else. You will need to juggle lots of responsibilities and be able to move from task to task with flexibility.
2. You believe that time is money.
The reason the sports industry is so massive and lucrative is that people work hard with the time they are given. Athletes and managers have to manage time efficiently in order to fit in practices, games, appearances, meetings, training and still have some family time left over. A sports manager sets the tone for the entire organization, so if you do not respect your own time, your employees and team won't see it as a priority, either.
3. You put systems into place.
Organization is key when you are working in a career with so many moving parts. Sports managers have schedules, salaries, scouting reports, player files, media requests, operational reports, meeting, practices and so much more on their plates. You will need a system for dealing with everything that comes your way. You might use apps to organize time, space and files. Or you might write everything down. Your system of organization does not matter, it just matters that you have one that works for you.
4. You know communication goes both ways.
People in positions of power often feel like they don’t have to listen to others. But sports managers cannot expect a team environment to be dictated by one person. As a manager, you’re both an excellent communicator and an active listener. You make your non-negotiables known and you let the team know when things are flexible. You solicit feedback and make sure you have all the details before making comments that impact your staff and team.
5. Your brain is an analytical machine.
Sports managers often come into situations where the previous person in their position failed in some way. You have got to be able to turn around the routines and expectations of a team by thinking about the game in new ways. You see patterns and you use data to make improvements.
If these skills sound like ones you have already got or that you want to learn in order to get into the sports industry, the Bachelor of Science of Sports Management at Grand Canyon University is just the program to help you launch your career.
To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business provides future sports managers with a strong mix of academic learning and practical experiences, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.