By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
Sports management is a title that seems very narrow at first examination, but in actuality has a huge, diverse industry representing all levels of sports in a variety of functions.
If you’re the sort of person who finds themselves at home in the sporting industry, who has a passion for sports, and who loves contributing back to your sporting community, a career in the sports management industry might be the career path for you.
The first thing we’ll need to decode is precisely what your options are as a holder of a Sports Management certificate. There are numerous fields, and therefore numerous job titles, responsibilities, and pay grades to decide from.
Sports management encompasses roles as diverse as agents, promoters, coaches, and scouts, as well as team managers and a myriad of other roles.
If your passion lies with helping connect athletes to work, representing them in discussions, and acting as the go-between from them to clubs and other acting participants, then you might be interested in work as an agent.
You’ll need a solid understanding of business acumen and negotiation to try your hand at this, but the top agents are lucratively paid because they have the capacity to maneuver hundreds of thousands of dollars for their clients, with the top world agents having a pay grade in the tens to hundreds of millions.
Promoters and agents are closely linked, but fall under distinct categories. While an agent helps you find work, and helps manage your relationship with participating sports bodies, a promoter or publicist manages relationships with the media.
For this, you might need to combine it with some kind of media qualification, as you’ll need to quickly establish a contact list in order to even think about attracting clients. Later on, once you’re established (which is the hard part), you’ll be whizzing between publications and outlets in order to get the best promotions, exposure, and paychecks for your client.
A sports facility manager oversees a training or exercise facility, and is responsible for the upkeep, safety, and ergonomics of that facility. This might be the person in charge of a football field or basketball court, tasked with upkeeping the surface and maintaining additional facilities. It might also be somebody who is in charge of a team of other professionals, such as a golf course manager who employs a team of groundsmen and gardeners.
Coaches need exceptional knowledge and skill in regards to their game, and are often highly trained or former participants of the game themselves, but they are still classified as a sports management role. Coaches vary in pay-grade and speciality, but ultimately are responsible for an entire team’s performance. They drill, train, oversee, and maintain the body and mind of their players. The best coaches are widely regarded and acclaimed as the reason for a club’s success or hot streaks.
In order to become a top-ranking coach, you’ll need a lot of time, dedication, and preferably a top-ranking pedigree of playing at a professional level too, but it’s not entirely necessary. It’s possible, if unlikely, to rise to the top without it.
This encompasses the same responsibilities as a coach, but on an individual level. A trainer serves as the personal coach to a team of one or two, and is responsible for their day-to-day training and the majority of their regimented time.
Talent scouts are responsible for sourcing new talent for clubs and organisations. Depending on the form that it takes, they may conduct trials, go along to minor or lesser graded clubs in order to check out promising, emerging stars, or act as a middleman for tryouts.
If you’re interested not just in representing athletes, but forging the future of the next generation of superstars, talent scouting might be for you.
There are dozens more jobs that a sports management degree qualifies you for, but the vast majority of the job comes from having an understanding and passion for your sporting community. You’ll need to learn, live, and breathe the sport and the club, and work hard at establishing the necessary leadership attributes and contact network that you’ll quickly find yourself needing.
During our course, we’ll be going over 13 modules, ranging from the industry and context for the job, further options, developing your skills in leadership/management/marketing, how to lead a team, form a team, and apply your new managerial skills to the workplace.
If any of these tantalizing options seem like they’d suit your career path, you can check out our entire course listing for Sports Management here, or contact the International Career Institute online.