Careers in Sports Management
Underneath the glamorous and exciting exterior, professional sports are businesses, and very complex, intricate businesses at that. In addition to the coaches and players made famous on television, sports teams have enormous business departments that handle finances, roster trades, travel, equipment, medical care plans, and more. Sports managers are at the top of the sports business ladder, and oversee all the business departments, as well as negotiate player trades and make appearances in press conferences.
Though they participate primarily behind the scenes, sports managers are extremely valuable to the teams they work for. And the reward for their service can be handsome – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median wage of a sports manager was $102,240 as of May 2011. Sports management is a highly sought-after field, however, and competition for sports manager positions is extremely fierce. Also, keep in mind that the average salary figure published by the BLS is just that – an average. It does not reflect what you may actually receive as your salary in the field, as salary depends on your employer and your level of duties.
Required Education for Sports Management
Sports managers come from a diverse educational background: physical education, business administration, or even general studies if the manager also happened to be an athlete while in school, as many sports managers have. Still, a great degree for prospective sports managers is an online degree in sports management. These programs are interdisciplinary in nature, covering topics such as law, finance, marketing, public relations, and leadership in the curriculum. While pursuing this degree, students can expect to learn the critical aspects of sports business, including trading, and often have the opportunity to network with sport management professionals.