Sports Management

When you think of sports management, you may think of that famous scene in Jerry Maquire—“Show me the money!” Sports management is about handling the careers of professional athletes. Yet it doesn’t only include football, baseball, or basketball. Athletes in a wide variety of professional sports—soccer, tennis, auto racing, and more—all need management.

However, just because you obtain a degree in sports management, this doesn’t mean you’re going to work with Peyton Manning or LeBron James. If you want to work with athletes on this level, you’re going to need to muster up the same competitive spirit they have, but in the area of business. You’re going to find yourself up against communications majors, business majors, and even law students, all wanting to take part in the exciting world of sports.

If you have a shrewd, practical way of looking at things, a flexible way of dealing with problems, and great decision-making skills, you have the foundations of being a sports manager. You’ll also need, of course, a sports management degree from a good business school.

When considering what business school you’ll attend, think about where it’s located. Some parts of the country have several major sports markets, teams, or sports centers. While you’re in school, you’ll want to try to get internships, summer jobs, or other training opportunities with college or pro teams. Be sure that the city where your school is located can provide you with these opportunities.

Learn about the academic parameters of the sports management degree at your school. Is it actually part of the business school, or is it carried within the physical education department? This will affect whether the specialized education you’ll receive is business-related or more in the area of sports medicine.

Be sure to network while you’re in school. As with any area of entertainment, working in professional sports is many times all about “who you know.” Learn how to speak up for yourself, be congenial, and be available. This way, when an opportunity arises, you may be the one selected.

Sports management is a competitive, multibillion-dollar industry, so you’ll probably have to put in long hours, work very hard, and even travel to have the career you want. However, if you think that this kind of career would be rewarding and exciting, the payoff will be worth the effort.

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