Five Most Popular Sports Management Careers

There are many career choices if you are studying Sports Management and the key to being successful is to find your niche, something you really enjoy doing and are really good at.

While there are many more choices, the five most popular careers in Sports Management are:

  • Sports Agent
  • General Manager
  • Coach
  • Scout
  • Athletic Trainer

SPORTS AGENT

So you want to become a sports agent? Sure, why not. It sounds easy, you get to mingle with famous sports celebrities, make a lot of money, and all you have to do is negotiate contracts with professional team owners.

Not so fast. While one of the most popular careers in Sports Management is working as a Sports Agent, there are a lot of intangibles involved with becoming one.

In order to become a sports agent you need to have:

  • Superior Networking Skills
  • An Excellent Education
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Strong Sales Skills
  • Strong Negotiating Skills
  • Manage Interpersonal Relationships
  • A Lot Of Patience

In addition, you will need to satisfy the needs of not just your client, but also his team, his sponsors, team owners, managers and coaches.

Yes, sports agents are responsible for contract negotiations between their clients and their teams but most agents handle much more than just contracts.

They also take care of their client’s financial and promotional business including:

  • Managing Investments
  • Endorsements
  • Photo Ads
  • Radio Appearances
  • Autograph Signings
  • Filing Clients Taxes Every Year
  • Public Appearances

Once a Sports Agent develops a strong base of clients, it is very possible that they could earn more than $1 million annually. However, as rewarding as that may sound, less than 5% of sports agents earn over $100,000 a year.

In addition, it usually takes several years as an agent to build up the clientele and reputation to earn enough money to live on. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for a sports agent is about $50,000.

GENERAL MANAGER

While being the General Manager of a professional sports team might be your dream, it is highly unlikely you will be hired as a GM right out of college. In order to get to the point where you might be considered for a GM position you must first pay your dues and work your way up the ladder.

Most General Managers had been working in sports for many years in numerous different positions before they were even given the opportunity to interview for a GM position.

Prior Positions GM’s held:

  • College Scouting Director
  • Pro Scouting Director
  • Marketing Director
  • Development Director
  • College Athletic Director

The GM reports to the team owner or president and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization including:

  • Managing The Budget
  • Increasing Revenue
  • Drafting Players
  • Signing Free Agents
  • Trading Players

Salaries can range from around $50,000 a year for minor league teams to millions of dollars annually for professional teams.

COACH

Coaching is one of the most common and most popular sports management positions.

Coaches help organize and lead an individual athlete or a team of athletes by:

  • Planning And Implementing Drills And Fitness Routines
  • Monitoring Performance For Strengths And Weaknesses
  • Improving Individual And Team Performance
  • Developing Plays And Strategies For Games
  • Providing Advice And Direction During Competitions

Coaches usually specialize in one sport, like baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer or tennis, although some high school coaches work in all sports, depending on the size of the school.

Coaches must have a strong knowledge of the sport’s rules and strategies and they usually have extensive collegiate and/or professional experience playing the sport in which they specialize.

Depending on where a person is coaching, annual salaries ranges are:

  • $25,000-$100,000+ for High School
  • $45,000-$1,000,000+ for College
  • $65,000-$1,000,000+ for Professional (Major Sports)

SCOUT

A scout’s job is to scour the world for athletes that have the talent level needed to help improve the team or organization they represent.

Every college and professional sports organization have scouts that find them new talent by observing players in action at sporting events in order to determine their potential value to the organization.

While it is often difficult to break into this career field, candidates who have playing or coaching experience in the specific sport they wish to scout should be able to find opportunities because they have the necessary insight to spot good talent.

Scouts must be highly energetic and possess a positive attitude.

In order to succeed as a scout they should be:

  • Confident
  • Resilient
  • Creative
  • Excellent Communicators
  • Good Networkers
  • Good Interacting With Others

In addition, Scouts should also be willing to work long and odd hours while spending a lot of time on the road and living out of hotels.

The average salary for an athletic scout is $45,000 with the highest 10 percent being paid more than $63,000, while the lowest 10 percent were paid less than $15,500.

This can vary greatly due to organization, location, sport, experience and benefits.

EQUIPMENT MANAGER

While being an Equipment Manager might not be a position that a lot of Sports Management hopefuls aspire for, it is one of the most important aspects of a team and it can open up the doors for a well paid and fulfilling career in the sports industry.

Working as an Equipment Management on any level will help get your foot in the door which will allow you to meet people in the business and increase opportunities down the road.

After all, reality these days in any business is not what you know, but who you know and the more people you know in the business, the more opportunities that will open up for you.

An Equipment Manager has a lot of different duties including:

  • Purchasing Athletic Equipment
  • Prepares And Monitors Annual Budgets
  • Determine Team’s Equipment Needs
  • Purchasing Sports Equipment And Uniforms
  • Administer Policies And Procedures For Department
  • Ensure All Equipment Needs Are Met At Sporting Events
  • Maintain Inventory Of All Sporting Equipment And Supplies
  • Fitting Of Athletic Equipment For Athletes

In addition, Equipment Managers need to have:

  • Good Verbal And Written Communication Skills
  • Knowledge Of Sports Equipment And Facility Needs
  • Understanding Of Supervisory Practices And Principles

The average salary for an Equipment Manager is $30,000 with the highest 10 percent being paid more than $55,000, while the lowest 10 percent were paid less than $20,000.

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