Besides the more mundane functions, such as arranging coaching and training times and venues, uniforms, travel, and budget development and accounting, an “executive sports manager” is responsible for the drafting and signing of new players and player trades.
Executive sports management are mostly behind-the-scenes professions. Public awareness of the close relationship between the agent, the player, and the team’s executive management was raised by the movie “Jerry Maguire”, where the NFL player played by Cuba Gooding Jr. demands, in the enduring quote from the movie, that his agent “Show me the money!”
A team’s executive sports manager works directly with the player’s agent and the team’s GM, negotiating salary and length of contract. An academic track to an executive level position with a professional team requires a Master’s or other advanced sports management online degree. Curriculum first focuses general MBA-level coursework in business, law, human resources, and economics. Subsequent executive sports management degree coursework includes sports-specific media, PR, communications, and marketing, including fan club development and management, as well as training on software used in collegiate settings and in the MLB, NFL, NBA, MLS, and NHL, talent scouting and sports agency, human resources, NCAA academics and compliance law, and game day and ticket operations.
A majority of executive managers entering their job through a non-academic track were successful players and/or coaches, making a natural transition from player or coach to executive sports management. The aspiring executive sports management degree seeking student will also benefit from experience that demonstrates ability to take a team to victory. Experience as a successful player or coach is essentially a prerequisite for both the non-academic and academic tracks to a career as an executive manager.
Event managers work with professional major league and minor league sports, as well as intercollegiate, and organized regional, local, and corporate amateur sports. Destination and tourism associations, including Convention and Visitor Bureaus, increasingly employ sport event managers to help them capitalize on the potential for attracting and growing sporting events in their city or region.
Event management students learn how to produce sporting events, including recruiting, organizing, and motivate volunteers, and finding appropriate sponsors for the event, using a variety of public relations strategies and campaign models. Coursework and practicum are designed to help sports management students master the skills necessary to ethically and effectively market a sporting event to sponsors, attendees, and competitors.
Some sports management degree graduates enter the event management field in a sales position. A small organization may employ a new management degree graduate as their corporate sales director. A large organization may employ an event manager as director of ticketing and finance or as corporate or campus event manager.
A Sport Management degree graduate entering a career as an event manager will have job responsibilities that vary by type sport and type of organization, and, of course, the level of management. But the focus will always be on the business aspect of the sport, including event sponsorship, promotion, media relations, and broadcasting, as well as ticketing and accounting. A typical sport event manager’s workweek is 50 – 60 hours, including some night and weekend hours.