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Sport Manager

What They Do

Insider Info

Sport managers, or general managers, work behind the scenes to plan and direct the activities, projects and operations of recreational facilities and sports programs.

"I call it a 'sport management' program, because 'sport' is really the plural term that would encompass numerous activities in the sport world. 'Sports' may identify maybe five sports, but if you say 'sport,' it encompasses everything," says Keith Lambrecht. He heads a sport management program.

Sport managers work with issues of human resources, ethics, finances, policy development, communication and marketing. Managers for professional teams are involved in drafting players, negotiating trades and signing new players.

They're in charge of the team's finances, including salaries, travel expenses, equipment and injury expenses. One of the most difficult aspects of the job is negotiating deals that satisfy the team's owners and the players.

A sport manager must love the game in which he or she is a manager. A sport manager should have experience playing or coaching, although it is becoming less and less necessary.

"Liking sports is a plus, but the number one skill that people need in this career is communication. They need good verbal and writing skills. They need competency in communication, business and finance more than they need sports skills," says Lambrecht.

During the playing season, sport managers for professional teams may work seven days a week. They may have to participate in press conferences and explain reasons for decisions to the media. Managers are often the subject of both positive and negative publicity.

At a Glance

Look after sports teams, events and venues

  • Experts predict great growth in sports
  • Salaries start pretty low
  • A university degree is a must -- many have advanced degrees