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.