Sports Team Manager: Job, Salary, Skills Guide for 2024

Sports Team Manager: Job, Salary, Skills Guide for 2024

Do you want an exciting career in sports while enjoying the game with prime seats? Perhaps, you are dreaming of becoming a sports team manager.

If you are business-minded or have entrepreneurial skills, and are good at solving problems, sports management may be the ideal career for you.

Sports managers usually have many exciting responsibilities and duties within a broad spectrum of athletic endeavors.

A sports manager is responsible for managing athletes and organizations.

Whether managing a college club team, or a professional sports team, an effective sports manager serves as the glue that ties the athletes or players to the relevant organization.

Sports management careers and positions differ considerably in individual job duties and responsibilities, depending on the sport, the environment, and the team.

However, note that one underlying similarity remains: you're ultimately responsible for steering your sports organization, small or large, toward long-term success using your organizational skills and business acumen.

As a professional sports manager, you will be surrounded by top athletes and performers who have dedicated their whole lives to sports.

Sports managers work with a diverse group of people in a dynamic and exciting environment.

This article will cover what a sports manager does, necessary skills, job growth, salary expectations and more. Let’s go. 

What is a sports manager?

A sports manager oversees the activities of an athletic program. ‍

A sports manager is an individual who organizes, manages, and oversees the activities of sports teams and nearly all aspects or facets of an athletic program.

For example, this might include athletic training, providing valuable resources for athlete education, and ensuring team compliance.

Sports managers may work for sports teams of any size or competitiveness, from recreational clubs to professional sports teams.

Perhaps, the most crucial job of sports managers is to support a sports organization by making sure that athletes and coaches have the resources and training they need to succeed.  

A bachelor's degree is usually required for an applicant seeking a position in sports management. However, the degree does not necessarily have to be in an athletics-related field.

Also, many people who go on to maintain their sports management positions have a business degree or a college degree and study business, marketing, finance, or communications at the university level.

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What is sports management?

‍You can think of sports management as the business aspect of sports, from local community leagues and clubs up to professional sports leagues.

From the general sports manager and scouting staff to the operational staff, everyone is involved in supporting and facilitating a team's success.

Also, sports management incorporates various aspects of other industries, including accounting, law, business, public relations, and marketing, depending on the specialty you want to pursue a career in.

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What does a sports manager do on a daily basis?

Sports team managers make travel plans, monitor ticket sales, manage budgets, keep track of schedules, and more.

You can think of a sports manager as a type of general manager who is employed in the sports industry.

While the role and duties of general managers may vary significantly, overall, they have the responsibility of leading the business, particularly in the area of managing, hiring, motivating, training, and firing employees.

A sports manager is usually one of the top executives at their sports organization and is involved in different aspects of helping the sports business thrive and succeed, including marketing management, event planning, and income generation.

On a daily basis, the responsibilities and duties of a sports manager may vary considerably.

These job duties usually include the following:

  • Spearheading public relations between coaches, athletes, other athletic professionals, and media

  • Balancing a sports organization's income against its financial obligations

  • Accounting for and managing team travel plans

  • Holding the sports team and athletes accountable for following all relevant rules and regulations

  • Keeping track of team schedules

  • Monitoring ticket sales

  • Creating opportunities for sponsorship deals

  • Developing social media strategies and plans to engage the fan base

  • Scheduling public events and press conferences where team members will be present

  • Launching fundraisers, partnering with promotional brands, and landing endorsements in order to further strengthen team marketing efforts

  • Meeting with the general manager to discuss roster changes

  • Evaluating and assessing team performance and providing feedback

  • Managing budgets for the sports team

  • Determining ticket prices and managing ticket sales

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Is there demand for a career in sports management?

‍According to a 2022 survey, 74% of Americans consider themselves sports fans, while 28% call themselves avid sports fans.

This popularity creates a stable demand for sports and management recreation professionals who have the leadership skills and business acumen to keep everything in the sports world running smoothly.

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6 essential sports manager skills

Sports managers should be communicative, natural leaders, and have market skills, among others.

People who fulfill sports management career roles have a comprehensive skill set. These professional skills include the following:

1. Communication

‍Communication involves conveying information via verbal or nonverbal means. You should have the ability to write and speak effectively.

2. Leadership

‍Leadership skills are valuable and will help you motivate your team or athletes and encourage them to work together to achieve goals.

3. Business strategy

‍You should be able to draft and execute high-level planning for the long-term corporate and fiscal success of your organization.

4. Marketing

‍Marketing skills are essential for sports managers as they allow them to develop effective strategies to promote your sports team and its events.

For example, you can use your marketing skills and experience to create advertisements, plan events, and develop social media posts to attract new fans.

5. Negotiation

‍Through negotiation skills, an individual can persuade another person to agree to their terms.

It's an important skill for a sports manager because they usually have to negotiate contracts with coaches, players, and other team staff.

6. Event coordination

‍This is the ability to plan events sponsored by your sports team, one that also maintains all appropriate standards for excellence.

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How do you become a sports manager?

1. Education

‍Many sports managers have a bachelor's degree (at least). Often, employers prefer candidates or applicants with a master's degree in sports management or a sports-related field.

A business management degree program is an ideal option as it will help you obtain the skills, knowledge, and credentials to take a step toward becoming a successful sports manager.

2. Training and Experience

‍Sports managers usually receive on-the-job training from internships or their previous work experience.

You may also receive suitable training from your current position if you're promoted from entry level jobs in sports management.

3. Certifications and licenses

‍While sports management is usually a self-study course, many universities and colleges offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in this field.

Obtaining a degree demonstrates your passion and commitment to the industry, opening up more career opportunities.

Discover more sports-related paths through our guide to a career as a Sports Coordinator.

What is the projected job growth for a sports manager?

‍Projected job growth is strong in several sports management roles.

Actually, many of these roles and positions are predicted to grow considerably faster compared to the national career growth rate on average.

Not convinced? Watch this Ted Talk on sports management positions:

How much is a sports manager’s salary?

‍A sports manager's salary can vary considerably, depending on the team, the individual's location, and years of experience.

For instance, the sports manager of a popular or professional team at the highest level of the National Football League or Major League Baseball will earn annual salaries from $500,000 to several million dollars.

According to, professional sports managers earn a median annual salary of about $55,000.

Generally, a sports manager's salary ranges from about $35,000 to $86,000, averaging about $56,000 across the industry.

A sports manager who pursues further education and certifications can often see additional increases in pay.

To learn about a sports manager salary makes, check out this article!

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