Sports managers are responsible for many different duties and jobs, but they generally do not negotiate player contracts. That is one of the duties of the agent. Many colleges now offer degree programs that can prepare students for working as either agents or managers. Those programs teach them how to negotiate on behalf of their clients and how to keep players calm before big games and other events. It’s important that prospective students understand the duties they will face on the job and how they can work in this field as well as how much they can make.
Agent vs. Manager
A sports manager is essentially a type of public relations specialist who supports one or more athletes. They are responsible for representing that individual in public. A manager might hold a press conference to help a player announce that he or she signed with a new team or that the player will become the spokesperson for a new company. Managers also handle issues in the player’s personal life and allow the athlete to just focus on the sport. An agent can negotiate player contracts and help the athlete sign with a new company or team.
Manager Job Duties
Sports managers typically work in office settings. They spend long hours going over paperwork and handling everything from the player’s finances to the athlete’s travel arrangements. During the off-season, the manager is responsible for making sure that the player has contracts in place for the coming year. Managers may work with agents to secure those contracts. The job also involves quite a bit of travel. Managers not only need to travel for press conferences and promotional events, but they’ll often travel with athletes to games in other cities. They may do some traveling during the off-season too.
How to Become One
Becoming a sports manager typically requires some college. Bachelor’s degree programs are a good choice because many of those programs offer internships. With an internship, the student can make connections in college and professional sports that they’ll use to find full-time jobs with companies that employ sports managers. It’s also helpful to join professional sports agencies because those organizations offer additional opportunities for managers. There are various certificates available for those who want to work with athletes too. Some professionals also work on earning a graduate degree and then a doctoral degree in business or a similar field.
Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Urban Schools for Sports Management
Sports Manager Salaries
Though sports managers work long hours, they typically earn high salaries too. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places sports managers in the same category that includes those who manage performers and artists. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for these managers is $90,930 per year or $43.72 per hour including benefits. While the bottom 10 percent of these managers earn around $33,000 a year, the top 10 percent earn more than $180,000 a year. The BLS also found that sports managers earn a higher salary than those who promote sporting events do.
Sports managers help their clients in many different ways, including filing paperwork for them and keeping an eye on their finances. They also do a lot of traveling to support their star athletes. Despite the many duties they perform, sports managers do not negotiate player contracts because this is one of the jobs that agents handle.