Committing to continuing education for sports management professionals ensures that these pros who take charge of the careers and, at times, personal lives of sports personalities remain at the top of their game. Sports management is a high-stakes, high-energy field, requiring a commitment to the client and a genuine interest in the client’s sport and corollary interests. The goal of the sports manager is to maximize the client’s earnings whether it is through a lucrative contract with a pro team, endorsement deals with advertisers and business ventures as an entrepreneur.
The professional manager of a sports personality is focused on ensuring that the client’s career as an athlete or sports celebrity is on track for as long as possible. Playing competitive sports is a grueling process involving consistent training along with sticking to stringent nutritional guidelines. The manager coordinates medical and health care needs while ensuring that the client complies with recommended care guidelines. This is a top concern for everyone on the team because any indication of ill-health could affect contract negotiations and marketability.
Mental and emotional well-being are crucial to a positive and competitive mindset. The sports manager is sensitive to the client’s emotional needs to the point where the manager becomes a personal coach, crisis manager, close friend and public relations specialist. The sports manager should also be competent with financial management issues even when a different member of the team handles finances. Sports managers should be capable of advising clients with decisions that affect their career viability and financial health.
Bringing the A-game
Successful sports managers are as competitive as their clients. While clients spend the bulk of their time training and staying fit to perform well consistently, managers should also spend their time on self-improvement to stay on top of current trends on diverse subjects, including the following:
Continuing education courses for sports managers should include seminars, certifications and short courses on topics related to the sports industry in general and to the specific industry that the manager specializes in based on the client list. Some of the topics include managing sports franchises, digital media applications in sports marketing, analytics and big data relevance in sports management and event management.
Health and Wellness
Whether the sports manager’s client is a single athlete, an entire sports team or a franchise, health and wellness issues will be the focus of many discussions. The shelf life of most athletes is short compared to non-physical careers, so it is important that they receive the best healthcare and medical support available. Look for certificate programs focusing on sports medicine, pain management strategies, and nutritional approach to wellness.
Athletes are pushed into retirement earlier than others in traditional careers. Help them prepare for a life outside the arena through judicious management of their resources.
Athletes develop their brand as they become more successful in their first career, which becomes the launching pad for their post-retirement plans. It is important to nurture their image to build a solid brand that can be monetized for a post-career income stream.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are careers in the sports field for those without the drive and physical strength for iron man competitions. Preparation includes obtaining a suitable degree and continuing education to remain relevant as a sports manager.