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What is Sports Management?

What is Sports Management?

July 11, 2022

Sports Management is the field of business that deals with the organisation and administration of sports athletes, teams, events, and facilities. It can encompass everything from managing a team’s finances to organising a match schedule. A career in sports management can be both exciting and rewarding, but it requires a good deal of hard work and dedication. A passion for the game certainly helps!

This is the perfect career for those seeking a career where every day is different and ‘work’ never feels like work.

If you’re thinking about a career in sports management, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what the field entails.

Here’s a look at some of the key aspects of Sports Management:

– Organising and administering sports players, teams, events, and facilities

– Managing finances and budgets 

– Marketing and promoting teams, events, and facilities

– Negotiating sponsorship and partnership deals

– Developing marketing and promotional campaigns

– Creating schedules, organising logistics & project management

– Monitoring compliance with safety regulations within sports law

– Staying up-to-date with ​​state of the art equipment & sport science best practices

What does it take to get involved in Sports Management?

Sports Management is the business side of the sporting world, so those who enter this field should have strong business skills as well as a passion for their sector. In addition, sports managers must be able to effectively communicate with a variety of people, including athletes, coaches, parents, and the media. They should also be well-organised and detail-oriented, as they will often be responsible for managing complex projects.

Famous Sports Managers

Australia too has produced some of the world’s most successful sports managers. Among them is Ric Charlesworth, who guided the Australian women’s hockey team to victory at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He is also a former member of the Australian men’s national cricket team, and he played a key role in coaching the team to victory at the 1987 Cricket World Cup.

Another well-known sports manager from Australia is Darren Lehmann, who coached the Australian men’s cricket team to victory at the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Lehmann is also a former professional cricketer, and he played for several first-class teams in Australia before moving into coaching. These two managers have had tremendous success in their careers, and they continue to be influential figures in Australian sport.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see more famous female Sport Managers in the future!

An Exciting Career

There are a number of exciting places a sports manager can work. One option is to work for a professional sports team. This can be a great way to be involved in the athletic world while also working with some of the most talented athletes in the world. Another option is to work for a secondary school, college or university athletic department. This can be a great way to help shape the future of young athletes while also working with some of the most dedicated and passionate coaches and staff members.

Another exciting option is to work for an international sports organisation. This can be a great way to travel the world while also working with some of the most diverse and talented athletes on the planet.

No matter where you choose to work, being a sports manager can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience.

A Role that offers Variety

As a sports manager, you have the opportunity to work in a variety of exciting locations. You could find yourself working in a professional team’s head office, managing a minor league team, or even working for a sporting goods company. Where you work will depend on your education and experience, but there are many exciting places to work in the world of sports.

If you want to work in a professional team’s head office, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in business or sports management, such as the Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) from ICMS.  

You’ll also need to have work experience (also called Industry Training, Work Integrated Learning or an Internship) in the sports industry. 

However, if you’re willing to start at a junior level, you can get a job with a diploma. And if you’re interested in working for a sporting goods company, you can usually get a job with just a few years of experience in sales or customer service. No matter where you end up working, you’ll be able to enjoy the excitement of being a sports manager.

What can a Career in Sports Management Pay?

The average salary of a sports manager in Australia is $93,550 (July 2022*).

Sports managers are responsible for the overall management of a sports team or organisation. They may be responsible for administering contracts, developing marketing and sponsorship opportunities, organising player recruitment and training, and managing finances.

In order to be successful in this role, sports managers need to have strong communication and negotiation skills, as well as experience in the sporting industry.

This wage is influenced by experience, qualifications, and the size and type of organisation that the manager works for. For example, managers who work for professional sporting clubs are likely to earn more than those who work for amateur clubs.

Qualifications can also play a role in determining salary levels, with managers who have completed undergraduate degree studies typically earning higher salaries than those without such qualifications.

In general, with the average salary of a sports manager in Australia is being around $95,550, this makes sports management one of the higher-paying professions in the country. Sports management is a challenging and demanding profession, but it can also be very rewarding. Those who are successful in this field can enjoy both high salaries and the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to develop and grow the sporting industry.

A note from ICMS Faculty: What is Sports Management?

Kane McQuiggin, ICMS Domestic Development Coordinator (Sports Management) and ICMS alumnus, explains:

The Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) is an in-depth degree that prepares likeminded and passionate students for a profession within one of the largest accelerating industries – sports industry. Students dive into areas such as Sports Management Fundamentals, Sports Marketing and Athlete Management and Representation, whilst addressing important areas such as professional sport, event management, community sport, sport governance and sports media. After exploring all these areas, and with an unforgettable 600-hour placement, students will have a unique and comprehensive set of skills and knowledge that can take graduates around the globe.

Sports Management allows individuals to follow their passions for sport by studying the business background surrounding sport, to discover opportunities across multiple government departments, event management and sporting club organisations across a local, national, and international level.

Where can you Study Sports Management?

Sports management is a growing field that offers many opportunities for those with a passion for sports. There are a number of colleges and universities that offer degrees in sports management, as well as many online courses. While each program is unique, most will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in sports management. Many schools also offer internships or other experiential learning opportunities that can give you a taste of what it’s like to work in the field.

Watch Nathaniel explain why he chose to Study Sports Management

How to Get Work Experience in Sports Management

There are many ways to get work experience in sports management. One way is to intern with a professional team or sporting organisation. This can give you the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day operations of a sports team and see how they are managed. Another way to get a work placement is to volunteer with a local sports team or club. This can be a great way to gain experience working with athletes and managing sporting events.

You can also look for part-time jobs in the sports industry, such as working in a sports store or as a referee for youth games. Getting a placement in sports management is a great way to learn about the industry and start building your career.

Watch Sports Management students talk about their work experience placement:

Sports Management and Leadership

Leadership in sports business requires a deep understanding of the industry as well as the ability to inspire and motivate others. In order to achieve success, leaders must be able to effectively communicate their vision and strategies to their team.

They must also be able to create a positive working environment where employees feel valued and motivated. In addition, leaders in sports business must be able to make tough decisions and manage difficult situations. By developing these skills, leaders can set themselves apart from the competition and build successful careers in sports business.

Recently retired NRL legend Cameron Smith AM is the most decorated rugby league player of all time. In a webinar with ICMS he had some thoughts on leadership in the sports sector: 

“The best way to lead is that when you need to perform…the most important part of being a leader is that you fufill your role with your team the very best you can consistently. Consistently well. There are many parts of being leader but when it is time for you to get your job done you get it done the best way you can.”

You can watch the full webinar below:

Sports Management Aligns Well With Other Sectors

Sports Management aligns well with other sectors such as Marketing, Event Management, International Tourism and Hospitality Management. Subjects which incorporate these elements into your Sports Management degree or your work experience will open up a broader range of opportunities in this exciting industry. For example, in Sports Management Fundamentals students also explore the importance of sport as a marketing strategy for destinations.

Watch Zoe explain how her role at the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles incorporates Event Management too.

Possible Careers in Sports Management

  • Player or Team Manager
  • Sports Marketing Manager
  • Sponsorship Manager
  • Facilities Manager 
  • Merchandising Manger
  • Sports Promotion Manager
  • Events Manager
  • Sports Media Manager
  • Sports Agent
  • Brand Manager

Learn More About Studying Sports Management

At ICMS we believe that the best learning experience combines practical and ‘real world’ experience with a strong academic foundation. The Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) offers Work Integrated Learning (WIL) subjects are built into your degree, meaning you graduate with more than a degree – you’ll graduate with real world experience – and will have gained invaluable industry connections.

Whether you dream of managing a star player or team, becoming a fitness or facilities manager, a sports media manager or any variation of these exciting roles within the global or local sports industry, the Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) will provide you with the transferable skills, industry experience and in-depth knowledge of business practices that will get you there.

*Average Salary: