The role of a team manager for a professional sports team is very diverse, and the skill of spinning many plates at once is very highly prized. The manager is an integral part of the team that works with all the aspects of a professional team both on and off the field. Essentially, the manager runs the team how the director and owner want it to be. Therefore there is mutual consent between the high administrative team as well as the coach and players. Working with the physical side of the business such as producing results on the field as well as marketing the team to consumers, venues, advertisers, networks, sponsors and different investors is all part and parcel of the role. A fantastic manager will always put the team’s interests first and their personal preferences last. They will have a keen interest in the image, the doctrine of the team and what it stands for, the history and the task of modernizing it for the future.
How to get your foot in the door
If you want to become involved in such aspects, you need administrative training in a sporting sense such as an accredited online Master’s Degree in Sport Administration. In the course you’ll cover many aspects of the business side getting prepared for positions at all levels in keeping athletes on the field, managing athletes, tracking finances, marketing the brand in the correct image and gain an insight into the global sports industry. You’ll also study the importance of kinesiology and explore the law around how this impacts on the field and the American legal system. The need to understand and utilize fundamental risk-management strategies is crucial to avoiding legal liability. Professional sports teams want a diverse range of topics to be covered and understood as managing expectation from the fans and audience is just as important and managing the brand as a business.
Showcase organizational skills
Volunteer to organize a local sporting event by contacting the event-holders or speaking with a local sporting team that wants the publicity. When you go the go-ahead, try to create the narrative that is attractive to sports fans. The typical underdog making a comeback plot is tried and tested and brings out the human fight back character in fans. The bitter rivalry that plays on the history between two teams is another great angle to get people in seats. Building up the tension requires a spark that is aligned with the mood of the team you’re marketing. Their ethos and their colors should be well represented with honor and the pursuit of glory.
Local marketing and organization of a sports event, requires the use of local platforms, such as a radio station where you can go on and be interviewed about the contest and explain why people should buy tickets. The local news channel is also a great source of publicity where the same rules apply. Posters and leaflets splayed out around the town or city and distributed in bars connect with local sporting fans.
This also applies prior to being hired as part of a team. Working with a local or professional team, you should be akin to managing the aspects of certain players. Star players need a schedule, so their true potential for the team is achieved, after all, they are a business investment. It’s your job to make sure certain players stay out of trouble in the media; their behavior is closely watched as they represent the team and are fan favorites.
You’ll be in charge of their transport details, their dietary needs, comfort levels such as catering to their injuries by having heat sprays, bandages, tape and prescribed drugs all at the ready for when they need it. For many athletes, you’ll also be their unofficial guidance counsellor, as, after a bad game, they need to be psychologically reassured, and motivation kept high for the next game.
Pre-season junior manager
Apply for a junior manager role to the sporting team you have a true resonance with and passion to glorify. With an accredited degree behind you along with experience in managing local events, your most likely role will be as a junior manager working directly under the directorship, coach, media relations, advertising, sales, event, customer or director of youth sports.
Before the season even starts, a manager will have long meetings with the directorship and the team itself. Pre-season activities include deciding the goals of the next few months and assessing the current state of the team. Next is the in-depth discussion of funding, advertising, getting sponsors on board and contacting third-parties to check up on the potential deal signing. Working directly with the finance department is crucial for maintaining the upkeep of the venue, aesthetically as well as improved safety standards.