The Dream and Dread of a Career in Sports Management

Sports Management Career

You’re going for it. You love everything about basketball, so you’re entering college to study sports management. You’ll have an enviable career surrounded by famous athletes, trophies, and money, for sure.

While you may think this, you’re both right and wrong.

Many students seeking sports management degrees enter school with the same stars in their eyes. In ways, you’re off to a good start. You’re seeking a career in an exciting field that interests you. While others wade through paperwork or have their faces bolted to a computer screen, you’re at the game.

Working with Athletes

You get to work with the most talented and fit athletes in the world as their trainer, manager, or promoter. You are the guy who knows that guy. If they need it, you make it happen.

Do you have a 40 inch vertical? Can you bench-press 400 pounds? Did you score the game winner? No. You’re the help. You’re part of the entourage that supports the people who do the work that counts. It’s tough on the ego, no matter how smart you are or how hard you work. Are you ready for that? Yet for every athlete with a superiority complex, you’ll find one aware of his or her blessings that gives back every chance he or she gets.

Benefitting Charity

Sports leagues take part in many charities, but the famous faces at the head don’t have time for the operations. They need you to lead the NFL’s breast cancer awareness movement or the NBA’s health and wellness program. Sports in America is a $200 billion industry. You can help direct that to people who need it more than those already rich.

If you look past the glitz of most charities, you’ll see administrative waste and greed. Often you’ll discover the true purpose is to say: “Look at me! I care about others, so buy my product.” Does Major League Baseball sell more tickets and merchandise because they help Habitat for Humanity? Of course. Would they sell as many if they ignored the needy?

Rolling with the Winners

Even the smallest member of a championship franchise gets to bask in the glory for a while. Everything is good when your team is winning. Spirits are high, bonuses are flowing, and smiles are everywhere. However, no one stays on top forever.

You’ve seen a group of players perform badly all year and finish with a lousy record. Then the coach, the general manager and their whole staff get fired. Next year, they’ll all have jobs again, but someone had to pay. At least once in your sports management career, you’ll be that guy. Through no fault of your own, you’ll be in the same barn as the scapegoat and you’ll all be slaughtered.

If it is your passion and you have the drive, you’re sure to succeed. Attack this opportunity like a slugger at the plate. Swing as hard as you can and keep swinging when you miss. It’s a very competitive field, but when the ball sails over the fence, all the sweat and stress will be worth it.

* Image via Flickr by State Farm

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