The marketplace for talented individuals in sports management jobs is quite competitive. Because of this, you must have a very particular set of skills. These skills will be a nightmare to your competitors because you will routinely set yourself up for success on job interviews, along with success on the job. Sports management careers are routinely pressure filled — in many cases, you only get one chance to get something right, and that can impact a team on the field.
With any job, however, you should always have basic skills and be able to demonstrate the application of these skills and how they have positively impacted your employer. A good resume and proper interviewing skills are a prerequisite, but what do you think of when you think of skills needed for jobs in sports management?
Perhaps there are a wide array of skills that come to mind. Of course, for someone who works on the budget, the skills needed would be different than someone who is in charge of stadium operations. However, there are skills that overlap, and that’s the focus of this post.
If nothing else, after reading the following seven skills, understanding yourself will help you find the good jobs when looking at the long list of sports management jobs.
7 essential skills for working in sports management
The bottom line is you need to demonstrate that you can do several different tasks at a moment’s notice, along with being able to take on roles you normally wouldn’t.
When you work in sports management, you are often tasked with doing many different things that are not in the job description. Just like teams need every player to be all in, the management teams need you to do the same.
2. Time Management
A lot happens on a given day within a sports organization. Management professionals often must complete more in a day than is possible, and in order to be successful, you have to manage your time effectively.
This is where you can get a leg up on the competition. Show potential employers in the sports field how you have managed time in the past. An example of this could be going to school full time while working full time. If you are getting high marks and are a valuable employee, then that shows a team you understand how to use time effectively.
- Event Management Internship
Sports Internship - Central Region
- Associate / Director of Product Management, eCommerce
Administration/Management - West Region
- Head Women's Lacrosse Coach & Event Management Assistant
Collegiate Coaching - Northeast Region
- Event Management Intern
Sports Internship - Central Region
You can’t be cluttered if you want a career in sports management. If you are part of the team evaluating personnel, then imagine the many different files and scouting reports you would have to access immediately upon request.
What if you work in the budget section? This means lots of different figures and it is imperative to make sure the books are completely accurate. With operations, you should be sure your people are in the right places to ensure the fans have the best experience. The bottom line? Being organized is required.
In a sports management team, you should constantly express the needs of your department to those of other departments. If you are in budget, then communicating with personnel isn’t the easiest.
For example, the people who are evaluating talent are not really interested in budget constraints — they will want you to get that player. As a member of the budget team, it is important to be a good communicator, as you won’t have a long time to explain detailed concepts. You will need to boil things down to their simplest elements because other tasks remain.
5. Analytical Mindset
The reality is sports management jobs are always in search of a competitive advantage for your organization. In baseball, the best example of this is Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” philosophy. Similarly, you need to be able to break down the data in front of you and discern different patterns.
The lifeblood of innovative organizations is having talented people who enjoy challenging the way things have always been done. This is why teams like the Spurs and Patriots have had incredible success over the past two decades while other teams are mired in mediocrity.
The worst kept secret about sports management careers is it’s awfully hard to get your foot in the door. This isn’t like insurance — you are competing against loads of qualified folks. Many times, sports management departments with professional sports teams only interview those who send in the most original resumes and applications.
Finding a way to stand out is tantamount to your success. If you are someone who can repackage information or come with brand new paradigms, you will definitely get on the radar of some very prominent sports management executives.
Furthermore, this level of creativity will sustain you in the high-pressure scenarios you will often encounter. Take Bill James, for instance. He is a notable example of creativity because of the way he approached baseball — qualitative analysis — and ushered in a new method of player evaluation.
7. Writing Skills
The fact is you will not be speaking to everyone and making sure that you can make your point through writing is an effective way to move tasks forward in a sports management career. You will have to regularly prepare memos, reports, and many other documents that are crucial to the success of your team and the organization as a whole.
Having clear, concise writing skills means your supervisors will value your input because you are getting straight to the point and providing data to back up your assertions. Make sure writing becomes a big part of your life.
Getting that interview is not the easiest thing to do, but being able to demonstrate the above-noted skills will certainly help you increase your chances at obtaining sports management careers.
Ultimately, you must be willing to showcase your talents and have the empirical evidence to back up your boasts. Once you get the job, these skills will come in handy as you handle the challenging, but rewarding field of sports management and help your organization put together a winner.
What are some other skills need to land a job in sports management?