Career Opportunities in Sports Management

“If you do what you love, then you don’t have to work a day in your life” – Confucius.

We are witnessing a ‘Sporting’ revolution, both on and off the fields and arenas. The rapidly evolving Sports industry needs professionals who will utilise their expertise to shape it in the years to come.  

The advent of multiple sporting  leagues like the  IPL, ISL and PKL, to name just three, necessitates the requirement of individuals who will complement the performances of sportspersons on the field, with their efforts off it, and in the process, steer the Sports industry to newer heights. Those who are passionate about Sports can have fulfilling careers as Managers in this growing industry.

Sports Managers are the unsung heroes, who with their expertise and enterprise, create just the right environment for our sporting icons to do the country proud.

Since its birth in 2010, IISM has aimed to nurture and mould create managers who will in turn nurture and mould India’s Sporting industry. The curriculum is a mix of theory and practical exposure. While classroom education, which comprises orientation to aspects of the Sports industry, management concepts and assignments, is important, IISM seeks to blend it by providing opportunities to its students to volunteer / intern during sporting events. There is no substitute to learning ‘on the job.’ In the field, you learn to apply the concepts that are imparted in the classroom and you also figure out the art of thinking on your feet. Thus, practical exposure is combined with concepts like

Sales and Marketing, Content Development, Venue Management, Administration, Operations, Celebrity Management and  Public Relations, all of which are introduced and taught by industry experts in the classroom.

IISM offers three  courses –

Bachelor of Sports Management (BSM), a  three-year degree program in collaboration with the University of Mumbai

Master of Sports Management(MSM), a  two-year  degree program, in collaboration with the University of Mumbai

An autonomous Post Graduate program in sports and wellness management (PGPS & WM).

All three programs have been designed with the objective of equipping the students to take up and excel at Sports Management opportunities.  

Following are the some of the key career-paths in the  sports industry:  

  1. Administration and Operations

This domain is related to Sporting infrastructure like Stadia, Academies and Grassroot development ventures. It involves  planning, organizing and executing camps and tournaments, day-to-day venue management, coordinating and liaising with different people and agencies, drawing up calendars and schedules and business development, among other areas. Individuals who revel in multi-tasking and like to be in the thick of things will relish these responsibilities.

2. Media, Communication and Public Relations

This area covers the entire gamut from media management to content development. It comprises the different media platforms – Print, Electronic and Digital. It involves Sports PR and Journalism.  Creativity is the key.

A broadcasting role is not restricted to facing the camera. It can encompasses planning,  coordination with internal departments, analytics for live broadcast and storytelling skills for telecasts, pre and post shows. These responsibilities will excite those who wish to be part of broadcasting networks and enjoy the hustle and bustle that prevail at these workplaces.

Sports event management is another area to which professionals can make a monumental difference. Creating Sporting IPs that are centered around dynamic rating systems, the highlight of which is an awards ceremony, is something that will interest sports managers. Planning and executing an awards ceremony involves a variety of skills.

3. Athlete, Team and League Management

Celebrity Management companies need professionals to manage the ‘talent’ they have engaged with. A talent manager will work on the celebrity’s off-the-field commitments, like commercial endorsements, social appearances and if required, even their social media accounts/handles. A manager can provide sound counsel to the celebrity.

Team management speaks for itself. A team manager looks after a team’s off-the-field commitments and work on scheduling and logistics. In other words, he/she ensures that the players are able to focus on playing the sport and nothing else.

4. Sales and Marketing

This is a broad sphere. It includes areas like Business Development, Digital Marketing and Brand Awareness and Promotions. Managers would have to create and execute digital marketing plans and execute a robust social media strategy in line with the brand’s objectives and guidelines. This area involves the identification of new business avenues and people skills.

A few things to keep in mind for all sports management aspirants is that the work environment is challenging and will test their potential to the fullest.  The quantum of the work and responsibilities may not be in sync  with the pay cheque in the initial phase, but the prospects for growth are realistic at a time when the sports industry is evolving rapidly and the country is well on its way to becoming a sporting Superpower.

Required Attributes

A passion for sports is the fundamental attribute.  That apart, there are others, like a desire to learn an acquire knowledge, tenacity, decision-making abilities and the courage of conviction. The ideal Sports Manager is an articulate, adaptable, ambitious and enterprising individual who loves sport and is equally at home while working alone or as part of a team. At IISM, we prepare our students to pursue fruitful careers in Sports Management.  

Placements and Internships

IISM prides itself on the bundle of possibilities and favourable volunteering, internship and indeed, placement opportunities that it provides  to all its students. Companies like Star Sports, EduSports, Olympic Gold Quest, DNA Networks, IMG, Sports Interactive, Engage Sports Media, FICCI, Cornerstone, PMG and BookMyShow, to name just a few, have engaged our students, either as full-time employees or interns or both.

The opportunities are abundant. It is the  right time to dive into the sports management industry. Make a thriving career for yourself by doing  what you love!

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