When you ask most Engineers or MBAs who are not really happy with their work lives, what they would like to do instead, a considerable lot will answer something somehow related to sports. People feel very secure to go back to an atmosphere they recollect from childhood, sport is one such constituent of that atmosphere, and thank god it is. But from a very practical and realistic point of view, is the sports industry really suited for you as a professional? Here are 3 things to ask yourself before taking up sports management:
- Are you aware of what sports management really involves?
Do you really know what you’re getting into? Common things that first come to mind when the term ‘sports management’ is tossed in the air include being an athlete yourself, or being an assistant to Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, or being Virat Kohli’s manager, or commentating alongside Harsha Bhogle and Sunny G at the MCG, and other fancy things that similarly display very glittery expectations of people.
Well, here’s a truth bomb. Sports management is exactly like general management of other businesses, the only fundamental difference here is that the main talk of the town this side revolves around sport rather than other products of other industries.
And no, please don’t take up sports management with those above-mentioned aspirations full of high expectations, the reality check might really hurt.
Job profiles will also revolve around sport but with similar departments of general management and business development such as marketing, sales, operations, event management, media management etc.
Specialisations in sports analytics, sports psychology, sports nutrition and physiotherapy, and others will follow once you specifically pursue those avenues.
2. Are you willing to work on weekends and odd hours?
Unlike your normal Monday to Friday/Saturday. Sports management observes the more important days of work on weekends. Compare it to the hotel management industry, more guests/customers visit on holidays which keeps a hotel busier on those days rather than the usual weekdays where everyone’s busy with their own work.
To sell the sport, weekends and holidays are the best, which demands a compromise from those working in the industry. However, it’s not necessary that you have to and have to work on these days, there are exceptions with different work profiles, but mostly, yes you have to. Also, coming to the odd hours part.
For the audience, the day ends when the game ends. But when it comes to the workers, the last phase of the work starts once the game ends. The operations team starts packing up, the journo’s start writing the final report, the broadcasters gear up for the post-match show etc.
This is just an example of what the future might hold for you.
3. Are you in it just for your favourite sport?
A lot of people switch to or begin their career in sports management because of the one sport they love and aspire to work around.
Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this school of thought, but what you should really ask yourself here is would you be open to taking other opportunities as well?
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being passionate about your sport and chasing an opportunity around it. But this in a way, limits your chances to grow as a professional here in this industry and also contributes to a one-dimensional approach where the learning may get hampered. It is a big world out there, and you might enjoy places outside your territory.
Do ask yourself these 3 things before you choose to take up sports management as a career.
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