Sports management requires a combination of coaching and business savvy in order to effectively manage, or play a part in managing, a sports organization. Athleticism, marketing knowhow, event planning, accounting and behavioral psychology can all help sports management professionals enjoy a successful career. Read on to investigate some of the resources a sports management exec will want to turn to over the course of their career.
- North American Society for Sports Management (NASSM): Formed to encourage scholarly research and professional best practices in sports management, this organization is available to both students and working professionals. A jobs board is also available to members.
- National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA): Comprised of more than 6,000 collegiate athletic directors, NACDA provides support to professionals, while also offering a number of resources relevant to faculty and students. A mentoring program, internship opportunities, and a jobs board are all available to members. NACDA also sponsors the Disneyland Pigskin Classic football game and Sears’ Directors Cup program.
- National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA): Formed specifically to empower women in the athletic administrative profession, NACWAA maintains a mentoring program and offers continuing education and networking opportunities. Members may also attend an annual national convention and local chapter events throughout the year.
- National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE): Formed to provide support for physical education faculty and staff at all education levels, NASPE promotes best practices among its members. Teachers, coaches, trainers, directors and other faculty can take advantage of a number of academic-focused opportunities, or attend NASPE events to learn and network. NASPE funds some programs with grants, and recognizes others with awards.
Open courseware refers to online courses taught by leading higher learning institutions in the U.S. Courses are offered free of charge, though some classes may encourage students to seek out additional reading materials that must be purchased.
- Sport Media and Culture: Who’s calling the shots? This introductory level course explores the role that media plays in our cultural appreciation of sports. The creation of sports heroes and the place of sports in popular culture is examined in this 5-hour class.
- Communication for Managers: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers this course that affirms that good communication skills are key to management success in any industry, including the sports industry. This graduate level course covers motivation, persuasion, presentation skills, listening skills and business writing, among other topics.
- Managerial Psychology: Another course hosted by MIT, this class is an undergraduate introduction to the psychology of good management. Lecture topics include organizational structure and the latest behavioral research; students explore ways to tie them together effectively.
- Introduction to Sport, Fitness and Management: This undergraduate level course is an introductory overview of sports management. Class participants will cover fitness training principles, sports law, nutrition for athletes, and general organizational structure. The importance of customer care within sports is also stressed, as is the overall relationship between sports and good health.
- The Subject is Sports: This course is presented by Syracuse University. Over the course of six sessions, students in this free class will examine the evolution of sports in society, relevant business aspects of sports, sports marketing, ethics and future trends in sports.
Open Access Journals
Open access journals are free to access, and generally feature scholarly, peer-reviewed articles dedicated to everything sports management.
- Journal of Sports Management (JSM): Published by the NASSM, this scholarly journal covers current events and trends in the industry. Research and analysis is offered on organizational theory, sport operations, consumer behavior, sponsorship and numerous other topics related to sports. The JSM is published six times per year, though supplemental issues are released when the editorial board deems necessary.
- Open Research Network (ORN) Journal of Physical Education and Sport Management: This peer-reviewed journal publishes original research and current events in sports management. Recent articles included an analysis of motivational factors for student attendance at collegiate sporting events.
- International Journal of Sport Management, Recreation & Tourism: This refereed journal is a quarterly publication that reports on scholarly research in sports management, leisure and tourism. Proposed theory, review papers, case studies and book reviews all serve to inform working professionals in sports management.
- Journal of Applied Sport Management: Research that Matters: Formerly known as the Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision, this publication focuses on the development of academic theory behind the sports industry. To that end, original research and reviews of existing literature will be published annually.
- International Journal of Sports Science: Professionals in all sub-disciplines of sports science may find this publication interesting. Articles cover research in the natural sciences related to sports, as well as the social/behavioral sciences and their application in sports management. Recent articles have examined risk perception in paragliders, a methodology by which to measure athlete’s skin and the prevalence of injuries among rodeo participants.
- Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers: Written by Benjamin Alamar, the founder of the first academic journal in sports management, this text is a definitive guide to decision-making in sports. Coaches, managers and athletes can all learn from these best practices in data analysis, each using available metrics to build a roadmap to a team’s success.
- Essentials of Athletic Injury Management: Written for sports practitioners who do not have a medical background, this book provides short-term management techniques for athletic injuries. Prevention, assessment and identification are outlined, as are best practices for interacting with players, parents and medical personnel.
- Above All Else: A World Champion Skydiver’s Story of Survival and What It Taught Him About Fear, Adversity, and Success: Author Dan Brodsky-Chenfield barely survived a harrowing plane crash, sustaining life-threatening injuries. After his recovery, Brodsky-Chenfield became a world-champion skydiver, using lessons he learned during his accident recovery. He shares techniques for success in this memoir.
- Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball’s Winningest GM: John Schuerholz took the Atlanta Braves baseball team to the playoffs against ridiculous odds. Together with co-authors Bob Costas and Larry Guest, Schuerholz shares his sports management secrets and offers tips for career success in the sports industry.
- Sounders FC – AUTHENTIC MASTERPIECE: The Inside Story Of The Best Franchise Launch In American Sports History: Several unlikely business partners, a comedian, a minor league executive, a film producer and a wealthy backer, created a major league soccer franchise that unexpectedly enjoyed serious success. In this book, author Mike Gastineau details the launch of the Sounders Football Club in Seattle, sharing the careful planning that went into each step of the launch.
- The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently: Successful NFL coach and Super Bowl winner Tony Dungy shares his secrets to success in this book. Dungy’s seven keys of mentoring leadership are detailed, with advice on how to deploy these tips in any aspect of industry, including sports management. Team discipline, coaching mistakes and persuading players to follow along are just some of the topics discussed here.
Online Industry Magazines
- Sports Business Daily Global Journal: This online resource provides sports professionals with valuable information that can be used every day of their working lives. Breaking news is combined with in-depth weekly features and analysis to cover every aspect of sports business.
- Athletic Management: This website, companion site to the Athletic Management blog, covers breaking developments in the industry. Recent articles have reported on the winningest high school basketball coach in Minnesota, a student-athlete grading scandal at the University of North Carolina, and a star high school basketball player who is in fourth grade.
- Sports Business News: News and current events on numerous sports are chronicled here. Other topics include a countdown to the Olympic Games, law and media, and ownership and management. The Insider’s Report also offers lengthy feature articles; recent entries covered renowned trainer Jillian Michaels, Joe Paterno and the World Baseball Classic, among others.
- The Business of Sports: This industry blog reports on news and current events in sports business. Blog articles may cover topics like sports media, fan loyalty, and social media and marketing. An event calendar tracks professional growth and networking opportunities, and podcasts are available for some articles.
- Sport Management: Blogger Natalie Bohonsky is currently completing a master’s degree program in sports management at the University of San Francisco. She writes informatively and often humorously about the life of a grad student and aspiring sports management professional.
- Sports and Social Change: Founded by sports management industry executives, this blog contains curated news and current events in sports administration. Because sports administration is a globally recognized endeavor, the authors behind this blog report on opportunities to use the sporting arena as a vehicle for social change. Past article titles include discussions on discrimination at the upcoming Sochi Olympics, a definition of sports advocacy, and philanthropic giving.
Who to Follow on Twitter
- Sports Management @SPORTSMAG: The official Twitter account of the British periodical Sports Management. Breaking news coverage and job openings are posted here frequently.
- Sport Management @nassm_sportmgt: The official Twitter feed for the North American Society for Sports Management. Subscribers may access links to breaking news and happenings within the industry.