When the term ‘sports management’ is mentioned, it’s natural for sports fans to automatically assume that you’re referring to a manager, or coach.

However, as those working within the football & sport industry will point out, the term can be used to describe a number of key job roles, including: a chief executive, technical director, managing director, director of football, sports administrator and more.

To be successful in sports management, you have to be a leader, an individual with an ability to rally the troops when circumstances may be difficult, all whilst possessing high levels of patience and initiative to deal with unprecedented adversity that comes with working for a sports club or organisation.

As Atlanta United’s technical director, Carlos Bocanegra, pointed out during a recent interview with UCFB, tackling adversity is a key component of being a sports leader.

He said: “At a time like this with COVID-19 around the world, everybody is facing the same challenges and the same issues and there’s not a whole lot of answers. So these are the challenging times where as leaders you have to make sure that you’re accessible and make sure that people can hear from you as often as possible.

“You control what you can control, you do the best you can and you get on with it because it’s not always going to go your way.”

Saad Wadia, a UCFB graduate who is now co-founder and managing director of sports consultancy Avalon Sports Group, also shares Bocanegra’s thoughts. He commented: “You have to look at the overall picture and understand that there's people who are in far worse situations than you and you have to put them first.

“This then helps you to be more flexible and look at the situation for what it is. Once you have a solid foundation like this, you can then be proactive in working on other projects for new opportunities.”

Whilst football management doesn’t entirely cover sports management, there are many similarities between the two. Leadership is a crucial quality which any successful senior leaders and football managers must possess, and it is a skill which Burnley manager Sean Dyche spoke at length about in a recent interview with UCFB.

“Knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do – that’s football management,” said Dyche.

“You’ve got to find a way to do something that is going to bring change or move forward, and you’ve got to find ways of stimulating others because that’s your job.”

Whether it’s via business, media, marketing, finance, stadium & events management, or designated sports management courses, there’s a variety of different pathways available to students looking to learn the fundamentals of senior leadership roles in the industry.

At UCFB, we have also developed a number of pioneering postgraduate programmes to enable those already working in the industry to drive forward their career, with courses covering a range of subjects including: football business, sport management and international sport management.

Whatever route students decide to take to forge a career in sports management, they are set for a stimulating and proactive future working in one of the world’s highest profile sectors.

Click here to find out more about working in football and sport.