The ultimate guide for graduates in choosing your ideal career in the sports management industry.

Every industry needs leaders, and sport is no different. while the leaders on the pitch might dominate the headlines, it’s the personnel behind the scenes and off the pitch that help make an organisation tick…

Chief executive

The chief executive is the boss. No one sits above them – apart from maybe shareholders. You’re the public face of the organisation, the figurehead staff look up to and the who should be setting the example for others to follow. The CEO will be heavily involved in the finances of the business and will have great man-management skills to manage the people below them to run the various departments. Having a good idea and oversight of the wider business is essential, and you must be assured in all of your decisions.

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Adrian Bevington, former Club England Managing Director, delivered a guest lecture to students at UCFB Etihad Campus

Brand manager

Sports teams are some of the most lucrative and recognisable brands in the world. The Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League, the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball and Manchester United in the Premier League are listed by Forbes as the three most valuable brands in world sport, with a combined worth of over $10 billion. Then, of course, there are the likes of Adidas, Nike and Under Armour. The brand manager is responsible for the image of the brand, will know the marketplace it belongs in like the back of their hand oversee everything from the website to printed materials and to television adverts. You’ll be creative, full of ideas and be a great communicator – building relationships internally and externally are vital to the role.

Chief financial officer

Sports club and organisations have hundreds of income streams, all of which need to be assessed, measured and streamlined. Then there’s the millions of pounds leaving the company accounts on a yearly basis that need monitoring, not to mention the staff that need paying – players, coaches, stewards, the media team. As the CFO, you’re are in charge of every penny coming in and going out of the business. If the team manager wants £10 million for a new striker, chances are you’ll be the one signing the cheque.

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Former Chief Executive of The Football Association, Brian Barwick, speaking to students at the Burnley campus. Barwick is now Chairman of the The National League.

Commercial manager

Where a CFO might sign the cheques and have the overall decision of business finance, a commercial manager will lead teams into negotiations with sponsors and external partners to best increase the money coming into the organisation. You will award new contracts and renegotiate deals, as well as explore future opportunities for the business.

Athlete representative

Athlete representatives- or agents - now play a massive role in professional sport. From dealing with a player’s contract negotiation, through to finalising their new boot deal. Agents might concentrate on one client, or run their own business with a number of clients. Either way, every player has one. Read more on how to become a football agent.