What Are Key Challenges Faced In Sports Management?


With the rate at which sports leagues like the IPL, Pro Kabaddi League, and ISL are drawing sponsors and audiences, it’s not wrong to assume that sports management is going to be the next big thing for students.

Having a career in sports management sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Imagine the frenzy, the glamour, and the money that you can now be a part of. But, look carefully, and you will see there’s a long list of challenges that sports managers must face today. That happens because the stakes are often so high that there’s bound to be tension, heartbreaks, setbacks, and biases involved. That makes sports management jobs risky and challenging.

Now ask yourself, are you up for this challenge? Do you have what it takes to balance the interests of teams, fans, and owners?

What are some of the challenges you may have to face in this field?

Sports management can be one of the most physically and emotionally-exhausting jobs ever but it is also equally satisfying and monetarily rewarding.

Before you dive deep into it, it’s a good idea to know what the challenges are and how you can overcome these:

  • Motivating the teams: For a team to give its best, it’s essential that players stay motivated and their morale is high. But, that’s not easy, is it? As a coach, it’s your job to uplift the team even when there have been defeats and setbacks. Sports managers need to make sure the players are motivated and positive when there are upcoming tournaments.
  • Resolving workplace conflicts: Just like in any workplace, there will be clashes and disagreements when you work in the sports management industry. Such issues can arise because of miscommunication, mistrust, jealousy, and unhealthy competition among players. You have to identify the root cause of the conflict and resolve it before it escalates. For this, you may need to organize team-building activities from time to time to forge a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork.
  • Maintaining discipline: When team members are indisciplined, their performances on the field are hampered. As a sports manager, you will be expected to maintain high disciplinary standards and oversee measures to enforce discipline.
  • Firing team members: Sports garner a lot of attention; the level of talent demanded is exceptionally high. This is why many sportsmen lose out in spite of having talent and skills. In sports management, you will need to take hard decisions which may mean leaving out talented individuals at times and firing unruly, indisciplined players who have to be taken out of the sport for preserving its sanctity.
  • Accepting accountability: Often, when a team fails to win, the responsibility and blame tend to fall on the sports management. You need to be prepared for this challenge if you plan on a career in this industry. Even players blame the management on different occasions for different reasons. Situations like these can cripple the spirit of teamwork and affect performance. As part of sports management, it will be your responsibility to make sure the team stays united and strong together despite the losses and blames.
  • Dealing with lack of adequate resources: Resources are always an issue with sports management. Even with limited resources, sports managers are expected to deliver outstanding results. You will have to be creative and innovative, figuring out cost-effective ways to boost players’ performances even with a tight budget.
  • Traveling constantly: As a sports manager, you will need to travel with the team and work long hours. This means compromising on quality time with family and loved ones, especially when you have to be on tours with the teams for months on end. The job can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. Be ready to face this challenge if you want to be a successful sports manager.

These are a few formidable challenges that sports managers face from time to time. Sports management is tricky, difficult, and filled with ups and downs. But, it can be hugely satisfying if you have had a passion for sports throughout and have always dreamt of doing this.