Career Development

What Does an Athlete Manager Do?

Find out what an athlete manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an athlete manager.

Athlete managers are responsible for the careers of professional athletes. They help their clients negotiate contracts, plan out schedules, and manage their public image.

Athlete managers may also be involved in more general business tasks such as marketing, accounting, and other administrative duties.

Athlete Manager Job Duties

Athlete managers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Negotiating contracts with sponsors and endorsement deals with companies who want to use an athlete’s talents for marketing purposes
  • Planning travel arrangements, including selecting hotels and booking flights, buses, or trains
  • Arranging for medical care for injuries or illnesses that occur during play
  • Coordinating with sports agents to recruit new clients or negotiate contracts for existing clients
  • Managing the career development of athletes by helping them develop skills, improve performance, and increase their exposure to scouts and other professionals in their field
  • Preparing budgets and financial plans for clients, including estimating future earnings potential based on past performance and current market trends
  • Managing media appearances, including scheduling interviews with reporters, booking appearances on radio or television programs, and helping prepare athletes for interviews by providing information about topics that might come up during conversation
  • Coordinating travel arrangements for teams, including booking flights and booking hotels for players and staff members
  • Researching the backgrounds of potential clients to determine if they are a good fit for representation

Athlete Manager Salary & Outlook

Athlete managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions or bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $67,500 ($32.45/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of athlete managers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for athletic facilities and services is expected to increase as more people take up sports and fitness activities. In addition, demand will likely come from the aging population, which is more likely to participate in physical activity than younger people.

Athlete Manager Job Requirements

To become an athlete manager, one typically needs:

Education: Most employers require an athlete manager to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common majors for aspiring athlete managers are business, sports management and kinesiology.

Training & Experience: Most athlete managers will receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training will help the athlete manager learn the specific systems and procedures of the organization. The training may also help the athlete manager learn the specific skills and techniques required for their role.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not often required for athlete managers, they can be beneficial as they can demonstrate your motivation and drive.

Athlete Manager Skills

Athlete managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another skill that can be beneficial for athlete managers to have, as it can help them convey information to their clients and athletes effectively. For example, an athlete manager might use communication skills to send an email to an athlete about a contract negotiation or to send a text message to an athlete to check in on them.

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you motivate and direct your team to achieve goals. You can use your leadership skills to motivate your team to work hard and achieve their goals. You can also use leadership skills to delegate tasks and motivate your team to work together to achieve their goals.

Marketing: Marketing skills allow you to create and implement marketing strategies for your clients. You can use these skills to help athletes grow their social media following, increase their brand awareness and attract sponsorships. You can also use marketing skills to help athletes create marketing campaigns for their events or products.

Negotiation: Negotiation is the ability to persuade others to agree with your ideas or proposals. As an athlete manager, you may need to negotiate with team owners, sponsors or other representatives of athletes to secure the best deals for your clients. You can also use negotiation skills to help athletes set goals and develop action plans to achieve them.

Time management: Time management is another skill that can be useful for an athlete manager to have, as it can help them stay on task throughout the day. For example, an athlete manager may have several meetings throughout the day with different clients or athletes, and time management skills can help them stay on track and ensure they get to each meeting on time.

Athlete Manager Work Environment

Athlete managers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They often travel to meet with clients, attend sporting events, or visit potential employers. Because much of their work is done on the phone or through email, they can often work from home. However, they may need to be available at all hours to respond to client inquiries or emergencies. Athlete managers must be able to handle stress and be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to juggle multiple tasks and be organized.

Athlete Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how athlete managers work. Athlete managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Athlete Manager as a New Profession

Athlete managers are becoming a new profession, as more and more athletes are realizing the need for professional management. This trend is being driven by the increasing popularity of sports and the growing demand for athlete endorsements.

Athlete managers can capitalize on this trend by developing strong relationships with athletes and their families. They can also focus on developing new business opportunities for their clients and helping them to manage their finances.

More Athletes Will Be Self-Managed

As athletes become more self-managed, they will need help from professionals who understand the business side of sports. Athlete managers will be in high demand to help athletes navigate the complex world of contracts, marketing, and branding.

In order to be successful, athlete managers will need to be well-versed in all aspects of the sports industry. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with athletes, coaches, and other team members.

Greater Focus on Long-Term Planning

Athlete managers are increasingly focusing on long-term planning for their clients. This is due to the fact that many athletes are looking for ways to stay competitive for longer periods of time.

As a result, athlete managers need to be able to develop long-term plans that include both short-term and long-term goals. They also need to be able to keep athletes motivated and focused on achieving those goals.

How to Become an Athlete Manager

A career as an athlete manager can be rewarding and exciting. It’s important to have a strong understanding of the sports industry, so start by researching different teams and athletes. You should also build relationships with coaches, trainers, and other professionals in the industry.

Once you have a good foundation of knowledge, it’s time to start networking. Attend sporting events and meet with athletes and their managers. Offer your services as an athlete manager if you see a need for additional help. Keep track of all your interactions and stay up-to-date on industry news.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for athlete managers are good. As experience is gained, managers will be able to handle more clients and command higher fees. In addition, managers who prove themselves to be successful in helping their clients achieve their goals will have little trouble finding new clients. The best athlete managers often have a background in sports themselves, which gives them a better understanding of the athletes they work with.

Athlete Manager Job Description Example

As an athlete manager, you will be responsible for the business management of your client’s career in their sport. This will include contract negotiation, marketing and endorsement deals, public relations, and managing finances. You will need to have a strong understanding of the business of the sport your client is in, as well as an understanding of the client’s goals and objectives. In addition, you will need to be well-connected within the industry in order to secure the best opportunities for your client. The ability to think outside the box and be creative in your approach to problem-solving is essential in this role.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the athlete’s brand and how to protect and enhance it
  • Develop a strong relationship of trust with the athlete
  • Understand the business of sports and how it works
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of the athlete
  • Manage the athlete’s finances and investments
  • Plan the athlete’s career
  • Handle the athlete’s public relations
  • Arrange for the athlete’s endorsement deals
  • Organize the athlete’s appearance schedule
  • Book the athlete’s travel arrangements
  • Manage the athlete’s day-to-day schedule
  • Be available to the athlete 24/7

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, sports management, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience working with athletes, preferably in a management capacity
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with athletes
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and organizational skills
  • Strong understanding of the business of sports
  • Familiarity with NCAA rules and regulations

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business, sports management, or related field
  • 5+ years experience working with athletes, preferably in a management capacity
  • Certification from National Sports Agents Association (NSAA)
  • Extensive network of contacts within the sports industry


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