How do sports managers of the future have to be?

How do sports managers of the future have to be?

Internationalisation, commercialisation and digitalisation. These are the trends that determine the key competencies of sports managers of the future and the new challenge that university centres must reach. But are they really heading towards this orientation?

The NASME (New Age of Sport Management Education in Europe) project has recently been completed. This is an ERASMUS + project funded by the European Union, which aims to identify the skills required of a sports manager to adapt to the current and future European sports industry. The main objective of the research is that the curriculum in sports management has to adapt to these demands of the future.

One of the proposals of the project, which highlights the importance of the practical part in learning, is to harmonize the curriculum of the different educational institutions so that the different courses complement each other in a useful and logical way, thus helping students acquire the required skills. Also, it would be interesting a cross-sectional work between the different agents involved in the sports industry (educational institutions, academics, students, sports entities, private sector and politicians), so that teaching will be more transferable to practice.

The study confirms the impact and influence that social trends exert when determining the key competencies of a sports manager. These competencies associated with current trends are identified below:

  • Internationalisation: competencies to address transnational problems take on special relevance, and, increasingly, the labour market is requesting a second language (mainly English).
  • Commercialisation: the value of rights in the media has been increasing significantly. The sport is becoming more professional in many aspects. Sports managers with knowledge of marketing, entrepreneurship, negotiation and creative work are required.
  • Digitalisation: the digital revolution has caused changes in the sports industry. Specialists in information technology, social networks, digital marketing and communication are required. Organizations should know how to make the most of the options that come from digitalization.

These types of studies represent an opportunity to meet the demands of the sector and act accordingly to obtain qualified and competent professionals in their work. Based on the conclusions, we will have to reflect on whether we are really working to adapt our curriculum in sports management to the new requirements and what are the main difficulties that may arise during the implementation in order to address them in the most effective way.