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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Career in Sports Management

The business of sport


"ALL true wisdom is found on t-shirts,"quipped a hippie meets techie student. Although one may agree with the same, classroom study does have its own merits. Face the fact - no organisation will hire one, and no company will promote one, solely on the basis of one's street smartness.

Often, one may have to give in to worldly demands, and opting to pursue an MBA course is one such compulsion. One look around and you will realise that no degree fetches one the recognition, adulation and moolah like an MBA degree.The Indian economy is at its accelerating best and there has been no better time to commence one's career than now.This sudden realisation had developed a sort of herd mentality among students, who appear for qualifying examinations with as much regularity as a devout matinee movie buff. But here lies the catch, an MBA is a must for an illustrious career, but then why confine oneself to the run of the mill, finance, marketing or human resource MBA? There are refreshing new avenues when pursuing one's management studies - one such avenue is the very niche sports management course.

From movies to endorsements, from controversies to green dough - sports have seen it all. Sport craze has scaled heights and defied norms like never before. Sports like cricket with its high decibel mass entertainment, chess with its stalwarts, tennis with its clay heroes, and golf with its master putters have had a huge influence over society, people, their lifestyles, and is now climbing the charts as one of the most sought after career options.

Besides the stardom and enigma behind the actual sportsmen, what lies ahead for a student pursuing sports management? India, with its billion plus population has always treated sports as a religion, a cult even. However, one must realise that just as a feature film does not belong to its leading pair, a sport does not belong only to the sportsmen."Sports is an interlinked chain of events, a machine which, for its smooth operation,requires managers,brand developers,event organisers, coaches, commentators, etc,"avers Abhilasha Rao, an MBA aspirant who is considering sports management.

Although, till recently, qualification was not a mandate in sports related careers, with the burgeoning requirement of professional managers, a formal degree in sports management will definitely carry tons of premium."Choosing an offbeat MBA programme like the one above is like setting up a start-up company - a real tricky ride with hurdles galore. But in the end, it's surely worth the effort," says Johann Desales, a freelance sports journalist with a leading daily.

With zero competition, a satisfying and high-spirited work life, and some real good money, sports management seems like it's here to stay. But just like many other good things in life, this one too comes with a 'conditions apply' tag. Students should be forewarned to not expect too much too soon. Bagging that coveted job with a thick pay packet may require whirlwind efforts, even after completing the course, unlike the finance and marketing avenues where jobs are offered left, right, and centre.

The verdict is out and it's visibly clear, sports management may not be for the faint hearted, but only for the select few who are game for the thrill.

Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group

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