Sports Executives


Education and Training Requirements

High School

High school courses that will help you to become a sports executive include business, mathematics, and computer science. English, speech, and physical education courses will also be beneficial. Managing a school club or other organization will give you a general idea of the responsibilities and demands that this career involves.

Postsecondary Training

To become a sports executive, you will need at least a bachelor's degree. Remember, even though this is a sport-related position, presidents and general managers are expected to have the same backgrounds as corporate executives. Most have master's degrees in sports administration, and some have master's degrees in business administration. Typical classes in a sports administration program include Fundamentals of Sport Marketing, Sport Facility and Event Management, Finance and Economics of Sport, and the Legal Aspects of Sport. 

Visit for a list of colleges and universities that offer degrees in sports management. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for sports executives.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Sports executives are the all-stars of the sports management world, and it takes many years of experience (some might call it time honing one's skills in the minor leagues) to reach this career pinnacle. You should first participate in at least one internship while in college to obtain enough experience to be hired for entry-level positions in the sports industry. Once hired, you'll need to work three to five years in a support position to qualify for a management-level job, and then about seven years in that position to be considered for executive-level jobs. These experience requirements pertain to jobs at top professional levels; aspiring executives in the minor leagues often need less experience. 

Sports executives must create a positive image for their teams. In this age of extensive media coverage (including the frequent public speaking engagements that are required of sports executives), excellent communications skills are a must. Sports executives need to be dynamic public speakers. They also need a keen business sense, excellent leadership skills, and an intimate knowledge of how to forge a good relationship with their communities. They also should have excellent organizational skills, be detail oriented, and be sound decision makers.