All about Sports Management & journey as a Sports Facility Manager

Published On: July 15, 2020

Ever since the launch of Indian Premier League in 2008, the management sector got a new branch called Sports Management. So, what is Sports Management? How is it different from general management?

Sports management involves combination of skills related to planning, organizing, directing, controlling, budgeting, leading and evaluating within the context of an organization or department whose primary product or service is related to sports or physical activity. Business Administration programs touch upon different aspects of business affairs whereas sports management programs emphasize the application of business skills in the world of sports.

So, the next question that may come up in your mind would be- what kind of a job or role or career could one have after pursuing a sports management program? Some of the top jobs in this field are game day or event coordinator, administrator in an organization of federation or body, sports marketer, facility operations manager, data analyst, guest relations manager, corporate partnerships manager, athlete manager, team manager and so on.

But before we dive into the various career opportunities in sports management, let us first see the importance of education in sports management. A sports management degree teaches students skills and concepts related to management, finance, marketing and law related to the sports industry. It helps you learn how to overview the business side of a sports organisation with the use of the latest trends and technologies. The most important set of skills that will develop are critical thinking, problem solving, communication and attention to details.

Here we are talking about one of the important aspects of sports management: Sports Facility Management. Facilities include areas that are constructed or maintained to allow people to participate in a sport and recreation activities as well as any structures that support people involved in sport and recreation. Sports Facility Managers, sometimes called arena managers. Stadium managers, general managers or stadium operations executives, are responsible for the day-to-day operations involved in running a sports facility. They are involved in sports facilities planning, including the buying, selling or leasing of facilities; facility redesign and construction; and the supervision of sports facilities, including the structure and grounds, as well as the custodial crews.

The general responsibilities of a sports facility operations manager include ensuring that the facility is operating as it should on a daily basis, dealing with emergency issues that arise, formulating plans for the future, creating plans for replacement and repairs, developing and managing vendor contracts, etc.

Not only must facilities managers be highly qualified and knowledgeable, but they also need to be able to interface with and communicate with other individuals very well. Facilities managers will be working with contractors, employees, and higher-level executives, all with the goal of ensuring that the physical operations of the company be maintained. In charge of the day-to-day operations of the business, facilities managers also need to be exceptionally conscientious and diligent. Experience is needed to be able to identify potential issues before they occur and to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

I was fortunate enough to have the experience of working as a facility manager not once but twice in a short span: once at Quest Adventure Sports Academy and then recently at RR Motorsport Management Pvt. Ltd.

Quest Adventure Sports Academy (QASA) is a premier adventure sports training academy providing quality education to all aspects of aquatic sports, lifesaving and rescue while considering regional conservation & protection of natural resources. QASA in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, provides recreational & professional courses in aquatic adventure sports. QASA offers courses in kitesurfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, sailing & lifesaving. The academy hosts a boutique home stay Kathadi North which is suited for travellers who would like a beach holiday while pursuing a water sports course.

As a Sports Operations Intern, I had responsibilities in almost every department at the facility. Primarily, those included handling customer enquiries, checking in of guests, making sure their accommodation is prepared and taken care of during their stay, planning the day’s activities with them, checking with academy staff regarding meal plans, resources, scheduling, housekeeping, accompanying the guests on their activities and making sure everything is as planned, vendor management, preparing documents and policies for the current and future employees.

RR Motorsport Management is Mumbai’s best motorsports arena with 2 go karting tracks under the name of Ajmera IndiKarting (1 tarmac and 1 dirt). It hosts recreational go karting for anyone aged 4+ years and customers can also drive their private cars and bikes on the track. It also has a racing academy which trains kids who want to pursue a professional racing. The company also does events for premium luxury automobile brands, rents out the venue for automobile events and recently they have ventured into the eSports domain with Indian eRacing Championships.

As a Facility Manager, my primary role was to make sure that the facility is operating as per the Standard Operating Procedures (which I myself had created). Stakeholder Management, Vendor Management and Customer Relations were also equally important roles. Human Resources was an additional responsibility. Marketing was an added responsibility. These all were a part of operating the 2 tracks and events. When it came to the racing academy, student registrations and selling of the courses as well as counselling the students were the main focus on my part.

So, all in all, the responsibilities of a Facility Manager cover all the aspects of management and is a complete package.

Written by Ganesh Mate

IISM Alumni batch 2017-19

Venue Manager, IndiKarting

Facility Manager, RR Motor Sports Management Pvt. Ltd.

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