Is Sports Administration the Right Path For You?

by Marina Foté: Assistant to the General Manager Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
July 13, 2022

You’re knowledgeable and passionate about a sport. Or maybe all sports! Maybe you majored in Sports Management or a related field, or interned or worked in a few different departments at the college and/or professional level and enjoyed each experience. Maybe you have many sports interests and because of this, you still haven’t decided what you want your career focus to be. Maybe you’re known as “the supportive one,” “the organizer/planner,” or “the one who always knows what to do” amongst your friends. If even just one of these statements applies to you, Sports Administration is a career direction worth exploring as your journey unfolds.

How I Became a Sports Administration Professional

When I graduated college, I wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted a career in sports. I had so many different interests, and was involved in a wide variety of activities and organizations at school. It was my internship at Major League Baseball that solidified my desire to go “all in” with the sports industry. I realized how passionate I was about the intricacies of the business behind sports, and for the first time felt truly called to something.

I was then offered an administrative position in the Dodgers’ Major League building at Spring Training. I was completely unsure what this role would entail, but knew it came with a great deal of importance and responsibility. Amidst the 10 to 12-hour days working 7 days a week, I learned to complete tasks and remember names quickly, help players, coaches, media, and front office staff with anything they needed even more quickly, and drive a golf cart around the complex addressing needs quickest of all! (Safely, of course.) Returning to Spring Training in this role several years in a row helped me realize how much I enjoyed supporting and working with all individuals and departments, and acting as a “one stop shop” who could either provide an immediate solution, or at least point anyone in the right direction. I’m now in an Admin role at the LA Coliseum where my responsibilities continue to grow, but I get the most professional satisfaction to this day from being able to consistently serve others through Administration.

So what exactly is Sports Administration?

Great question! If we pull up the dictionary definition, “administration” is defined as (n.) “the management of any business or organization” (for our purposes, any sports business/organization.) Okay, that’s cool, but extremely general! We’ll break it down more specifically, but the definition is so broad because administrative professionals truly have a hand in all areas of the business, regardless what level employee we are. In sports, we manage the processing of contractual agreements of all kinds, and a wide variety of paperwork. We often manage internal and external contact lists, game ticket and credential requests, client and vendor relationships, payments for stadium and team services and operations, stadium press releases…the list goes on! The best Sports Administration professionals also act as business partners to the executives and departments we work with, sometimes involving ourselves in special projects with internal or external team or business entities when necessary.

How can I make a difference working in Sports Administration?

I often think of Administration as the glue that sticks all the puzzle pieces together to create a picture. Without someone dedicated to overseeing everything that makes up the big picture, there would be a bunch of loose, potentially directionless puzzle pieces all over the organization! Any time you make someone else’s job easier, you make a difference. And any time you process an agreement, payment, or request, make contact with a client, or help put on a big game or event, you’re part of the reason something incredible happens! Thousands of people will get to have fun at your office and make memories there because YOU helped make it happen.

How do I know if Sports Administration is the right fit for me?

1. You’re a great communicator, first and foremost. You’re poised, professional, cheerful, and speak clearly and concisely both verbally and via email.

2. We all get lost or caught up in a flurry of responsibilities sometimes and need direction. If you genuinely enjoy helping others and bring a sense of calm and partnership to all, you’ll do great in Sports Admin and quickly become an asset to the business.

3. You’re highly organized! This is very important, as you’ll be involved in multiple projects and process many different items at once.

4. You’re a team player who gets bored working in just one department, and are always eager to learn about others’ roles.

5. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way! If you approach any role from the perspective of “I’m just grateful to be here. How can I make this a better place?”, you will open yourself up to endless possibilities within the field, and always be working on something interesting and fun!