What does an athlete manager do in the Indian sports industry?

In our previous article, we found out about the two distinct roles in managing an athlete and what an Athlete Agent is responsible for.

An Athlete Manager, on the other hand, is defined as someone who looks after the athlete’s commercial engagements such as endorsements, sponsorships, appearances, and any other such commercial activity.

An Athlete Manager performs six critical day-to-day tasks that can be divided into two categories:

One, Commercial Tasks that include:

Coordination on Sales & Sponsorship. This includes working closely with the sales and sponsorship team to create presentations of the athlete, meeting with potential sponsors, and closing endorsement or other such commercial deals. This also includes the negotiation of terms and conditions for the commercial contract that the athlete has to sign.

Managing Media & PR. This includes dealing with and managing requests for interviews with media companies - print, TV and digital. The manager works closely with a PR manager or a PR team to ensure that the athlete gets maximum exposure either by way of news items or profiles.

Managing the athlete’s entourage. While this may seem like a commercial task, it is definitely a critical one. Most athletes surround themselves with trusted people such as a family member, a close friend or a long-time coach or trainer. It is important for the manager to meet their expectations as well.

Two. Logistical Tasks that include:

Dates & Schedule Coordination. This includes keeping track of not just the athlete’s commercial engagements, but also the athlete’s professional sports schedules, and of course training schedules. This is critical to ensure that while the athlete’s time must be optimally used, the athlete’s sports training and consequent rest should not be compromised for the sake of commercial engagements.

Shoots - Requirements & Arrangements. This includes making sure that all arrangements for the athlete’s commercial engagements are met. Right from ground transportation, air travel, hotel accommodation and dietary requirements, to adhering to the type of activity and the duration as mutually agreed in the contract.

Payment and Financials. This includes ensuring payments are received on time from the brands and organizations that athlete has a commercial engagement with. It also includes following up on, and making sure all necessary taxes are paid on those payments, and that TDS certificates are duly filed by the respective brands or organizations’ accounting department.


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