Advice on Becoming a Sports Equipment Manager


Advice on Becoming a Sports Equipment Manager

Are you passionate about sports and interested in managing the equipment that keeps athletes performing at their best? As a sports equipment manager, you play a crucial role in ensuring that teams have the gear they need to succeed. In this article, we will provide valuable advice on how to become a successful sports equipment manager, including the necessary skills, education, and experience required for this rewarding career path.

Education and Experience

When it comes to becoming a sports equipment manager, having the right education and experience is key. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

Educational Requirements

To become a sports equipment manager, a bachelor’s degree in sports management, business administration, or a related field is typically required. This education provides a solid foundation in management principles, budgeting, and sports industry knowledge. Some employers may also prefer candidates with a master’s degree for higher-level positions.

Relevant Experience

In addition to formal education, gaining relevant experience in the sports industry is crucial. This can include internships with sports teams, equipment manufacturers, or athletic departments at universities. Experience working with equipment maintenance, inventory management, and purchasing can all be valuable in preparing for a career as a sports equipment manager.


While not always required, obtaining certifications can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field. The Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) offers certification programs that cover topics such as equipment fitting, safety standards, and equipment maintenance. Becoming certified can give you a competitive edge in the job market and show potential employers that you are dedicated to professional development in the field.

Skills and Qualities

Becoming a successful sports equipment manager requires a unique set of skills and qualities that go beyond just a love for sports. Here are some key attributes that can help you excel in this role:

Organizational Skills

As a sports equipment manager, you will be responsible for maintaining and organizing a wide range of equipment. This includes everything from uniforms and protective gear to balls and training equipment. Strong organizational skills are essential to ensure that everything is kept in its proper place and easily accessible when needed. Being able to efficiently track inventory, reorder supplies, and keep detailed records will help you stay on top of your responsibilities and ensure that your team has everything they need to succeed.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial for a sports equipment manager to work well with coaches, athletes, and other staff members. You will need to be able to clearly communicate equipment needs, inventory updates, and any issues that may arise. Good communication skills can help you build strong relationships with team members and ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to equipment management.

Attention to Detail

In a fast-paced sports environment, even the smallest oversight can have a big impact. Attention to detail is key for a sports equipment manager to ensure that all equipment is properly maintained, cleaned, and ready for use. Being able to spot wear and tear on equipment, identify potential safety hazards, and address any issues promptly can help prevent accidents and keep the team performing at their best.

Job Responsibilities

As a sports equipment manager, your main responsibilities revolve around ensuring that the athletes have access to the necessary equipment for their training and competitions. This involves overseeing equipment procurement, inventory management, and maintenance and repair.

Equipment Procurement

One of the key tasks of a sports equipment manager is to source and purchase the equipment needed by the athletes. This could include anything from uniforms and protective gear to sports-specific equipment such as balls, bats, or rackets. It’s important to have a good understanding of the specific needs of the athletes and the requirements of each sport in order to make informed purchasing decisions.

Inventory Management

Keeping track of the inventory is crucial to ensure that the athletes have access to the equipment they need when they need it. This involves maintaining accurate records of what equipment is available, what is in use, and what needs to be replenished. It’s also important to organize the inventory in a way that makes it easy to access and distribute the equipment efficiently.

Maintenance and Repair

Sports equipment is subjected to a lot of wear and tear, so it’s essential to regularly inspect, maintain, and repair the equipment to ensure its longevity and safety. This could involve tasks such as cleaning, lubricating, and replacing worn-out parts. Having a good understanding of the mechanics and materials of the equipment is essential to effectively carry out maintenance and repair tasks.

Overall, being a sports equipment manager requires a combination of organizational skills, knowledge of sports equipment, and a dedication to ensuring the athletes have the tools they need to succeed.

Networking and Professional Development

Networking and professional development are crucial for advancing your career as a sports equipment manager. By connecting with others in the industry, you can gain valuable insights, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and even discover new job opportunities. Here are some ways to enhance your networking and professional development:

Joining Industry Associations

Joining industry associations such as the National Sporting Goods Association or the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association can provide you with access to a network of professionals in the sports equipment industry. These associations often offer valuable resources, such as industry reports, webinars, and networking events, that can help you stay informed and connected.

Attending Conferences

Attending conferences and trade shows related to sports equipment management can also be beneficial for your professional development. These events provide opportunities to learn from industry experts, discover new products and technologies, and network with other professionals in the field. Consider attending events such as the Sporting Goods Industry Summit or the National Athletic Equipment Conference to expand your knowledge and connections.

Building Relationships with Suppliers

Building strong relationships with suppliers is essential for a sports equipment manager. By maintaining good communication and rapport with suppliers, you can ensure timely deliveries, negotiate favorable terms, and stay informed about the latest products and trends. Consider reaching out to suppliers directly to introduce yourself, ask questions, and discuss potential collaborations. Building strong relationships with suppliers can help you provide the best possible equipment for your athletes and teams.


In conclusion, becoming a sports equipment manager requires a unique combination of skills, including knowledge of sports equipment, organization, and communication. By following the advice outlined in this article, aspiring sports equipment managers can position themselves for success in the industry. Whether it’s working with professional athletes or managing equipment for a college team, a career as a sports equipment manager can be rewarding and fulfilling for those who are passionate about sports and dedicated to ensuring that athletes have the tools they need to succeed.