People with technical knowledge, “computer geeks,” can find careers in sports just like anyone else! Keeping track of sponsorship sales, media, marketing, advertising, public relations, team information and fan activities and information are critical for the success of a league. Without close monitoring, leagues, and teams, for that matter, would be giving up valuable information that otherwise allows them to be more successful in sports business dealings. The database operations manager for a professional sports league develops and supports the application of league database systems. This often includes managing customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Database managers also secure, maintain, analyze, mine and report on all of the records and data sources that are housed within a CRM system.
Database operations managers must have advanced computer skills, specifically relating to database applications such as PHP, Access, and SQL. These skills are critical because the position doesn’t just call for analyzing database information but also managing the design, testing and delivery of all new system functionality and enhancements. The information gleaned from the database is used to assist in the development of sales campaign strategies and tactics through an understanding of all data fields and sources available. This information allows for better tracking of the effectiveness of sales campaigns through quantitative and qualitative analysis and reports for management.
Along with the above mentioned software knowledge, database operations managers must actively pursue existing and new data collection methods through all outlets available to help ensure standardization and accuracy in how data is collected and stored.
Database operations managers working in sports must have earned a minimum of an undergraduate college degree and have a minimum of three years of database management and/or sales experience. Although this is not a direct sales position, leagues often provide annual bonuses based on database performance and measured results.
Compensation at the league level is higher than at the team level in most cases. The main reasons for this are the amount of money leagues are dealing with and the greater level of responsibility. Another key factor is that leagues tend to hire more experienced people that have spent a number of years working at the team level. One other benefit at the league level is that they often pay a portion of relocation costs (something that is rarely if ever done at the team level).
Salary levels vary substantially, depending upon the level of managerial responsibility, length of service, education, professional level (minor league versus top professional league), location, and sport.
Major League Baseball: $68,000 – $85,000
National Football League: $75,000 – $100,000
National Basketball Association: $70,000 – $95,000
National Hockey League: $60,000 – $80,000
NASCAR: $78,000 – $92,000
*As you can see above, NASCAR and the NFL tend to pay more for these database related positions that the other top professional leagues.
Please note that positions at the above leagues are all based in New York City, where the cost of living is significantly higher than other U.S. cities.