Sports League Manager- League of Their Own
Sports league managers play a pivotal role in organizing and guiding sports leagues. William Ambrose Hulbert, the founder of Baseball National League, is the first professional sports league manager in the world. There are two types of leagues- Open league and Closed league. The former consists of independent clubs which are promoted on the basis of their performance, where the hierarchy is in the form of a pyramid. There will be promotion and relegation on the basis of their performance. These open leagues will be alive all through the year. Europe is considered the most fertile ground for such leagues. On the other hand, Closed leagues hire out their formerly decided franchisees for league matches. The teams under such leagues work in franchise mode. Individuals or institutions can claim for the ownership of those teams through auctions. The players are also added through auctions, for instance, the Indian Premier League and the Indian Super League
In India, the first professional sports league was initiated by Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee T V network. It was the Indian Cricket League (ICL). But the commencement of the Indian Premier League coupled with the hostility of BCCI has thrown the ICL into a state of turmoil. It was the International Management Group (IMG) that innovated IPL on the behalf of BCCI. In the first season itself BCCI turned its tables to outwit IMG. Today BCCI is conducting IPL all by itself. We believe IPL as the brainchild of Lalit Modi, but its real inventor is IMG, the sports management company founded by Mark H McCormack.
Behind the idea of Indian Super League (ISL) too, we can witness the power of IMG. The intelligence and hard work of numerous sports management professionals are also visible in the IPL and the ISL.
Kabaddi League, Tennis League, Badminton League, Wrestling League et al followed the model of IPL. All these Leagues are maintained by professional sports management companies. Sports manager can be engaged in the professional fields under distinct titles such as League Commissioner, League Director, Chief Executive and League Manager. Many sports Managers can occupy several posts under the same League
Experience in Sports Management is the imperative prerequisite meant for a sports “leader”. A sports management diploma can help a person on an entry level as well as on a middle level job. Bernie Ecclestone, the brain behind Formula One (F1), the boxing promoter Don King, Richard Craig Scudamore, the CEO of English Premier League etc… are the world’s renowned Sports League Managers.