How to Get a Job in Sports-A Guide
Just because you’re not an elite athlete doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs in the sport industry for you. Knowing how to get a job in sports is just like getting a job in any competitive field: it requires focus, development of the right set of skills and a supportive network. Here are some more tips to point you in the direction of your dream career.
Get the right point of view.
Having a passion for sports does not necessarily mean that getting a job in sports is the right career path for you. Part of landing sport jobs is understanding that many people are passionate about the field, but not all of them have the persistence and willingness to sacrifice to develop their skills appropriately. If you want a job in sports because you’re a fan and it seems easy, you may want to take more time to fully consider your motivations.1
Do your research.
As with any career search, you’ll want to research the job market and the types of skills that you will need to succeed. Stay up to date on current developments by subscribing to periodicals or websites that keep you on the cutting edge of the industry. This will help expose you to new information, while also helping you narrow down the jobs available in the sport management field and give you a clearer idea of the direction you want to take your career.2
Choose the right program.
No matter how much research you do, there will always be more to learn from experienced professionals in the sports management field. If you want to take your search for sport management jobs to the next level, consider enrolling in a sport management degree program. A sport management degree not only exposes you to seasoned veterans, but also builds your network with your classmates who will rise through the ranks with you after graduation.3
Take the right classes.
An education in sport management will be necessarily broad. But knowing which type of sports jobs you’re interested in pursuing, whether in sales, marketing, events management or any of the other fields available to individuals with a sport management degree, will help you to focus your education on the skills that will become most valuable as your career progresses. Create a brand: what is the value that you want to offer to potential employers? Develop the skills to make it happen.4
Get the right internship.
Landing an internship is critical for future career success. The sports industry is a small community and it is difficult to make inroads without an introduction. By demonstrating your willingness to add value to the right firm, you will begin to create a reputation for yourself that will serve you well as you start job seeking. Additionally, joining an organization and getting a better understanding of how it operates will help reinforce what you learn inside the classroom.5
Make the right connections.
60 percent of employers say they pay more attention to referred candidates than the other resumes on their desk.6 Just like with landing the right internship, who you know is absolutely crucial. In addition to building your network by getting to know your classmates, your instructors and your internship supervisor, you’ll also want to keep your social media profiles up to date and don’t be afraid to reach out to those who might be able to offer guidance or support.7
Be willing to start at the bottom.
Even if you do everything right, it does not mean you will vault your way up to C-suite level sport jobs right out of school. Be patient and be willing to demonstrate your skills and work your way up the ranks. Starting in group sales or another entry-level position will give you an opportunity to learn, develop more contacts, and show your abilities to decision makers who could make all the difference a few years down the road.8
Ready to join the sports industry?
If a career working in sports sounds appealing to you, getting an online master’s in sport management* degree from the University of Kansas can propel your journey. Athletes seek talented trainers and successful teams, why shouldn’t you?
The degree program is part of KU’s Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, whose first chair was Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. Steeped in rich history, the program uses guidelines aligned with the North American Society for Sports Management to shape its curriculum. Request a brochure today!
*This program is a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in health, sport management, and exercise science with an emphasis in sport management.
1. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from entrepreneur.com/article/305881
2. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from theguardian.com/careers/2016/oct/21/how-to-get-a-job-in-elite-sports
3. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2014/02/05/sports-industry-101-breaking-into-the-business-of-sports/#7926ef1a3db9
4. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/markjburns/2015/09/17/15-sports-business-executives-offer-advice-for-class-of-2016/#5327515278a9
5. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2014/02/05/sports-industry-101-breaking-into-the-business-of-sports/#7926ef1a3db9
6. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from jobsinsports.com/blog/work-in-sports/
7. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/2016/05/12/5-keys-to-getting-a-job-in-sports/#4fb6e76e310c
8. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from forbes.com/2008/07/29/sports-jobs-biz-sports-cx_tvr_0729sportsjobs.html#76b70cc627d0