The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Job in the Sports Industry
The sound of the crowd cheering. Music bouncing throughout the stadium. Rivalries taunting each other with rally cries. The clashing of helmets. Football (and any sport for that matter) brings people together and delivers a fun, unique experience for fans in the stands and at home.
The sports industry is one of the most exciting fields, which is why so many eager professionals are looking to work in sports. However, finding work in sports is a tough endeavor given the competitive job market.
You need to stand out to land opportunities with the best employers in the industry, and this requires a great deal of effort. However, if you’re a big fan, finding work in sports will be an incredibly rewarding experience. Nothing beats a lifetime of meaningful work.
JobsInSports conducted a survey to determine how niche industry employers find their talent. The research found the most important aspects you need to understand about potential employers are their core values, their vision, their products and services, and their mission.
In other words, when you know who you want to work for, research the organization and determine why you fit and how you can provide them with value.
Let’s take a look at the coolest sports companies to work for and determine how you can land a job with them:
Founded in 2006, this sports technology company continues to grow for many good reasons. First of all, Hudl’s products are revolutionizing the sports world.
Teams use their program to analyze video, track stats, and manage feedback through one, streamlined platform. Coaches can even submit game footage to Hudl’s analysts, who break it down and record stats within 24 hours of receiving it.
Their Sideline product sets teams up with several recording angles during a game. Coaches can review plays with their team during the game and make adjustments to their strategy. The Technique app makes it easy to record and analyze a player’s form and performance in slow motion.
Their tech isn’t the only thing that’s cool about Hudl; they also have an awesome culture. If you don’t want to relocate to work in one of their five offices, simply apply for a remote position.
Employees enjoy a generous benefits package. For example, aside from health insurance and 401(k) matching, they also get free tickets, sabbaticals, unlimited vacation time, and free lunch.
Judging from their @LifeAtHudl Twitter feed, the employee experience is tough to rival. Employees share pictures from their vacation time and sporting events they attend, and they post about fun moments from office parties.
Tech is, undoubtedly, a booming field within sports. Given the fact that niche industries have fewer opportunities and more competition, it’s best to start getting to know those who already work in the industry. If you’re specifically interested in sports tech, start networking in that area right away.
After all, the JobsInSports survey found 29 percent of employers say the best way you can expand your network is by joining a professional organization. Additionally, 21 percent say you stand out more if you belong to one.
Become a member of a top organization, like the International Sports Technology Association, and engage with members. Learn about the trends of the industry, meet people, share ideas, and start thought-provoking discussions.
This shows you’re passionate about sports technology, and employers like Hudl will take notice. At the very least, you’re expanding your network and learning about the sports industry.
Despite some recent layoffs, this worldwide leader in sports continues to rank as one of the best places to work in sports. Now is a great time to join, as ESPN continue to evolve their brand.
Not only are they a leading sports media enterprise, but they are also heavily involved in their communities. Their corporate responsibility program connects communities through sports. Its main focus centers on several key areas, including access to sports, leadership through sports, and environmental sustainability.
Athletes also get involved. For example, their Shred Hate campaign is aimed at ending bullying in school. The X Games’ co-host and pro snowboarder, Jack Mitrani, is among the leading voices because he is passionate about spreading kindness. He highlights how the ‘cool kids culture’ of the X Games platform is a great way to spread positivity.
Aside from health insurance, ESPN employees enjoy benefits like access to on-site daycare at the ESPN KidsCenter, flexible work arrangements, and an educational reimbursement program.
Those who want to work in sports and grow their career with ESPN have a lot of growth opportunities. The company encourages mentorships and offers training programs, like career development and leadership courses, that employees can choose to align with their career goals.
To stand out to a sports media juggernaut like ESPN, look for ways you can showcase skills relevant to the role and the organization. The JobsInSports survey found that 76 percent of employers say they don’t consider candidates without relevant experience unless they provide evidence demonstrating how their skills are transferable to the prospective role.
So even if you don’t have a few years of work experience under your belt, there’s still a chance.
Let’s say you want to become a video editor for a sports broadcast. Start creating content and sharing projects you completed that prove you know how to tell a story in an engaging in way. In fact, according to our survey, 30 percent of employers look for communication skills as a top soft skill.
Employers love seeing your passion and skills when they research you online. If you impress them with great content, they will want to talk to you.
This company delivers an outstanding ticket search engine that simplifies finding tickets to live events. Their engine searches dozens of sites and provides all seating results instantly. Users can even navigate 3D views in venues as well to see what tickets will provide them with the best viewing experience.
They give employees monthly ticket stipends, free food, top notch workstations, and host fun team events to build a positive working environment. Employees rave about all these great perks and the fun atmosphere. On the company’s Glassdoor page, they boast a 4.7 star rating, with 90 percent of reviewers saying they would recommend SeatGeek to their friends.
Chances are, when you apply to one of these top rated companies, you’re in a long line of qualified applicants. What puts you above the rest is up to you.
In fact, the JobsInSports survey found that 22 percent of employers say the first thing they do when they get an application is research the candidate’s name on a search engine.
This is a great opportunity for you to stand out. Build a professional website with your name in the domain, and start creating content that highlights your expertise and shows how you align with the company culture and fit the role. Learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) so your website pages rank first when employers search for you.
As the sports industry continues to grow, more opportunities arise. However, it’s also attracting millions of avid sports fans. If you’re passionate about building a meaningful career in something you love, start your job search strategy now to stand out from everyone else.
How are you planning to stand out and find work in sports?
Karyn Mullins is the General Manager and EVP of JobsInSports, the one place with all the tools, statistics, and information needed to connect job seekers with employers for sports employment openings at all levels.