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Exploring the Game: 15 Different Departments You Can Pursue When You Enter the World of Sports

Courtesy of JC Gellidon

The sports industry is possibly one of the most diverse industries that you can enter. From game day production to planning during the off-season, almost any profession you can think of is somehow involved in the sports industry. Every team needs a doctor, coaches, a social media team (or at least person), sponsorship coordinator and let’s not forget players. The list doesn’t end there.

To get you started on your quest to find the perfect position in the sports industry, I am going to go over 15 different departments that you could find a job in. Before we start, I’m going to let you know, I won’t be going over the basic positions such as coach or athletic therapist because those ones are already pretty well known.

1. Business Intelligence

  • Business Intelligence was a new one for me to learn when I started researching all the different departments. Business Intelligence (BI) is a team that works closely with almost every other department (such as ticketing, marketing and sponsorship). The BI department is responsible for developing reports, analyzing results, providing CRM support and providing data-driven recommendations to support all the different departments for the organization.

2. Communications

  • In a communications position, you would be responsible for communications between different industry peers, colleagues and especially media touchpoints. You would be completing all media requests and ensuring that they run smoothly. On game days the communications department is responsible for setting up media areas, monitoring the media, distributing credentials and producing content.

3. Community Engagement and Social Impact

  • The goal of this department is to connect and engage with fans in a meaningful and often philanthropic way. A lot of sports organizations have some type of organization that they work with, or initiative that they work toward. In this department, you can participate in a variety of community events and programs. As an example, the Vancouver Canucks have an organization called Canucks for Kids Fund that gets the staff and team involved with the community to make a difference.

Courtesy of William White

4. Corporate Partnerships/ Corporate Partnerships Design

  • For corporate sponsorships, there is a lot of work that goes into it. If you stay out of the design portion, you will have a heavier focus on data analysis and sales support as well as managing relationships with other companies. Some tasks you may have are analyzing data and generating inventory reports. If you are more into the creative side of corporate partnerships, you can work in the design sector. In design, you’ll be able to work with the marketing team and the corporate partnership team. You’ll be able to develop new sales pitch decks, design new and engaging in-game activations as well as create custom presentations for partnerships.

5. Email Marketing

  • In the email marketing department, you’ll be responsible for creating and executing any marketing campaigns that involve or go through email. This can include communications with season ticket members and fans, venue event announcements, stakeholder communications and more.

6. Fan Services

  • Fan services is part of larger event services and work closely with venue staff as well as live entertainment to ensure that when fans enter the arena, they have the best possible experience. Fan services workers assist with a multitude of fan initiatives and programs, including arena tours, event services marketing projects and more.

7. Game Entertainment

  • A game entertainment employee is responsible for planning and executing in-game features including on-ice contests, in-stand promotions and activities on the concourse. In the game entertainment department, you are also responsible for creating scripts and organizing special requests to ensure that games run smoothly.

Courtesy of Piero Huerto Gago

8. Graphic Design

  • Graphic design is a pretty broad department. Basically, when you are working in graphic design you will be tasked with designing any fan-facing or internal material. You could be designing ribbon board displays, merchandise, promotional signage for the arena or even social media graphics.

9. Health and Safety

  • Health and Safety is a pretty universal department that any business should have. Some places may only have a committee made up of people that work in other departments. In a health and safety position, you’d be responsible for overseeing the establishment to ensure that the workplace is kept safe for all employees. You will have tasks like creating monthly safety focuses, reviewing safety data and completing inspections.

10. Human Resources

  • The HR department is typically responsible for many different functions such as attracting, developing, supporting as well as retaining a passionate staff. You will also have tasks like scheduling, handling HR inquiries, ensuring current employees are content and employee coordination, training and scheduling.

11. Information Technology (IT)

  • The IT department in a sports organization would have all the same functions as an IT employee in most other organizations. You would be able to work on tasks like setting up equipment, developing mobile applications, monitoring inventory of computer equipment and providing technical support.

Courtesy of Kevin Ku

12. Marketing

  • A marketing department will work on any and all marketing initiatives. This includes the creative side of coming up with marketing campaigns and concepts as well as the tactical execution of the plans and partner initiatives.

13. Retail Operations

  • The retail operations department works on all things that include retail. Typically, that will include managing the flow of all products and merchandise that is sold at the venue during game days as well as at the venue for other events like concerts. Depending on your position in this department, your task will change. You could be actually completing the sale, merchandising, tracking numbers or even designing and managing products.

14. Social Media

  • The social media department works with the content department to develop all content strategies that will be executed off the different social media platforms. To be successful in a social media role you will have to be able to engage with fans, implement social media trends and create engaging social media content.

Courtesy of Adem AY

15. Ticketing

  • In ticketing, you will work with a variety of departments with the goal of selling tickets. That would include corporate partnerships, marketing and email marketing, fan services and many more. You can also be customer focused and take on a position that requires engaging with fans more and ensuring they are enjoying their experience as well as fielding requests and complaints.

The world of sports offers a vast array of departments and career paths beyond the well-known positions of coaches and athletic therapists. From Business Intelligence to Ticketing, the opportunities are diverse and abundant. Each department plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of sports organizations, whether it's analyzing data-driven insights, managing corporate partnerships, creating engaging content on social media or enhancing the fan experience through game entertainment and fan services. The sports industry is a dynamic and multifaceted field where professionals from various backgrounds can find their niche and contribute to the excitement and passion of the game. Whether you're interested in design, marketing, communication, or any other field, there's a place for you to make your mark when you enter the world of sports.

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