Getting involved in the sports industry can be daunting, especially when you have no idea where to begin. However, there are several ways you can get your foot in the door, despite lack of experience and expertise.
1. Take Advantage of Your University’s Sports Programs
For students in college, one of the best ways you can get involved with sports is by working on campus. Whether you want to work game days in your SEC football stadium, or work in marketing for a club team, there are opportunities all around. Keep an eye out for job opportunities through your school—teams are always looking for event staff, team managers, social media specialists, and volunteers, to name a few.
2. Volunteer for Your Local Team
Whether you have a football, basketball, baseball, or hockey team that plays in your city, all typically have volunteer opportunities you can take advantage of. To get started, you can go to https://www.volunteermatch.org/ and search for opportunities in your city. You can also Google search “[your sports team] + volunteer” and you should find a sign-up page to volunteer for their events or foundation. Some non-profits to look into include the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, Kansas City Chiefs Foundation, the Preds Foundation, and the Dodgers Foundation. Volunteering or interning for these teams and their charities is a great way to get things on your resume without having extensive experience as well as getting a feel for what a real job in the future will be like.
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to network, network, network. The worst thing anyone can ever tell you is “no.” Reach out to peers, colleagues, teachers, and anyone you think can help you. Whether it’s on LinkedIn or in-person at an event or an interview, make connections with the people you look up to and aspire to be—and make them remember you. Chances are, they will want to help you and reaching out will show them your determination and passion for your craft.
Experience is worth more than anything—if you have an opportunity to intern for class credit, do it. Rather than sitting in a desk in a classroom, getting hands-on experience for a sports team will look great on a resume and set you up for a successful future. The website https://www.teamworkonline.com/ has great resources for a plethora of entry-level jobs and internships. Even if it’s something you don’t necessarily want to do, for example working in sales when your passion is media, apply for the job! Being skilled in multiple facets will help you stand out in the future and make you a better candidate than someone who only specializes in one thing.
5. Be Willing to Take Risks
We all have to start somewhere. Apply for the job you’re not passionate about but will help you in the long run. Join the school club that only has eight other members. Cold call and email the professionals who inspire you and make connections with them. Volunteer for the club team. Go to the interview, despite how scared you are. Make sacrifices, and most importantly, give more than 100% in everything you do. I promise you will get what you put into everything—it’s up to you to make the most of what you got.
For more tips and tricks in getting involved in the sports industry, check out our “Resources” tab on our website, listen to our podcast on Spotify, and follow us on Instagram for daily infographics and posts.