Sports are your passion.
Everything you did in your undergraduate studies and all of your professional decisions have been made with this goal in mind — landing a job in sport business. As a growing industry, there are numerous opportunities to work in careers in sports, but the jobs are coveted and the competition for them is fierce.
Still up for the challenge? Then take a look at these six ways to network, educate yourself, and break into a sport business career.
1. SECURE AN INTERNSHIP
There is no doubt, securing an internship in the sport business or management industry is highly competitive, however, it is indispensable if you want a career in the field.
Internships provide the opportunity for networking, forming personal connections, and making lasting impressions — all helpful elements if you want a job in sport business. You will also gain invaluable hands-on experience in an internship, which translates to skills that can be put on a resume and give you a competitive edge when applying for positions.
Make sure that you explore all your networking options — both in-person and through digital platforms. More and more online professional networking sites and social media are influencing the professional spheres. By remaining active and engaged on these platforms, you can build your credibility and increase your visibility and reach. Aside from the many benefits to using social media as a networking tool, nothing can replace the impact of quality in-person interactions. Whenever you have the opportunity to do some face-to-face networking, take advantage of it. You never know which connections you make could lead to future professional relationships and opportunities.
2. FIND A MENTOR (OR AN INDUSTRY RELATIONS SPECIALIST!)
Having someone to personally guide you through the process of navigating the professional sport business world is a game changer. A mentor can provide invaluable insights, assistance, and recommendations when you are faced with new and unfamiliar challenges.
Imagine being unsure of what your next professional move should be but having access and the ability to stop by a professor’s office to chat. At Neumann University, we provide this personal mentorship to students because we have an industry relations specialist ready and available to provide personalized help! Students work directly with our industry specialist to create student volunteer, internship, and job placement opportunities at the start of the program through completion.
If you are interested in working with sports teams, Neumann’s Sport Business program features professors with expert experience in the industry working for entities such as Comcast SportsNet, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the National Lacrosse League.
3. Further Your Education with a Graduate Degree
As the sport business industry continues to grow and become more competitive, education becomes increasingly important in beating out competitors for jobs.
The number of sport education programs, both undergraduate and graduate, has grown significantly over the past three decades. If you are looking to build on an undergraduate degree in sports business or management, the Master of Science in Sport Business at Neumann University is an excellent place to start. This advanced degree program is designed for both traditional and non-traditional students and provides students with the opportunity to refine their specialization in the field.
The M.S. in Sport Business is designed with the working professional in mind and is ideal for those who are seeking experience in the field as they also work toward their degree. The “accelerated format” requires fewer credits than standard-format degrees. The accelerated program also allows students to complete their degree in a shorter period of time. With this graduate degree, you'll reap the benefits of an advanced business program, but the required courses are related to sports and sport management. This makes your education industry specific and provides you with a leg up on your competition.
4. Build Professional Relationships
We already touched on the importance of networking, but you really should consider the overwhelming value of building professional relationships when trying to launch your career in sport business.
Network building takes time and effort, but building professional relationships while in school and while working in entry-level positions is crucial to landing the job you want in a sports-related field. In other words, never expect someone to just offer you a job or an internship — internalize now that you must build professional relationships in order to advance in the workforce.
5. Attend Conferences, Read Publications, and Listen to Podcasts
If you are actively looking for and pursuing a career in the sports industry, another great way to network and gain experience is to attend conferences. Check out some of these most well known conferences and consider attending:
- The National Sports Forum is the largest annual cross gathering of the top team sports marketing, sales, promotions, and event entertainment executives - from throughout the broad spectrum of teams and leagues, (i.e. NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Minor Leagues, Racing, Colleges, etc.) in North America.
- Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum is a "must attend" event since 2002 for anyone involved in the business of college sports. The Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum provides an "insider’s view" by offering firsthand insights from those directly shaping the future of intercollegiate athletics.
Consider learning more with these other resources:
6. JOIN A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION
When it comes to professional associations for sport business and management professionals, the selection is vast. Organizations exist at both the local and national level. Organizations can have either a broad or specific focus, serving either a large and general population or honing in on a specific group.
So, why should you join a professional organization? These associations often provide a number of benefits, such as access to conferences, special publications, and selective networking opportunities.
We know your time is valuable and things like returning to school and networking can seem challenging to the working professional. However, if you really want the best chance at beating out the competition and securing a job in the sport business industry, take these suggestions to heart and invest in your future career.
We are excited to help you pursue your professional goals in the sport business industry!