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How to Find a Job in the Growing Sports Industry

According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the Sports Industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States with nearly $250 billion in revenue annually. That makes it bigger than the U.S. Auto Industry and 10 times larger than the Motion Picture Industry.

What does that mean to you? It means there’s an enormous amount of job opportunities in the sports industry. As the sports industry grows in revenue, so do the number of job opportunities.

To make this point, let’s take a look at the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise and the first two decades since Jerry Jones bought the team from Bum Bright. At the time of purchase, the Cowboys were losing a million dollars a month.

For the right to take ownership of this money-losing franchise, Mr. Jones shelled out $150 million, the highest amount ever paid for a professional sports team anywhere in the world.

That was in 1989. A lot has changed since, especially the value of the Dallas Cowboys. According to Forbes (2009), “The Dallas Cowboys franchise is now the single most valuable sports franchise on the planet, worth $1.8 billion.”

Industry Growth = Job Creation

As revenue continues to increase throughout the industry, year after year, so have the number of jobs. For example, in 1989 the Cowboys employed a total of 79 people. Twenty years later, the team employed a franchise record 216 people.

Dallas Cowboys Jobs:

1989 – 79 Total Employees
1999 – 146 Total Employees
2009 – 216 Total Employees

Sports Industry Growth:

1989 – $90 Billion Annually (U.S.)
1999 – $153 Billion Annually (U.S.)
2009 – $238 Billion Annually (U.S.)

Between 1989 and 2009, the Cowboys saw their employment jump 173%. By comparison, the sports industry grew 153% during the same time period.

Front Office Jobs On the Rise

Every front office department within the Cowboys organization has grown including the coaching staff and player personnel. Two departments that have shown significant growth were—no surprise—the two revenue-generating departments: Ticket Operations and Marketing (i.e. corporate sponsorships).

Dallas Cowboys Ticket Operations:

1989 – 6 Employees
1999 – 19 Employees
2009 – 11 Employees

Dallas Cowboys Marketing:

1989 – N/A
1999 – 7 Employees
2009 – 17 Employees

(Note: Between 1999 and 2009 several positions from Ticket Ops moved over to Marketing.)

However, the department that saw the biggest jump in employment should also come as no surprise because this department has to count—and keep track of—all that money: The Accounting/Finance Department.

Dallas Cowboys Accounting / Finance:

1989 – 4 Employees
1999 – N/A
2009 – 14 Employees

Cool New Careers

There are several cool new careers within the Cowboys front office. These departments didn’t even exist 15 years ago. With the proliferation of cable channels and new media, including the Internet and handheld mobile devises, several new careers have emerged.

Today, for example, there are nine new departments within the Cowboys organization that did not exist in 1989:

Dallas Cowboys’ Newest Departments

  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Internet Technology
  • In-House Media
  • Cheerleaders
  • Merchandising
  • Diversity Affairs
  • Stadium Development
  • Community Affairs

Below are the rest of the departments within the Dallas Cowboys organization, all of which have grown with the number of employees over the last two decades.

Dallas Cowboys’ Departments Since 1989

  • Public Relations
  • Medical
  • Equipment
  • Video
  • Player Personnel
  • Football Operations
  • Player Development
  • Stadium Development
  • Operations/Practice Facilities
  • Blue Star Media

Final Take

Follow your heart first; then, follow the money.

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