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3 Ways to Attack Your Sports Career

When you begin to develop your strategy for breaking into sports, there are three good ways to attack it. However, the most effective way — one that leads to landing your first job in sports — is to combine all three into one unified plan.

Below I’ve outlined each angle of attack.

1. Your Sport

Your passion for sports is key. But not just any sport, “Your Sport,” the one you love the most will be the driving force. Focusing on a particular sport gives you a solid starting point with your career plan.

Let’s say your sport is football. Your objective is to identify all the employers in the Football Business Universe™ (FBU). It’s OK to include the Dallas Cowboys, or whatever your favorite team is, but you’ve got to be able see past your team because that’s where the most opportunities are. Let your love of football drive you, not your favorite team.

The key to uncovering employers in the FBU is to look at all the companies connected to football: ESPN, ABC Sports, local affiliates, etc. (Sports Media). Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, etc. (Sports Apparel). Octagon, Genesco Sports, The Marketing Arm, etc. (Sports Marketing Agencies). TwinLab, Dymatize, etc. (Sports Nutrition). Coca-Cola, AT&T, Ford, etc. (Sports Sponsors).

These examples barely scratch the surface. There are thousands of employers connected to football.

2. Your Market

While identifying your sport is a good starting point for developing your career plan, identifying “Your Market” is what gives you direction.

Your market is where you want to work. And live. You may live in a small town and you’re willing to re-locate, but don’t take that lightly. As a matter of fact, make geography a big part of your plan. It’s been said many times that where you live has as much to do with job satisfaction as the job itself.

The good news is that you can live just about anywhere in the world and always find a great job in sports. So don’t let employers determine your market. Instead, take charge of your career by focusing on markets you want to work, such asNew York,Los Angeles,Dallas, or evenBoise,Idaho—whichever city is calling your name.

3. Your Profession

What you do in sports, “Your Profession” is the name of the game because this is how you will kick butt, take names and build a meaningful career.

Your profession also plays a big role in how you market yourself for a job, which is something I cover in my upcoming book, How to Land Your First Job in Sports: 7 Simple Steps by Chris McKinney. However, identifying exactly what you want to do in sports is one of the biggest challenges aspiring sports executives face.

Even Sport Management majors have a hard time with this because “management” is so broad. The objective is to link your talent (your natural strengths) and your skillset (what you learned in college and through experience) and connect those to a job or a career. That’s your profession.

If you have any questions that you don’t want open to the public, feel free to contact me directly:


Photo: 123RF

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