Part 4 of 4 video interviews with SF Giants – Social Media Director – Bryan Srabian
So, we’ve talked with Bryan about his role with the Giants and how they approach their social media strategy.
Then we heard about some of the SF Giants most creative social media campaigns and how they have managed to integrate social media into their sponsorships in an effort to monetize their social media efforts!
How To Get A Job In Sports
In this final video interview, Bryan shares his best tips for anyone looking to land their dream job in sports. Here are just a few things you’ll hear in the interview:
- Why there has never been more opportunity to work in sports, but also why it’s more difficult to break in than ever
- Why saying you “want it more” than anyone else…..doesn’t mean anything
- The importance of setting your long term gameplan before pursuing your dream job in sports
- Why you shouldn’t let Mark Cuban tell you that you shouldn’t pursue a job in sports
Trevor Turnbull: So hey, let’s swing things a little more back to your role and how you got into it. Try and give some people some tips and advice on how they can actually do what you do.
If you had to give one piece of advice for aspiring sports business professionals, people that wanted to break into the industry, what would that be?
Bryan Srabian: Well I think all of us that are in sports circles, or want to be in it, are familiar with what Mark Cuban said a month ago when someone asked him and he said what’s the best advice you would give me if I want to break into sports. He said don’t do it.
That’s an interesting comment because my approach is typically that I like to be very blunt and give you all of the facts. There’s never been more opportunity to work in sports but there’s also never been as much competition. I just cannot believe the number of people that are trying to get into sports right now. It just seems to continue to grow and I think the last year or so I’ve noticed there’s this whole movement to follow your passion and do what you’re passionate about. Obviously sports is easy to fall into.
It’s really an interesting time and the things that I tell young people that want to get into sports are just because you say you want it more than anyone else that doesn’t mean anything. Everyone wants it just as bad as you. The ones that really stand out are those that prepare themselves and work harder.
What I mean by that is they’re spending hours on their LinkedIn connecting with people and answering Q&A. They’re writing blogs. They’re connecting with high-level executives online. They’re using Twitter and Facebook as a way of networking. Basically they’re not talking, they’re doing.
You have to have a long-term time frame as well. Understand that you’re not going to get a job next month or the month after. To then become selective of what type of job you get in sports is a bad idea. Sometimes you don’t get to choose, you take what opportunities are given to you and you make the most of those opportunities.
Your plan might shift – you want to work in sponsorship but maybe that starts as a sales position for a minor league hockey team. Or you want to work in social media but maybe that means you’re on the PR internship for your local college. I think you’ve got to have an open mind and understand the different avenues. The next job you take isn’t going to be your last job, they’re all stepping stones.
You can’t just say I want to work in sports or I want to work for a baseball team. What is it that you want to do? What it is specifically that you want to do? That will help you narrow your focus down and learn from people who have been doing it for a long time and know what those steps that you need to take are. You definitely need to have that long-term gameplan to get there.
Working with sports teams when I started I was typing letters. Almost every bay area team sent me a rejection letter, which to me that was great. To me that was a step that I actually got responded to; I took that as a positive. Now you’re able to connect with anyone anywhere and working in sports meant working for one of the professional sports teams. Now it can be anything.
You can start blogging and make a job out of that. Bleacher Report and SB Nation are killing it in that category. Then you’ve got the video game industry, EA Sports, 2K sports, that’s a huge industry. You’ve got all of these new media platforms; ESPN has local regional coverage. CSNBayArea.com, they’re huge in the bay area and they’re just continuing to grow on the Internet side of things.
So when you say sports that could be a number of different things. Honestly the biggest thing I would look at is trends. All of these new ballparks or arena projects, the 49ers are going to be breaking ground on a new stadium and that’s going to open in 2014. I would be knocking on Jed York’s door right now. They just hired a new IT professional, they just promoted a president; you should know all of that, you should be connecting with those people on LinkedIn and looking for opportunities. The Sacramento Kings are on the verge of building a new arena and there might be new opportunities. Look at these trends in sports.
The America’s Cup in going to be in San Francisco. What does that mean for you in terms of a job? There’s a lot of job opportunities that aren’t posted; you have to find those before they are posted and you have to find the people that are the gate keepers, if you will.
Then, at the end of the day, if you can’t get a job in sports find something that compliments those skills that would help you get a job in sports.
I talk to a lot of people, I do phone conversations, I do email Q&As, informational interviews. So many people helped me when I was looking for a job and continued to.
My last part of advice is, once you get that job or that internship, don’t stop. That’s when you’ve got to work even harder and hustle even harder. Even if you love what you’re doing don’t just sit there and be complacent about what you’re doing. Learn from others, network, connect, help others as well. Even if you think you’re on the low end of the totem pole you can always help someone.
And you should always be connecting with people. ABC is always be connecting, now with Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and Google+ and all of these platforms. You and I are connected here.
Started on Twitter right?
We’re international. We’re blowing up internationally. I really have learned that the last two years and I think that was the one thing that I didn’t do well the first time around when I was with the Giants. I had tunnel vision, I was very focused on the Giants and I didn’t really think too much about expanding.
Now I’ve opened up so many more doors. I feel like I’ve helped a lot of people but I also feel like they would be there for me if and when I ever needed them. I’m not going to be looking for a job, knock on wood, anytime soon but ideas and new opportunities are always arising. And I can help you in your professional career so I think that’s important as well.
Bryan that’s some solid advice. I was going to cut in and add my two cents on that but I think you just about summarized about everything that people need to do already so I’m going to leave it at that.
Let me ask you one more thing. We talked about connecting; obviously you’re a very social guy, you’ve seen the value of these social media tools opening up doors for you and now you’re giving back as well. I’ve watched you respond to people on Twitter and engage in conversations; you truly get this whole space.
How do people connect with you on wherever it is you would like to connect with them?
I would say first and foremost is Twitter. I try to respond back to everybody on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @srabe. Short for Srabian.
Then they can find me on LinkedIn. Please connect with me there. My name is Bryan Srabian. You can find me there.
Don’t connect with me on Facebook. My biggest challenge is keeping up with my personal social network or communication because I spend so much time doing the Giants stuff that Facebook is the last place I check. I try to keep the professional side out of it but it bleeds everywhere.
Google+ I’m on a little bit too. I don’t have much of a social life I guess.
Or an extremely social life. Depends on how you look at it.
Those are the best places to connect with me. I’m somewhat busy this time of year but I’m always trying to help people and answer questions if I can. Like I said you can find me easily, you can find anyone easily. Those that are doing it are going to take this to heart.
Don’t let Mark Cuban or anyone tell you that you can’t get a job in sports or that you shouldn’t get a job. There have been a lot of people that have told me that I was crazy to want to do this because I wasn’t going to make a lot of money, there wasn’t job security, and I didn’t listen to them. I did what I wanted to do and I’m happy that I followed what I wanted to do. It wasn’t easy and sure there were times when I questioned it and wasn’t quite sure, and I still question it; you don’t know what your future holds.
I think you’ve got to follow and do what you think is best and don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something. If anything that should inspire you to do even more and prove them wrong.
No doubt. Great advice Bryan. I really appreciate all of this. For everybody that’s watching this video I chatted with Bryan, we’re trying to work out some dates to hopefully get him on a spreecast in the future with our Sports Executives Association members.
Like I said Bryan I’m definitely coming down the west coast so we’ll keep in touch. I want to check out this park, see what Virgin America is doing inside there, check out a ballgame and connect with you face-to-face.
Trevor you’ve already got your beard in mid-season form.
Exactly. I just have to let it keep growing right?
Yeah. I can’t do a beard so I don’t even try but someone like you is going to fit right in. So you let me know, that will be great.
Thank you for the opportunity, I really had fun doing it.
No problem, really appreciate it again.
Again, for everybody that’s watching this video, share with your friends, feel free to tweet out to us, you can tweet to Bryan as well. Thanks again for doing this Bryan.
Hey thanks Trevor. And thanks to everybody for letting me chat for a little bit.
If you’d like to connect with Bryan online, you can find him on Twitter , Linkedin and Google+
What do you think about Bryan’s advice on how to land a job in sports? What was his best tip? Let us know in the comments below and/or send us a tweet to @sportsnetworker
What a great series of interviews with @srabe. Thank you for putting this together, Trevor! Bryan’s work with the San Francisco Giants is a tremendous blueprint for not only a sports team’s integrated approach to social media, but any brand’s use of new media platforms in the overall marketing and communications strategy. Every organization now has the chance to directly provide fans with in-depth, behind-the-scenes coverage, insight and two-way communication that can make them feel connected in unprecedented ways.
As someone in the early stages of a career in sports, I really connected with Bryan’s advice to those looking for jobs – get into the industry, work hard, make connections, learn from everyone around you – once you secure a job or internship, become a sponge at the workplace. You may not realize it at the time, but every encounter will help you in the future.
@cswitaj Thanks very much……Bryan was great to interview! He’s definitely one of the ones that “get’s it” when it comes to social media. And, I agree…..his advice on how to get a job in sports was easily the best part of the interviews 🙂
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