Is this a good time to get into the sports industry?
In one word: Yes.
I know that’s tough to believe given the current circumstances, but hear me out.
Sports in India is growing rapidly. The emergence of various leagues over the last 6 years has catalysed that process and a career in the sports is now considered a viable option. To maintain that growth we need quality people, but the problem is that these people, such as yourselves, don’t know how to go about getting jobs in the sector.
There’s a common problem that both qualified candidates and employers face: they can’t seem to connect with each other. The former struggle with getting a foot in the door while the latter with finding the right person amidst a sea of applications. Often overwhelmed with finding new talent, many hirers stick to poaching people, who have been tried and tested, from within the industry. This has made the sports sector a rather finite and insular universe. We need to expand it.
Want to be a part of that growth? Make the most of the current standstill we’re all going through by learning more about the sports industry. No matter what level you’re trying to enter into or what field you’re transitioning from, the most productive way to spend this time is to improve your knowledge of the business of sports.
Let’s look at it from multiple points of view of aspirants who are at different stages in their career.
1. If you’re a fresher: Begin doing your homework. It isn’t enough to know who the players and owners of a particular team are. You need to dig deeper and go beyond the pitch.
If you’re interested in joining the digital content team of a franchise, see which teams engage most with fans online, which ones have the largest social media presence, what are they communicating and how. If you want to join a league see what communication is happening for stakeholders, franchises, and how they are increasing reach. If your target is the federation which runs the game, try and ascertain what does it take to help grow the game, drive more interest, leverage key moments and focus on age-group teams all from a digital point of view.
Those eyeing athlete representation jobs should know things like which agencies represent which athletes and have some ideas of what the values of endorsement deals are.
2. If you’re looking to switch from another industry at a junior to mid-level position: Learn more about the specific sports vertical you’re looking to enter—operations, sales, athlete representation—and gain contextual knowledge.
For instance, if you’re selling credit cards for a bank, and you want to put those sales skills to use selling sponsorships for a sports franchise or a league, that’s great! You’ve already got the skills. But you need to back that up with a clear understanding of the value exchange in the sports ecosystem. What will sponsors get for backing your team, how can they communicate, activate and engage effectively with their target group et al, how do you both benefit from associating with each other—those are things you need to think about.
3. If you’re already in the sports sector: Use this time to upskill. The problem in this industry is people often get typecasted and siloed into certain roles. It becomes difficult to cross verticals, especially without a guide or a mentor. But now is the time to explore other areas, boost your credentials and think about how you can transfer your experience and abilities to more exciting roles.
4. If you are an ex-athlete or a coach: and have spent your entire life playing a sport or coaching, Sporjo has plans for you. Keep following our handles and we will share the process soon.
While doing this, don’t forget the Sporjo formula that will guide you in your journey:
Career research goes hand-in-hand with internal investigations. Think about what aspects of the sports industry you’re passionate about, what type of personality you have and where that might be most effective, and what skills and attributes you bring to the table. You can read more about on our website https://www.sporjo.com/
Make the most of now and build on your knowledge of the sports industry. And don’t forget to sign up with Sporjo for a structured and methodical approach to this preparation that will boost your chances.