Strategies For Breaking Into The Sports Industry

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Now that Memorial Day has passed, many recent graduates will set their sights on securing their first job in the sports industry. Whether you are pursuing a job in college coaching or sports administration, the first step is to have a vision for what you want to do for your career.

It really doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you want to do, but you should have a general idea. For example, if you want to coach, which sport do you want to coach? This will determine your initial career path. The same holds true for administration. If you want to work in athletic administration, what area best fits your strengths and interests? Your strategies and career path will be different if you want to pursue a position in compliance versus a career in marketing.

But what happens if you don’t know exactly what you want to do? You just know that you want to work in sports. In this case, you need to gain insight into both yourself and into the sports industry. You will want to get to know your strengths, interests, skills and abilities. You will also want to discover more about the various types of positions that exist in the sports world. Once you have a better feel for the industry, you can determine which area best fits your strengths and interests. To gain this insight, and to break into the sports industry, you should consider the following suggestions:

Conduct an Informational Interview – Gain Insight into the industry by interviewing somebody who already works in the sports industry. I got my start in college sports by interviewing the athletic director at the University of Washington.   His great advice allowed me to develop a plan for my career. This plan included going back to school to study for my master’s degree in sports administration and I also gained experience as a student worker in the ticket office.

Get Your Master’s Degree – Most full-time coaches and sports managers will eventually need their master’s degree in order to advance in the industry. If you don’t currently have your master’s degree, consider going back to college and pursue a degree in sports management. To see a list of schools that offer sports management degree programs, go to the “Sports Management Programs” page on the website http://www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.

Gain Experience – Whether you’re just starting out in the industry, or you’re looking to advance in the sports field, you need to gain experience and make yourself a valuable commodity. You can gain experience through volunteering within an athletic department, securing an internship, working in an entry-level job, or by becoming active in your professional association (NACDA, NABC, CoSIDA, etc.). If you are interested in coaching, look to begin by working summer camps and being a volunteer assistant (or a graduate assistant). If you are interested in administration, find out if the local college athletic department needs help selling tickets at their sporting events.

Network into a Job – Networking within the industry is ultimately the key to getting a job. Utilize the above suggestions to get to know people within the industry. Stay in touch with the people you meet and build friendships.

Position Yourself – As you gain experience, you will want to work toward positioning yourself as an expert within the industry. To properly position yourself as an expert, you will want to work hard in your current position and do quality work. You will also want to build a strong network within the industry and be active within your professional association. In time, these qualities will brand you in a very positive light within the industry. As an expert, you will have opportunities to advance both within your current organization and within other organizations in the sports industry.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!  If you need to learn the fundamental skills of the job search process, check out the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”. It is used by many sports management programs to help provide their students with the job search skills that are necessary for them to compete in the highly competitive sports industry.

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.

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Helping You Prepare For Every Aspect Of Your Up Coming Job Search

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

 

This is a must have for those looking to get into College Athletics. Great job Howard.

-Michael Volpone
Sports Writer at Nationalsportsjournal.com

 

 

 


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Six Steps For Branding Yourself In The Sports World

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

How do people view you? Do they see you as a hard worker, a real professional, even an expert in the sports industry? Or do they perceive you as an average employee who clocks-in and clocks-out and never puts in the extra effort? The image you project, and how people perceive you, is your personal brand.

The overall goal for branding yourself should be to differentiate yourself within the profession by providing great value to your sports organization and to the industry as a whole. The following six recommendations will help you begin to develop your personal brand and help you to create a strong brand image.

  1. Describe Your Career Aspirations – Identify and describe your career goals. Be clear and specific as to the industry, profession, and area of specialization. Is it to be an athletic director at the NCAA Division I level? Is it to be known as an expert in marketing and social media within Division II athletics?
  2. Identify Your Branding Strategy – What do you want your brand to be? What should it convey? The best way to create a strong brand is to specialize in a particular niche. If you want to be an athletic director, learn all you can about the profession and become proficient in marketing and fund raising. If you want to be an expert in social media, study the best practices of social media strategies and techniques as they apply to sports.
  3. Create a Brand Statement – Once you have identified what you want your brand to be and your brand strategy, you will want to create a brand statement. A brand statement identifies your area of specialization and should explain (a) who you are, (b) what you do, and (c) whom you do it for. Clearly write out these three elements as they apply to your ultimate career aspirations.
  4. Assess Your Current Situation – Try to understand how you are currently perceived. In other words, what is your current brand? Attempt to uncover your brand through self-analysis and visiting with friends or colleagues. Once you believe that you have an accurate understanding, ask yourself if you are on track with the correct brand? If not, what needs to change and why?
  5. Create Your Plan – Once you have identified where you are and what you need to change, you can begin to develop your plan for self-improvement. Do you need to improve your communication skills? How about your attire or behavior? What about your image on LinkedIn and other social media outlets? How active are you within your professional association? Identify the areas of self-improvement. What action steps do you need to take to achieve your branding goals?
  6. Manage Your Brand – As you begin to build your personal brand, you will want to be proactive in managing all aspects of your brand. This includes your knowledge within your area of specialization, your behaviors, attire, social media presence, and relationships.

Where is your career going? Your brand plays a huge part in determining if you will achieve your professional career goals or not. Read through the six steps above and be proactive in building your brand and controlling how people perceive you.

Remember that the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process.  In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.

*******

Helping You Prepare For Every Aspect Of Your Up Coming Job Search

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

 

This is a must have for those looking to get into College Athletics. Great job Howard.
-Michael Volpone
Sports Writer at Nationalsportsjournal.com

 

 

 


Your Personal Sales Pitch: A Necessary Career Development Tool

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

As a Graduate Assistant in the Marketing Department at a mid-major Division I athletic department, Josh was attending the NACDA Convention last June. He was studying for his master’s degree in Athletic Administration and his career goal was to become an athletic director. As he left his hotel room on the 10th floor, he entered the elevator and became face-to-face with the athletic director he’s wanted to meet. Josh was prepared for this moment.  Earlier in the year he attended a careers seminar that featured a career development specialist.

As the doors of the elevator closed, Josh reached out his hand and said, “Hello Mr. Smith, my name is Josh Roberts.”  This begun a 20 second conversation where Josh was able to introduce himself and Mr. Smith suggested that Josh contact him after the conference.

This type of introduction happens at every convention.  The majority of these encounters, however, aren’t as smooth.  Most of the time, the intern or GA bumbles around for something to say, and says nothing.  But Josh had practiced his sales pitch and was prepared for this moment.

The careers development program that Josh attended introduced him to all aspects of the job search process, including how to develop a strong personal sales pitch.  The seminar leader shared that a quality sales pitch needs to be developed so that you can sell yourself in a moments notice.  It might be in a chance encounter at a convention such as this, or it might be in an interview when a member of the search committee asks “so tell me about yourself.”  In either case, you need to be prepared to sell yourself.

After the convention, Josh followed up and contacted Mr. Smith. This was one of his first networking encounters that truly helped him to further his career.  This networking opportunity probably wouldn’t have happened if Josh hadn’t learned the importance of a personal sales pitch, and how to construct his pitch. More specifically, he learned that the sales pitch includes the following three sections.

  1. An overview of your education, experience, and achievements; or basically a summary of your resume
  2. A list of your skills, abilities and traits
  3. A description of your current situation

Regardless if you are networking or entering an interview, by properly preparing your personal sales pitch, you will be prepared to sell yourself. With these three sections, depending upon the question you are being asked in a job interview, you could answer it using the entire pitch, or just one of the three subsections.  For example, if you are asked the question “What is your experience in working in this industry”, you could answer this by reciting your first section, the summary of your resume.  If you were asked the questions “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you”, you could answer this by using your second section, a listing of your skills, abilities and traits.  If you are asked the question “Why are you looking to leave your current position”, you could answer this by reciting your third section, your current situation.  However, if you are asked the question, “So tell me about yourself”, you’d answer using the entire pitch – all three sections.

The personal sales pitch is one of the most important tools within the job search process.  It is every bit as important as your resume or your interactions during an interview.  In fact, you will use your sales pitch in all of your correspondence including your cover letter, your interview, and your follow-up after the interview.  Take the time to create a strong and effective sales pitch.  Remember that the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process.  In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.

*******

Helping You Prepare For Every Aspect Of Your Up Coming Job Search

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

 

This is a must have for those looking to get into College Athletics. Great job Howard.
-Michael Volpone
Sports Writer at Nationalsportsjournal.com

 

 

 


Six Strategies For Breaking Into The Sports Industry

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Kelsey is excited because she just completed her last final exam of the semester and is graduating next week with a degree in Sports Management.  She’s nervous, however, because she’s discovering that the job market is very competitive and she’s having a difficult time finding a job in the sports industry.

To help with the job search process, Kelsey’s sports management professor discussed the job search process and provided six tips on how to break into the sports industry. These tips have provided Kelsey with a focus and a strategy for her career. Below is an overview of the six strategies her professor shared with the class.

Informational Interviews – An informational interview is a technique used by people who are looking to gain knowledge and insights into a particular profession.  In college sports, the interviewee will contact someone who is employed in a management position such as an athletic director or an associate athletic director.  The interviewee will schedule a meeting and will be prepared with a list of questions to ask the manager.  This technique is good if you want to gain more insights into the industry.  It is also a great way to begin networking within the profession.

Master’s Degree – Consider going back to graduate school so you can pursue your master’s degree in sports management.  In some instances, a graduate student can be hired as a Graduate Assistant.  This type of position will pay a stipend and will provide you with invaluable experiences.  If you are in graduate school and don’t have a graduate assistantship, you should volunteer your services and begin to gain experience within the industry.  This is a great way to break into the profession and gain experience.   A master’s degree is becoming a necessity for moving up in the profession.

Volunteer – Another great way to break into the industry is to volunteer your time and services in an athletic department.  There are always opportunities in game management, security, ticket sales, and marketing.  This would be a good question to ask in an informational interview – “are there any opportunities to volunteer in the department in order to gain experience?” If you do volunteer, make sure you are very professional in your actions; your reputation is at stake and you will want a letter of recommendation or a reference some day.

Internship – If you are a current student, seek out an internship.  These are usually in conjunction with your studies and provide credits toward your degree.

Entry-level Job – Many athletic departments will hire students and part-time employees to work at home sporting events.  Ask the ticket manager, the marketing director, or the sports information director if they hire people for part-time positions at the home contests.  Again, if you are hired, do a great job.  Make yourself invaluable.  You just might find yourself being hired in a full-time position within the athletic department.

Network into a job – As you have probably discovered, networking is the key to getting a job.  Utilize the above opportunities and techniques so you can get to know the people within the industry, and then stay in touch with them and build friendships.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!   If you need to learn the fundamental skills of the job search process, check out the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”.  It is used by many sports management programs to help provide their students with the job search skills that are necessary for competing in the highly competitive sports industry.

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.

*******

Helping You Get A Job In Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University