Essential Skills that will Differentiate You From the Competition – Work In Sports podcast

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning for WorkInSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

Before we get into the stat line and today’s question — I have something I want to put into your brains that I’ve been thinking a lot about. 

A few months back, I had on Josh Walker President of Sports Innovation Lab, and he discussed the fluid fan concept – that essentially sports has to go where the fans are and change the entire experience. It’s not just a buy ticket sit in seat world, it has to be fluid and follow the fans through social communities, immersive experience, and more. This is one of my favorite episodes, I loved talking to Josh.

And, this past week, it really got me thinking about the future of sports and how everything will change. Not just because of COVID, this need to develop and change was emerging anyhow, COVID just sped everything up. 

Look at the news from the world of entertainment this week — Warner Brothers announces they will concurrently release all of their 2021 movies in the theater, and streaming on HBO Max. This will likely start a wave where you’ll see other studios align with other streaming services — but let’s apply this to our world, sports.

Just like the movie world uses the theater model, sports has a main outlet for its programming — traditional network and cable TV channels. Sports leagues have long term deals with broadcast partners and it is a major source of their revenue.    

But, we may start to see a similar model expand to sports — taking live events and simulcasting them in multiple places – not just CBS and ESPN… but social channels and more. Look to these changes, see what opportunities they present, and how fan engagement changes. 

Right now, I’m looking to the entertainment world and eSports to set the trends the sports industry will follow. eSports is better at capturing and engaging young viewers, and entertainment is incredible at finding revenue streams — sports will follow these models, so keep an eye on those fields. 

Ok – let’s get to the stat line…

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Three data points that help inform us as to the strength of the sports industry as provided by WorkInSports.com the #1 job board for the sports industry. 

Stat #1 — 16,730 active sports jobs on WorkInSports.com — this is pretty much flat from last week, but that’s a lot of jobs. 

Stat #2 — 1,666 new active sports jobs added in the past 7 days, which is a 35% increase from the previous week — which isn’t all that surprising, a big uptick from Thanksgiving week when most employers aren’t posting jobs. 

Stat #3 – that is an average of 238 fresh new active sports jobs added each day of the week — 

which is pretty awesome. 

Ok, let’s get to three fresh new jobs that sound awesome and are currently live on WorkInSports.com — 

Job #1 — Production Trainee for the NBA — I love starting gigs like this. You guys know my affinity for big-name employers, when you get something like this on your resume it stands out for life. You learn the best practices of the industry and are ready to take on the world. This position is part of the NBA Emerging Media group which focuses on identifying, creating, distributing, and publishing content for the NBA’s social and digital platforms and its many domestic and international partners throughout the world. 

Look this is just me, but I wouldn’t care what they are paying, this is the opportunity i would absolutely 100% jump on if I had any interest in content, digital marketing, social, journalism… and loves basketball. I would be so all over this.

Job #2 — Strength and Conditioning Fellow for United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee — if you wanted to work in strength and conditioning, any kind of athletic training, does it get any better than the USOC? I’ve been to their facility in Colorado Spring and it is chills inducing to know the stars and athletes that have walked that campus. 

All you kinesiology majors out there — which is traditionally a tricky word for me to say — check this out.

Job #3 — So i”m always looking at the trend in the sports industry — and a big one, right now and in the future is athlete marketing. The athletes are becoming bigger brands than ever – they are their own megaphone rather than waiting for TV networks, newspapers, or websites to interview them and spread their word — they are their own business.

I’m into this trend a lot — which is why I’ve had on guests like Rashida Gayle. 

This idea of athlete marketing has been pro athlete trend… but that is changing too, due to
New NCAA rules regarding Names Images and Likeness – meaning student-athletes can earn off of their names, images and likenesses. I’m into this trend too, which is why I had Neeta Sreekanth COO of INFLCR on the podcast too. Two great episodes you should really go back and listen to. 

All of this gets me to job #3 — Head of Athlete Relations for OneTeam Partners. Are you familiar with OneTeam? Well, neither was I until this morning…but when I researched I found a company that has a foundation built for success. 

OneTeam Partners helps athletes maximize the value of their name, image and likeness rights. Jointly founded by the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”), Major League Baseball Players Association (“MLBPA”) and RedBird Capital Partners (“RedBird Capital”), OneTeam manages the commercial licensing rights of athletes across a diverse cross-section of properties, creates new marketing opportunities through its Athlete Marketing business and generates unique deal flow and investment opportunities through its Venture Investment capabilities. 

The biggest hurdle any of these emerging companies in athlete marketing face is recruiting the athletes to their platform. When OneTeam says they are jointly founded by the NFLPA and MLBPA — that is access, that is power. Look at this brand in the coming years – you heard it here first, they will be big.

And that is the stat line…

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Ok let’s get into today’s question, which comes in from Melissa in Maryland.  

“Hey Brian, love the podcast thank you so much for all that you do. My question may be a little different than most, you’ve talked a lot about developing skills that will set you up for success. I know there are skills that are specific to each individual role — like skills for a scout are different from the skills required for a marketing coordinator…but are there certain universal skills you recommend, and if so what are the best ways to learn them?”

OK, Melissa – let’s get into it. 

I have three skills that everyone should develop. Period. Doesn’t matter what career you want to pursue, these are skills you should all learn, and I’ll give you ways to learn them.

#1 Excel and Budgeting. 

Excel is one of the most powerful, long-standing business tools you will ever come across.  As our world becomes more and more data-driven, you need these skills. As a content guy, I never bothered with Excel, I was a TV producer and editor a writer — big mistake, now I’m in excel almost daily. My wife who is in marketing is in excel daily, my friends in the industry are in excel daily. 

We can talk about tools like slack and basecamp and Jira and Facebook insights…but really, mastering, and I mean mastering excel will always serve you well. 

Also, it doubles as a great tool in your personal life, your finances will get better if you manage them through excel. Trust me. 

So, how do you become an excel master? Linkedin Learning is a great way. I don’t get anything out of this endorsement just to be clear, we aren’t paid any affiliate deals, there is no partnership… but maybe there should be because I love online learning through LinkedIn learning. 

So here’s what’s cool — Linkedin Learning has 379 online courses connected to Excel. They have 30 different Learning Paths, which are course bundles that lead to certificates. They have a Mastering Excel learning path, which is a bundle of 8 courses. 

This skill serves you incredibly well and you can do it at your own pace. Plus, when you complete it you can add a certificate to your profile to enhance your personal brand. I can’t recommend this skill enough. Seriously. 

The value is pretty insane — $29.99/month gives you access to all of it. Over 16,000 courses in everything from workplace yoga to pivot tables in excel. This is a great way to learn, and you can tell a story of how you spent coronavirus learning new skills. 

If I may make a suggestion — which sounds like an old man, stay off my grass kind of comment — if you subtracted 30 minutes of your social media routine, and put it toward an online learning program… you’d be better off. 

I know that sounds very parental old man of me, but it’s also true. 

Ok, skill #2 —

Google Analytics.

See a theme? We are in an online driven world and a data-driven world, combine those two things and you have Google Analytics.

For those of you not in the know, most if not all websites include a line of code in them that allows their user data to be collected by Google and utilized in the google analytics platform.  GA is how companies learn about their customers with free tools to analyze data for your business all in one spot. 

It is insanely powerful. You can learn customer behavior, return on advertising spend, evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing, content, products, and more. You can see the path consumers take once they entire your site. 

Before you go thinking, I don’t want to work in eCommerce or digital marketing — every organization has customers and websites — you can learn a ton about your audience with this tool. And again, become a master at it and get a certification, and you will stand out for the right reasons.\

Where do you learn it? Well, you may imagine that LinkedIn learning has a lot of courses in this regard, and you’d be right… but I have another option for you as well. 

Google has a free Analytics Academy. It’s free. It’s online. It’s self-paced — and you get a certificate from Google afterward for your LinkedIn profile.

Learn this skill. Add it to your resume. Boom.

Third and final skill — I mention it all the time on this show… it’s 

#3 Photoshop – now, photoshop is the granddaddy of all graphic manipulation, Itis the industry king, people know it and love it, they form careers around it. But there are other options too.

Before I get into those, why learn photoshop? You’d be amazed at how much this skill comes up in conversations with people in the business. It connects to everything, and you don’t have to be a classically trained graphic designer to leverage its power. 

Tell Atlanta United FC partnership story.

Now, there are other very powerful graphics tools that are more affordable — Canva and  PicMonkey to name two… learn how to use these skills and you will have something a little extra against the competition, and be a more valuable employee and asset.

Peace out.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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