5 Sports Betting Careers That Are Paying Off Big
Sports betting is big money, and it has become even bigger in recent years since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on the practice in 2018. Americans bet twice as much on sports in 2021 compared to 2020, with the number of Americans regularly betting on sporting events increasing by 80%. With Americans wagering $52.7 billion in 2021, building a career in this realm of the sports industry looks like a safe bet.
There are currently 30 states (and Washington, D.C.) that have legal sports betting in some form, with more states poised to join their ranks and reap the benefits of this growing field. That much money changing hands is also creating plenty of jobs, as PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken explained on the WorkInSports Podcast.
“My advice is to keep jumping at opportunities,” Aitken said. “We hired Eric Foote from CBS to be our Chief Commercial Officer, who was a key architect of our deal with NBC. We’ve done the same on the marketing and tech front. The thing we look for at PointsBet is tenacity. The sheer desire to win and commit to being part of something excellent that’s growing.”
There are several focus areas for sports betting careers, including:
Digital Marketing and Communications
Marketing and communication positions are critical for branding the latest sports betting products and opportunities available to a growing consumer base. With 18% of U.S. adults aged 21 and older betting on sports at least once a month in 2021, companies and states have ramped up their digital marketing efforts to make their products stand out in a crowded marketplace. Companies such as ESPN, FanDuel, and PointsBet have grown their marketing staff accordingly. For example, ESPN has merged its fantasy sports staff with sports betting and hired social media specialists, senior marketing managers, and content creators.
Reporting and On-Air Talent
As traditional newsrooms continue shrinking their staff, many print and broadcast journalists have shifted into sports betting careers utilizing the skills they already have. PointsBet hired Teddy Greenstein, who spent 24 years as a sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune, to be their senior editor for content. Legendary college football announcer Brent Musburger now serves as lead broadcaster and managing editor for Vegas Stats and Information, a sports media company specifically dedicated to providing proprietary data to sports bettors driving the industry’s growth. Erin Dolan, a 2018 Penn State graduate, honed her craft as on-air talent with FanDuel and PointsBet before being hired by ESPN as a sports betting analyst.
Content is king in these emerging digital spaces, and both established media entities and sports betting companies are taking that mantra to heart in their hiring. That’s a trend that PGA Tour VP of Gaming Scott Warfield has noticed:
“If you’re a writer or reporter, you see Darren Rovell with The Action Network, it’s a huge business. If you’re a tech person or developer, there’s a massive opportunity. The next five to 10 years, the sports world is going to change more than it did in the two or three decades before that.”
Find Your Next Sports Job Today!
Since the Murphy v. NCAA ruling in 2018 supercharged the legalization of sports betting, the number of online betting apps and websites has exploded as states quickly established a presence in digital spaces to get a piece of the action. The push for easy-to-use sports wagering products at bettors’ fingertips created a demand for tech-savvy professionals to develop, maintain, and refine the user experience. With available jobs including DevOps Engineer, Product Manager, and Product Designer at companies such as Yahoo!, the NBA, and Sportradar US, the importance of having tech skills, along with the backgrounds listed above, are crucial to how betting companies execute their mission.
Sports partnerships are lucrative, which is why the WorkInSports Podcast has spoken with employees managing these relationships, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Luke Mohamed, Golden State Warriors’ Drew Friedman, and Ilitch Sports and Entertainment’s Molly Wurdack-Folt, about the opportunities available in that realm of the industry. Partnerships are another rewarding avenue for people interested in sports betting careers as media giants like ESPN, CBS, and NBC have partnered with big-name sportsbooks. These companies need liaisons to manage their relationships successfully.
As the number of bettors keeps growing, sports betting companies need enthusiastic workers walking customers through every step of their sports betting experience and keeping them engaged and returning for more wagers. Sports are going on constantly worldwide, and sports betting companies need to provide 24/7 customer service online and via phone. As the number of private companies and states opening their doors to the sports betting industry continues to grow, customer service jobs are among the most readily available career paths in this niche today.
Regardless of where you want to ply your trade in the sports betting industry, Warfield believes the opportunity for young workers to dive into a tech-driven field that shows no signs of slowing down is there for the taking:
"I think young people are at a massive advantage because they're growing up with this experience. They're seeing the world through this lens, and they interpret the information faster and with even more incisiveness then than those of us who have been in the industry for a really long time.”
May 26, 2022
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