Entry Level Sports Jobs with Real Growth Potential

entry level sports jobs production assistant
Beginning your career as a production assistant at a sports network will require lots of random sports knowledge (Photo Courtesy: ESPN MediaZone)
Just because you can name all the mascots of the Sun Belt conference (Quick: What is North Texas’ mascot?) doesn't mean you are destined for a successful career in sports.

But who can blame you for wanting a sports job? It’s far superior to working in a cube for some nondescript business, plus there is actually a chance you will get paid to watch sports or participate in live events! Score!

Sports is a huge industry, with various career paths, so we've decided to break it down into five entry level sports jobs that can actually start your journey in the right direction.

*Oh and North Texas is the Mean Green of course.

(Editors note: after reading this article, check out our version 2.0 - 5 more entry level sports jobs with real growth potential)

Production Assistant – Sports Network

Sports Television is in its golden era with new networks popping up around the country like weeds in the garden.how to prepare for your sports job search ebook

Large nationals like NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1, conference specific versions like the Pac-12 network and SEC, regional networks, team specific and even more opportunities broadcasting content online.

The best entry point into this world is as a Production Assistant (also could be called a Broadcast Associate or Production Associate). General assignments will include logging live games, editing highlights, writing shot sheets, researching and writing.

Skills needed: Non-linear editing (Avid, Final Cut Pro), Sports knowledge (expect to take a sports quiz during your interview), production techniques (lighting, camerawork etc), strong writing and research skills.

Possible Career Path:  

sports media and journalism

Social Media Coordinator

It doesn't matter if you want to work for a team, a network, an event or a sports manufacturing company, they all have a social media presence.

entry level sports jobs social media coordinator
Example of the work performed by social media coordinator at the University of Michigan.
When social media first began as a popular way to engage with an audience, businesses assigned this task to their existing marketing departments. As social grew in popularity, and industries started to realize the true value, more and more have carved out a specific social media department.

A social media coordinator is a great entry level sports job especially if you are interested in a public or media relations career, since you will have to communicate well and continually polish your writing.

Skills Needed: Social Media knowledge and experience (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn at minimum), writing and editorial, on top of emerging technologies, online marketing, video editing experience (Final Cut Pro, Avid) will help.

Places to Look for Opportunities:  College Athletic Departments, Professional Teams, Sports Networks, Athletic Apparel companies.

Sales Assistant

Bart Foley, ROOT Sports Northwest VP/General Sales Manager believes working in sales is the perfect entry point to a career in sports, “It’s actually not that difficult to get into television or radio ad sales.  Most college graduates are gravitating toward other fields like technology and thus, it’s never been easier to get started.”

The benefits of working in sales are vast – you’ll learn persistence, self-discipline, how to negotiate and communicate, all skills that will enhance your career no matter what field your pursue.

Responsibilities: Many clerical duties to start, including order processing, monitoring accounts, filing, correspondence.

Also look for: Sales Coordinator, Sales Representative, Account Manager, Sales Associate, Account Coordinator.

sports sales jobsMarketing Coordinator

A high ceiling entry level sports job which will be involved in brand development, advertising, marketing initiatives, research and promotions.

The great part about beginning in marketing is that it you career can develop in so many different directions. Work for a collegiate athletic department coordinating marketing and media, shift to internet marketing for online sports properties, work for live event productions…the possibilities are many.

Skills Needed: Business and marketing undergraduate studies, Sports Management background is helpful, familiar with market research techniques, ability to project manage with moderate supervision.

Also look for: Marketing Specialist, Public Relations Assistant, Advertising Associate, Promotions Assistant

Graduate Assistant - Coaching

Even if you were a walk-on place kicker, the twelfth man on the hoops bench or the third string softball catcher, don’t waste the experience you gained by being part of a intercollegiate team, instead stay within your passion and look into coaching.

entry level sports job graduate assistant
Now he's a 4-time National Champion, but in 1972-74 Nick Saban was a graduate assistant at Kent State
The entry level step for a coaching career is as a graduate assistant. Which just as it sounds usually mandates that you are pursuing a graduate degree, while helping out with the athletic department.

If you don’t have the skills to play at the collegiate level, you can still get into coaching. While an undergrad, sign up to be a student-manager, equipment assistant or statistician, this will give you entry into the minds of the coaches and some background in athletics and sports management.

Skills Needed: Experience with the specific sport, either as a former player or as a manager. Excellent communication and listening skills, ability to work long hours, knowledge of video editing software would be very beneficial.

Responsibilities: Run practices and drills, edit practice and game video using programs like XOS Digital and possibly assist with advance scouting.

This is just the start, we have numerous entry level sports jobs on WorkinSports.com - if you have questions on how to get started, add them to the comments - we are always listening!
By Brian Clapp | November 09, 2015
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