Not interning in the sports industry this summer? Don’t worry, your hopes of having a career in sports should not diminish. Instead, figure out what you’re doing wrong. Here are some steps to follow, during the year, that should hopefully lead to some type internship or employment next time around:
1. Attend as many Symposiums and Conferences as possible
By attending these events, you will get to network with all different levels of sports professionals. Make the most of your time at the event. Bring business cards and have questions ready for the different panels. Also, be different when you’re speaking with the panelists, because when you send them a follow-up e-mail thanking them for their time, you want to make sure they remember who you were, but for positive reasons. My first internship came through a symposium at New York Law School; these types of events are highly recommended.
2. Use Social Media Effectively
Instead of Tweeting about how bored you are or checking your LinkedIn once a month, follow important sports figures. Read each Tweet carefully, pay attention to which athlete signed an endorsement deal with company X. Go on LinkedIn once a week and try connecting with people who work in the field you eventually want to end up in. For example, if you search by company on LinkedIn, it gives you the employees who have a Linkedin profile and list that they are employed by your searched organization. If you want to be an agent, search for agencies and send e-mails to the people who choose to connect with you. Tell them your interests, but also offer them something by not making the e-mail all about yourself.
While you’re looking for things to do or waiting for your plans to happen later in the evening, to kill time Google the Collective Bargaining Agreements for the sport of your choice. Learn the language of it. For baseball, study the arbitration section intensely. Learn the rookie contract portion of the NBA’s CBA. These are all things you will need to know if you want to be an agent or work for a team.
4. Write, Write, Write
Get your name out there by writing for blogs and websites. It does not matter what size of an audience the blog has. Your writing will grow after you continuously write and your exposure to the sports world will grow. When I started writing, I learned to connect with people, I’ve established relationships, and my network is stronger than before I started writing. As you write, you become more knowledgeable about the topic at hand and you enhance your writing skills. Everyone who reaches out to myself for advice receives one standard answer amongst the other individual advice. That piece of advice is to find something in the sports industry you enjoy, and write about it.
Best of luck to everyone searching for future employment in the sports world. I am available to connect either via LinkedIn or Twitter.