How to Network in Sports Management
Sports management is a growing field of employment full of excellent career opportunities. Those who are willing to network and vigorously search for will be more successful than those who are less motivated. Yet networking is not as simple as attending the nearest career fair. Networking in the field of sports management is an art that requires attention to detail, hard work and passion.
Where to Start
If you are pursuing your MSSM degree or have already obtained it, your attention and effort should be partially directed toward establishing relationships in sports management. Often, those who “collect people” enjoy more career success than those who don’t. Armed with your sports management degree, you will already have a great topic of conversation. Build off your education to develop some ideas for discussion topics; for instance, you can talk intelligently about current events in sports, what your favorite class was in your sports management program, where you think the industry is going, and more.
Examples of Networking Events
You have to be in the right places to meet the right people. You might consider B=bookmarking Sportsnetworker.com on your web browser and visit the site at least once a week. Sportsnetworker is an excellent example of a helpful website that provides networking leads for sports management professionals. Take note of the networking events listed for your area, and attend them with a resume and business card in hand.
All sports management professionals should be aware of the Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference (SINC). It is a two-day conference attended by industry power brokers who are constantly looking for new talent. The conference is free and provides you with direct access to sports management executives who are willing to check out your credentials and provide helpful employment leads. Another conference worth attending is the Sports, Events, Marketing and Entertainment Conference. This event is the perfect opportunity to link up with industry elites. The conference also provides educational sessions that shed light on the true nature of the sports industry and the best approaches to ascending through the sports management ranks.
Aspiring sports management professionals should also tap into the networking power of The Business of Sports. It is a series of no cost networking sessions throughout the United States. These meet-and-greets are the perfect way to establish relationships with fellow sports management careerists. However, the atmosphere is intentionally toned down, with a no-resume rule.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Networking Events
Treat networking opportunities as an opportunity to expand your Rolodex. Though these events might not immediately score you the position of your dreams, they will certainly establish inroads with other sports management professionals, some of who have the power to hire new employees. Dress formally; be on time;; always bring business cards/resumes to ensure that you have a means of staying in contact with the connections you make.
In the End, Networking is a Two-Way Street
Though networking is an excellent means of landing a professional gig, you should not let on that your sole motivation for attending an event is to obtain employment. There is a good chance that you will eventually find a job in the sports management field and be in a position to help fellow job seekers. Act professional, be courteous and respect the concept of reciprocity. If you are willing to share information and assist others, they will be that much more likely to help you score the job of your dreams.