Are you into sports? If so, you can turn your love for sports into a successful career. Many people have done it before you, and while it might seem daunting at first, it’s possible and a reality for many professionals that are making a killing in the field of sports.
And if you’re wondering, a career in sports is both lucrative and exciting. The future, too, is bright for sports professionals, even with the challenges that came with Covid-19. The opportunities and the salary you’ll earn will vary greatly depending on the role you play.
As a benchmark, however, you can earn anywhere between $35,000 and $12.5 million (and more) per year depending on your role, experience, team, location, sponsorship deals, and other important factors. Sports, my friend, is a big industry valued at over $620 billion today.
That, plus you don’t have to actually play any sport to create a successful career. If you are starting out and have no idea, there are a million and one roles to fill in the sports industry. That means there is something for everyone, even if you can’t score a goal to save your life.
So don’t worry one bit if you can’t bend it like Beckham, dunk like Kobe Bryant (R.I.P to the legend), or run like Usain Bolt. If you have an unbridled passion for sports, you can go from a complete beginner to a successful professional in sports.
And in today’s post, we show you exactly how to turn your love for sports into a successful career that will put bread on the table and cloth on your back for years to come. Read to the end to learn how others in the sports industry made it big.
Steps to Turning a Sports Hobby Into a Career
There are many ways to get involved in the sports industry. You can choose whichever role you desire and become quite successful at it. In the following section, we discuss how to turn your love for sports into a career.
Decide On The Type of Sports Job You Want
To turn your love of sports into a successful career, you first must decide the type of sports job you want. Obviously, we all can’t play like Cristiano Ronaldo – that’s his role. We can’t become the best referees in the world. We can’t be the best coaches in the world.
As such, you must decide which play you will play as you look to turn your love for sports into a lucrative career. There are many roles to fill, so do your research beforehand. Example job roles include sports coach, fitness trainer, sports marketing, sports medicine, sports nutritionist, sports journalist, photographer and so many more.
Pick one job that you’re most passionate about so that you have a clear goal. Do you want to become a sports coach? If so, focus on that and so on and so forth.
Research Your Market
The second step is to confirm there is actually demand for your services in your area. There is no point in pursuing a sports career or business that doesn’t have any demand. That is a pointless undertaking just like chasing after the wind.
If you can relocate, don’t hold yourself back. You can seek opportunities in other geographical areas, which has been made incredibly easy thanks to advances in technology that allow you to reach out to prospects in far-fetched places.
In the process, don’t forget to evaluate your competition. As you might already know, sports is a very competitive field, and opportunities don’t last long. Pursue available opportunities immediately, but to do that, you must know who wants a piece of the same pie.
Get a Formal Qualification
The sports industry has evolved a lot in recent years. If you don’t have the right qualifications, it’s an uphill task securing the best of sporting jobs. To stand any chance in the sports world of today, you must invest time in earning formal qualifications.
To improve your chances of landing the job (and consequently building a long-lasting) career in sports, consider earning a sports management degree, especially if you want to focus on the business side of things. On top of that, actively seek professional certifications in which field you choose.
Update Your Resume
Yes, I know it’s sports and the idea of carrying a resume to an interview doesn’t seem like an important thing. But, guess what? IT IS! Many employers will need to see you’re a team player and can provide real results that drive their sports business forward.
Without a polished resume, you risk missing the best sports jobs. So take your time to update your resume (or create one if you don’t have one already). Don’t know where to start? Well, include any experience in sports like volunteer roles or having played for your local sports club.
Don’t forget to include references from people and/or organizations who can vouch for your experience. Employers are looking for experienced candidates who can deliver on goals timely and on budget.
Start Your Own Sports Business
Personally, I hate working for the man, but we are not here to talk about my preferences. If you don’t want to work for someone else like yours truly, you can start a sports business of your own.
There are many sports business ideas floating around you. If you need some motivation, however, here are a couple of quick ideas. You can start a sports marketing agency, sports events agency, sports merchandise shop, consultancy, personal trainers, and so on.
The sky is indeed the limit – you can start any sports business you have in mind. The sports management degree and professional certifications we mentioned earlier will surely come in handy as you launch your business.
Market Yourself Online
There is this popular (and wise and old) adage that goes like “No man is an island.” That can’t truer in the sports industry, where it’s almost impossible to thrive (or even survive) on your own. In other words, you can’t isolate yourself when it comes to sports.
Sports is all about interacting with people. It’s the whole premise of the sporting industry. Nobody works alone. There are teams, partners, and boards of directors, and the works. It’s not the kind of industry where you work alone from your basement.
This is why it’s important to market yourself like a mad man (or the guys from that TV show Mad Men). Start a blog to share your passion and don’t your little space on the web go stale. Update your blog regularly and become visible on social media to improve your chances.
Many employers will go online long before inviting you for an interview, so it’s important to have an online personal brand, or what marketers call a digital presence.
Tap Into Your Network
Did you know, according to Hubspot, that 85% of jobs are filled through networking? I completely agree because I have seen the true power of networking in action. I used to advertise my services online, but I have long stopped wasting money on ads.
And do you know why? I can’t tell you how many times I have landed jobs thanks to referrals. Nowadays, most of my projects come from referrals within my network. And that’s because one guy in your network knows somebody else who needs your skills.
Don’t even argue against the fact that networking is a proven way to earn more business. So, put your feelers out among your current network and join other network groups to expand your circle of contacts.
It’s easy to network. Attend sports events and conferences. Additionally, join online sports groups, which you can do from the comfort of your home. Network and network some more, but never make it all about your ambitions. Play nice and be a great member of the network.