Spotlight on Careers: Sports Management/Marketing

Magellan College Counseling hosted a fourth webinar in our “Spotlight on Careers” series – this time we discussed the many options related to sports management or marketing.  Our expert panel included Prof. Ted Curtis, who teaches sports law at Lynn University; Branden Ellis, Admission Communications Coordinator at Lynn University and a former recruited athlete; Allie Miller, founder of The Dubs Group, an agency that represents athletes in the NIL market, and Huon Fitzpatrick, a freshman and recruited baseball player at Emerson College.

What a great panel!

Below are some nuggets that our panelists shared during the conversation; Evelyn dropped these notes into the chat as we went, so they’re in “chat” format.

Branden Ellis – from Chicago, Admission Communications at Lynn University. Was a recruited basketball player.

Prof. Ted Curtis – 25 years at Lynn University, professor of sports management and law. Was a practicing attorney and sports agent previously.

Allie Miller – based in Fort Worth. Attended University of North Carolina – majored in sports “stuff.” Founded an agency representing student athletes in NIL space.

How do you grow your brand? Learn by trial and error – try new things. Use social media to your advantage – be consistent about posting content.

It’s not always going to be a smooth ride. Be willing to put in the work.

Allie: be willing to try something, not like it, and back up if you need to!
Do internships! Do MANY of them!

Prof Curtis: look how many different pieces go into the production of a game (any sports game!).
Communications, marketing, law, economics, human resources.

Content creation/influencing – through the lens of sports – nutrition, apparel, etc.

About 20% of the students who choose this path are student-athletes, but ALL of them love talking about sports.

Allie – wasn’t an athlete and the majority of the students in her college program were not.

Sports marketing/management is a multi-TRILLION dollar business – but you aren’t going to make a ton of money right away.

Pay attention to what professors say after class – they may know about job openings or internships!
Applying for internships is SUPER competitive. Don’t chase a major league team in your first or second year – you’ll be drowned out by students with more experience with you.

Intern at a minor league team!  You’ll have more hands-on sports management experience if you work at a smaller organization – you’ll get a taste of all of the different things people in the organization do on a daily basis.

Branden’s advice – reach out to people! Even if it’s a long shot – give it a try.

Allie – save your resume as a PDF instead of sending a Word doc.
Also – send a handwritten thank you note to anyone who interviews you. Show them you appreciate their time!

Keep your brand consistent – similar fonts, formats, call to action (keep people interested and connected to you).

Find the right college and environment for you. Every school will have sports for you to follow.

If you’re an athlete – you should choose your college based on what FITS YOU, and don’t just base your decision on your sport. If you tear your ACL or can’t play for some reason, will you be in the right place without playing?

Prof Curtis – how do you stand out in an interview? Demonstrate a skill that you can bring to them. Do NOT say how much of a fan you are of the sport or of the team.  Be passionate, knowledgeable and excited about where you are, but not a super-fan who is just there to hang out with the superstars.

Huon – improve yourself through your own self-directed learning! He started a podcast and learned Photoshop. These skills make you more valuable!

Do your homework – don’t send messages to general mailboxes – find out who is responsible for hiring by name and reach out directly to them.

Most sports management/marketing programs live either in the College of Business, College of Education or College of Health and Human Performance. OR possibly in the Exercise and Sport Management Department. Different colleges have different emphases so they may host the major in different places.

Sales is a great first job out of college for a sports marketing major – you may be selling season tickets for a major sports team.

Revenue generation is a HUGE priority for athletic directors these days. This comes through ticket sales and also sponsorship.
There are three paths to work in sports management: property side (stadiums), brand side (sponsorship), media.

Advice: be a “baseball player” – don’t be afraid to swing and fail – it’s gonna happen and that’s how you will learn.
Make small goals and have joy in the journey.
Roll with the punches!

Your diversity will bring value to the organization – it’s fine to be different from everyone else you work with!

Trust yourself and the goals you have – they’ll come true if you put in the work.

If you have questions about the many college and career options related to sports management or marketing give us a call or get in touch!  We’re happy to be your trusted experts on this exciting journey.

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