It’s comforting to know that in a time of economic uncertainty, one industry continues to prosper – the sports industry. For many cities and towns, sport can be one of the main drivers of economic growth. Think about how many people a major sporting event can bring to a city. There can be a tremendous flow-on effect to a range of businesses. The sports industry employs thousands of Australians, and it does not look like it’s slowing down. Television broadcast deals are becoming more lucrative for sporting competitions, while Australian athletes continue to excel at international level.
Sport is Business
There’s no disputing it. Sport is big business. There has been a monumental shift in the sporting landscape, from sport as an amateur endeavour to the highly professional industry it is today. Clubs and competitions are run like businesses, notions of club loyalty have become old-fashioned as players are moved around like pawns, and even governments recognise just how important sport is in boosting the national morale of Australia. So you have huge sponsorship deals on one hand, and the government supporting elite training programs on the other.
The growth in the sports industry has led to significant increase in the number of people employed by the sports industry. You now have fitness trainers, high performance managers, marketing experts, membership consultants, agents, lawyers, recruiting officers, event managers, digital media experts, and the list goes on. And the sports fans are driving this growth. This massive boom in the sporting industry is happening because the Australian public loves to consume sport. Sporting events seem to be somewhat insulated from the economic climate of the time. In fact, sport is often the one indulgence people will let themselves have if the purse strings are tight. It’s a form of escapism and a great unifier of people when the world around them seems unstable or a little gloomy.
Learning from the USA
In many ways, Australia has followed America’s lead. The area of talent identification and recruitment is one example of this. In previous years, a professional Australian sporting club would rely on one person, perhaps the operations manager, to be responsible for recruiting. Nowadays, there are teams dedicated to recruitment, which a much more sophisticated approach to player analysis and statistics, to ensure clubs get the most valuable players available.
Forging a Career in Sport
So with this in mind, how do you get your foot in the door with a career in the sports industry? The first step is to study the appropriate course, and while you’re doing it, take a keen interest in how sporting organisations, including your local ones, operate. Be prepared to volunteer. There’s no sporting organisation that couldn’t do with another volunteer, and this can be an invaluable way to get experience and make contacts. It also shows initiative, dedication and passion, which is what all employers look for.
Find out more about the degrees in Sports Business that the ACPE offers.