Bulldogs – The Business of Sport

by frank-stuart

Nationally Recognised TrainingACPE opened its doors last Saturday to welcome around 200 prospective students, family and friends to the Open Day! Guests were given personalised campus tours, listened to industry expert guest speakers and enjoyed a BBQ on the sunny deck. One of those guest speakers was Aaron Warburton, and he had some brilliant advice for our future sports business graduates.

Aaron is the Commercial Manager of Partnerships for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL team and an ACPE graduate himself, having completed his Graduate Diploma of Sports Administration with the college. In his current role, Aaron is responsible for generating revenue from business partners in return for brand awareness, advertising, corporate entertainment and networking opportunities for the Bulldogs.

Aaron’s passion for sports is obvious instantly. “Sport for me wasn’t something that was going to stop after high school,” he says. Prior to his current role, Aaron worked with the Parramatta Eels for 9 seasons (despite growing up a Manly supporter), which he says gave him the foundational knowledge across all areas of sports business.

For those of you that couldn’t make Aaron’s presentation, here are four of his professional insights into the world of sports business:


1. Find the right education 

Aaron stressed the importance of the right education to achieve your desired career outcome – because a career is much more than just a ‘job’. The course he took at ACPE worked for him not just because of the specialist course content, but because of the flexibility it offered as well. “You can study online and still come into campus, or pick up a phone to get that extra support.”

Sports is a tough industry to get into and NRL jobs will get a LOT of applications, but “anyone with a sports business degree is going to go straight on that much smaller ‘yes’ pile,” says Aaron. He personally recommended the job site www.sportspeople.com.au – the ‘Seek’ of the sporting industry – as a great place to get started with your search.

2. Get networking – “Sports is a people business”

In the tight-knit sports industry, 90% of operating costs go into people – you won’t find this 90/10 split in any other industry! That’s because the sports industry offers employees a high sense of engagement with their roles, often in a job they are very proud to hold. Aaron recommended LinkedIn with your education credentials as a great starting point to reach out and connect with industry professionals – including himself! Add him and ask any sports business questions you didn’t get a chance to ask at Open Day.

3. Volunteering & internships

The partnership between ACPE and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs opens up a number of opportunities for ACPE students to gain work experience while they study, and there are currently 4 or 5 ACPE students completing internships with the NRL team. This sort of practical experience is vital to career development in the sports industry – that’s why you’ll be offered these opportunities as part of your ACPE course. Ask the ACPE Career Development Office for more information on how you could be the next intern for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

4. In conclusion: Strategise & plan!

It’s important to implement a strategy to reach your personal goals. Keeping the previous points in mind, you should:

* Surround yourself with a great network
* Complement experience with your education
* Stand out from the rest!

We can’t thank Aaron enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his wealth of expertise with us, and for offering to keep the communication lines open for any prospective ACPE students to ask their questions.

As you can see by our impressive alumni, ACPE can take you where you need to go in the sports industry. Over 67% of our sports graduates are employed within just 6 months of graduation! Get moving to an active and exciting career with a sports business course from ACPE.

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