Get in the Game with an Internship in Sports

Fall is prime time for sports: football season begins, the World Series wraps up another baseball season, and basketball rolls around again. For sports fans, this is an exciting time.

Football in Grass

There are some great career opportunities in the sports industry, but breaking into the field can be a challenge. Openings are limited and are highly competitive. Related experience – and years of it – is crucial, making internships a competitive necessity.

How do you find an internship in the sports industry. Here are some starting points:

Understand the wide range of opportunities in the industry. The sports industry is very interdisciplinary, and there is something for everyone. But as a starting point for any internship search, you want to identify which area you’d like to get experience in. Some industry segments include:

  • Sports Media: Marketing, Broadcasting, Sports Writing, Public Relations
  • Sports Team Administration: Coach, Instructor, Referee, Athletic Director
  • Sports-Related Engineering: Stadium & Sports Facilities Operations, Sporting Goods & Equipment, Product Development & Design (games, computer-assisted training devices)
  • Sports Medicine: Sport Rehabilitation & Orthopedics, Athletic Training, Sports Nutrition, Sports Psychologist
  • Sports – Other: Sports Management & Finance, Sports Law, Sports Statistics, Retail & Wholesale Operations

Familiarize yourself with job boards and other opportunities.

  • Teamwork Online: Job boards for Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer, Golf/Tennis, Motorsports, College and National Governing Bodies, Arenas/Facilities, as well as “Multiple Entities” like media outlets and sports/entertainment firms.
  • Association for Women in Sports Media: The AWSM has their own Internship/Scholarship Program through which selected students receive up to a $1000 scholarship and are placed in a paid internship. Placements have included ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Nike.
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association: Search for jobs with retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dunhams Sports as well as concessionaires like Delaware North Companies (who serves Miller Park).

Identify organizations you would love to work for. Another key strategy in any internship search – Go right to the source. Here are a few that might interest you:

Find the right contact. Networking and research are always important, and part of the process is figuring out who is the best person to send your resume to. If you are trying to get into a particular department (ex. marketing), reach out to the head of that department.

Stand out from the competition. Many cover letters and resumes look and sound the same. Highlight the value you will bring to the organization. Provide evidence through specific examples. Work with a career counselor/advisor to develop a strong resume and to better understand the purpose of your cover letter.

Be persistent. Again, the sports industry is a competitive one. Especially if you are seeking an internship with a sports team, it can take a couple of tries before you score the internship you want.

An internship in the sports industry can happen, and it can be amazing.

Are you considering a career in the sports industry? What have you been doing to find an internship in the field?

Photo by Jayel Aheram