The world of sports is highly enticing and enormous and the career options in the sports industry – both on and off the field – now becoming a high-potential alternative option for children and young adults.
Parents and schools have long ignored sports as a career option. Only those who play the sport professionally garnered a significant amount of reception and recognition. However, the rules of the game have changed and today’s youngsters are showing interest in making a career in the relatively obscure yet largely unexplored sporting industry that most miss out on.
To give some more insight into the ins and outs of the sports industry and help parents with their decisions, we have compiled a list of careers in the sports media and journalism industry – for both athletes and non-athletes – ranging from photography to journalist and content writer & producer and everything in between.
If you are a sports enthusiast who loves writing and speaking about it, you could consider a career as a sports journalist. You could work for newspapers, TV and radio stations, websites, or a combination of these.
While traditional print and television media still act as the major media platforms, however, with rapidly-developing media environment coupled with the consumption of online content which has gone through the ceiling dramatically in recent years, forcing almost all of the media outlets to adapt and change their narrative structure to the form of digital.
As a consequence, journalists are being forced to develop digital and social media skills sets that allow them to keep in touch with the current trends and produce content across several platforms to reach a wider audience.
Most sports journalists follow the path of a university degree in journalism; following as many sports they can which is always a great advantage, however, pursuing a specific sports beat has its own merit as well as in the case of wrestling journalist Vinay Siwach, which is something up-and-coming journalists can look to do when they begin their careers.
Vinay currently employed at United World Wrestling is also taking a unique approach to his journalistic writings and stuff. He doesn’t portray himself as a traditional sports fan/writer; rather, he fell in love with wrestling a long time ago and has never let go. He only writes about wrestling.
You may also get into a journalism career through your exceptional writing and speaking skills. Starting off as an intern at any newspaper, radio, or televises would be considered as an additional asset.
Sports photographers are history makers and their pictures attract worldwide attention from covering some of the world’s leading sports tournaments. Their pictures can be seen and shared around the world by hundreds of millions of people – all within the space of two minutes once they hit the send button to the media. In short, it is one of the best careers you can choose to pursue.
With photography being one of the highest art forms, professional sports photographers are often tasked with unparalleled passion and dedication coupled with keen attention to detail and capturing pure emotion on the field of play.
The first step to becoming a professional sports photographer is to find an educational program that fits your goals or intern at any media or news outlet. There are courses designed to match each one’s career goals and level of education commitment as well.
Sports Presenter and Commentator
Whether it is live sports coverage, matchday commentary, interviews, or news reports – television and radio cover a wide range of journalistic skills. And the need for a talented presenter is very vital in terms of telling the whole story much engagingly in a shorter time.
Presenters such as Anant Tyagi and Manas Singh; and commentators Harsha Bhogle and Pulasta Dhar have highlighted the perks of the job – interviewing great personalities, attending illustrious sporting occasions – so this career choice is much sought after.
Television Sports Producer
The sports producer is the head of the sports program. They are the ones who decide the content, develop story angles and make last-minute changes to produce a well-rounded telecast program.
To become a sports producer, one must generally have not only knowledge and love of sports, but also need some experience in the side of production and studio work.
A media/press officer is the last man of defense for a sports organization and a team or a club. If a news outlet wants to interview an athlete, they must go through them.
Almost all of the sports clubs and sports federations employ press officers; be it in the form of leagues or national federations such as Indian Super League clubs and Indian Premier League clubs or national governing bodies like Athletic Federation of India, Badminton Federation of India to name a few.
To be a good media officer in the sports industry, you need to have a thorough understanding of the sport, the people that operate within, and how to spin a headline. You also need to be an excellent listener and communicator.
Social Media Executive
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter now dominate the social media landscape, with almost all of the world’s population having a social media account.
Chennai Super Kings have 9.5 million followers on Instagram, Mumbai Indians have 7.2 million followers on Twitter, and Roya Challengers Bangalore has 9.5 million followers on Facebook. These and many other platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat help clubs or sports organizations to reach the right audiences and learn what works for them. And social media executive will curate, monitor, and moderate content to identify the mood of social media, what the audiences want to read and watch and engage. They produce content accordingly to increase visibility and reach a wider audience. And without a doubt, the crowning achievement of any social media professional… is to make their content go viral.
To be a successful social media executive, attaining a bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing may offer courses that deeply analyze the ever-evolving market of social media along with practical knowledge.
Club Content Producer
With the rise of the internet and social media, the way sports clubs and organizations interact with each other has radically changed in recent times, and the role of content producers now become commonly prevalent as well.
The need for an imaginative club content producer is high at the moment to produce content consistently for the website, match day programs, video channels, social media, and more with subjects ranging from club announcements to player interviews and feature stories, and more.
A communication or literature degree in English or in the local language can introduce you to multiple avenues that could help you alter your interest and ultimately find your way through sports writing too.
Noticeably the above-mentioned list is incomplete as the careers listed here are closely connected with each other in many ways, and other employments not mentioned here can be brought to the table to provide virtually infinite possibilities. Don’t forget that there is a sea of possibilities out there. Who knows what’s coming next? Regardless of what happens, one thing we know for certain is that the future is bright if you are looking for a career in sports.