Thanks to inspiring performances by Canadian athletes at the Olympics we thought it’d be a good idea to showcase some careers in the sporting world. For many people the idea of sports conjures up memories of breakthrough performances, friendship, competition, and unique personal achievements. For this reason, working in the sports industry can be a really rewarding experience. Not only are sports typically associated with fantastic memories, but they are also very dependent on teamwork, respect, and perseverance, which are great qualities to have in any workplace. However, because many sports are fused with big business and closely connected with ticket sales and fan bases, the sports industry can often be a profession that requires long hours of hard work. It is also an industry characterized by pressing deadlines and stressful situations. That being said, despite these challenging characteristics, the world of sports can be a great place to work—with many perks. So if a job in sports sounds like it may be of interest to you please check out this graphic below for a list of possible careers.
Who are the employers in the Sports Industry?
According to the University of Toronto, there are a variety of organizations that offer sports-related careers in Canada and North America at large. Here is a list from their Career Guide:
- Professional Teams (eg. Vancouver Canucks)
- Professional Sports Leagues (eg. NHL)
- Amateur Teams (eg. Mississauga Majors – OHL)
- Amateur Sports Leagues (eg. Dixie Soccer League)
- Community Sports Programs (eg. City of Mississauga)
- Sports Apparel Organizations (eg. – Puma)
- Sports Equipment Organizations (eg. – CCM)
- Sports Not For Profit Committees (eg. - Special Olympics Canada)
- Sports Health/Rehabilitation Organizations (eg. – The Sports Clinic)
- Print/Electronic/Television Media Organizations (eg. The Score)
- Universities/Educational Institutions (eg. University of Toronto Varsity Blues)
- Sports Communications Companies (eg. SDI Marketing)
- Sports Law/Athlete Management Firms (eg. Newport Sports Management)
- Fitness Centers (eg. Goodlife Fitness)
- Sports Training/Development Schools (eg. John Elkin’s Hockey Goalie School)
- Sports Retail Companies (eg. Sporting Life)
- Sports Research Laboratories (eg. Gatorade Sports Science Institute)
- Sports Museums and Historical Sites (eg. Hockey Hall of Fame)
What sort of Education do I need to apply for positions in the sports industry?
Unfortunately, for many careers in the world of sports, you will need a higher-education degree from a college or university. Like many industries, sports are a world built heavily upon integration. Many people may not start out studying sports-specific occupations, but they may move into such a field after they’ve completed their degree. For example, a nurse may take additional courses in athletic training or sports nutrition to move into the profession if she/he develops a passion for the field. So before you jump right into the sports world it may be a good idea to build a solid foundation in another area before committing yourself fully to the profession. That being said, if you absolutely love sports and you're fully committed to obtaining employment in this exciting industry, then here is a list from the University of Toronto of some graduate programs and certificates directly related to sports (please contact your local college or university to see if similar programs are available in BC):
- Sports Management, Durham College
- Fitness and Lifestyle Management, George Brown College
- Sports and Recreation Administration, Lambton College
- Sporting Good Business, Sir Sanford Fleming College
- Exercise and Lifestyle Management, Humber College
- Health Promotion, University of Toronto (St. George)
- Psychology and Socio-Cultural Studies of Physical Activity, Queen’s University
- Sport and Event Marketing, George Brown College
- Sports Journalism, Loyalist College
- Coaching, York University
- Television, Radio and New Media Broadcasting, College of Sports Media
For further advice and suggestions for finding work in the sports industry please refer to this outstanding guide from the University of Toronto.
If you already have a job in the sports industry, please let us know how you got into your career, and if you're happy in your position. I'm sure our readers would love to hear some stories from any athletes as well!
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