A career in the sports industry can take many paths. MSc in Sports Industry Management students at emlyon business school study all aspects of the industry to prepare them for the many roles that will be available to them in the future.
The students often discover where their passions in the industry lie through the varied events and workshops that take place during their studies. So far this year they’ve worked and networked with some big brands; for example they’ve discussed the future of retail with Nike, worked on branding with Saint Raphaël Var Handball Club, explored the world of live sports events at Parc OL, debated the ethics of risk marketing with Petzl, visited the product development and manufacturing workshops at Salomon, and discovered adidas’s recruitment process with its HR manager.
No matter what side of the industry you hope to enter, there are a few universal preparation essentials: here are our top three tips to help you prepare for a career in sports industry management this summer.
Tips for the top
- Start building your network
When it comes to building a network of professional contacts in the industry, the sooner you start the better. MSc in Sports Industry Management students found out the importance of this when they attended Munich ISPO and were able to connect with potential employers and mentors. Getting industry insights from people currently working in the field is extremely beneficial, and contacts may lead to future jobs and internships.
This summer, look out for industry events being held near you, and if possible sign up for some of the big trade shows, like ISPO, NSF, ISC & SINC. As well as making contact with professionals already in the industry, your classmates are also valuable to your network – make sure you stay in touch and use tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up to date with them.
- Be curious & expand your horizons
Whether your interest in the sports world is connected to retail, event management or digital marketing, don’t focus solely on those aspects: take an interest in every side of the sports industry. It’s also important to be aware of wider trends outside sports (especially with consumer lifestyle and brand collaborations becoming such big business). Never neglect other segments or you risk missing opportunities. As the MSc in Sports Industry Management students learned during their innovation workshop in Shanghai: expand your horizons and look beyond the obvious! This could mean cross-sector opportunities, like partnering with non-sports brands as part of a marketing strategy.
This summer, stay informed of the latest business news and industry trends by regularly checking sports-related news sites, blogs, social media and listening to podcasts to keep up to date.
- Stay sporty
A passion for sports is usually why people enter this industry, but there are practical reasons for your career why you shouldn’t neglect your sport. As sports-lovers, sports industry insiders are their own customers – so, by developing and expanding your knowledge of sports you’ll get to know customers’ needs in different segments. This knowledge will help you to understand what customers are looking for, and how the brand is perceived – a lesson the students learned during their risk marketing presentation.
This summer, break out of your comfort zone and try out (or research) some new sports activities, and you’ll have a much broader view of the industry, which will benefit you immensely in the long term.
In short, preparing for a career in sports industry management starts with a passion for sports, and an interest in all aspects of the business. Working in the sports industry is many people’s dream – what could be better than combining your passion with a dynamic career? This summer, put the work in: build your network, stay on top of industry trends, and keep your passion alive, and a rewarding career will be waiting for you in this highly coveted industry.