This is a message to any keen, eager-eyed high schooler or university student who wants to work in professional sports. I mean who wouldn’t? It’s pretty much like getting paid to have season tickets, right? Well, not quite.
As a 16 year old, I earned the nickname Statman from friends and family. I could recite the last decade worth of award winners in the “big four” North American sports leagues – like Jonathan Cheechoo winning the 2006 Rocket Richard. I could go through the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and list the entire first round. The password on my laptop even used to be futuregeneralmanagerofannhlteam (no, that’s not a joke). I spent my days in high school browsing hockey forums, then would get home to play career mode on one of the sports video games I owned, and then grab supper while watching a live game on TV. If all of these things sound like you and you’re wanting to pursue a career in pro sport – that’s great! I’ve been able to live out my dream in Edmonton, and it’s only just beginning.
But listen up…
It’s important to reflect on the things you’re wanting to get out of working for a professional sports team. If it’s the aforementioned “free season tickets”, you’re in for a bit of a shock. I’ve been to one Oilers game this year. When I’m working games, the majority of goals I see are replays after hearing the goal horn and 18,000 screaming fans. If you’re “in it” to dissect the performance in a post-game show and spend every breathing moment about your team, it’s probably better to work in a different industry and buy season seats. If God forbid you just want to get to know the players and become friends with them, then do anything other than work for a professional team.
What am I trying to say? The romanticism and glamour of working in sport is sometimes misleading. Don’t trick yourself into thinking it means you get paid to be a fan, because it’s the furthest thing from that. So why am I still “living out my dream”? Well… I’ve fallen in love with the business side of sport. I’ve discovered my passion for new facilities and premium hospitality. My coworkers are the best. And every so often, I do get that dose of glamour, when I catch a glimpse of #97 potting an overtime winner, or see the crowd give a three-minute standing ovation in the playoffs.
It’s just not the norm, and not what you should pursue a career in sport for.
- The Glitz & Glamour of Pro Sport - December 2, 2017
- Embracing a Learning Mindset - July 30, 2017
- Playoff Hockey - May 10, 2017
- Internship Advice: Maintain Your Network - April 8, 2017
- Millennials In The Workplace: The Importance of Self-Reflection and Patience - January 20, 2017