A sports information director handles the distribution of info regarding a college’s athletic programs. Sports information directors attend sporting events and write recaps of the games before sending them to media outlets. During games, they distribute statistics, and let reporters know if records were broken. Sports information directors are often referred to as SIDs.
Sports information directors update the athletics pages on their college's website. They post and email schedules, statistics, coaching and player profiles, and what each program and individual has done in the past. All this is done for the purpose of making the media’s job easier. Sports information directors also write and edit press releases, provide credentials for members of the media and arrange the interviews of coaches and athletes.
Sports information directors must know each sport at their college inside and out, and must be as knowledgeable about the swimming program as they are about the football team. They need to possess strong writing and grammar skills, and be excellent communicators. It is also important for them to own basic research abilities, since they keep track of coaching and athlete records, both at their school and nationally. Along with those things, sports information directors need to be at least a little computer-savvy, highly organized, and have the professionalism and courteousness to represent their school well.
Sports information directors at four-year colleges must possess a bachelor’s degree; those at community colleges may only need an associate degree. Areas of post-secondary study for aspiring sports information directors typically include journalism, public relations, mass media and communications. Sometimes, sports information directors spend time as sports reporters or broadcasters before taking a job at a college.
As long as colleges have athletic programs, sports information directors will be needed. Some schools with large programs, such as USC or Ohio State, have a sports information director for nearly every program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for public relations specialists are expected to increase by 24 percent through 2018. That’s about double the national average for all occupations. While those numbers aren’t specific to sports information directors, it is safe to assume they belong to a rapidly growing industry.
Salaries for sports information directors vary considerably by the college for which they work, as well as their role and experience. Meanwhile, the BLS reported that public relations specialists at colleges and universities earned a median wage of $54,940 in September 2014.
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