How to Get a Job in Sports Public Relations

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So you want to get a job in Sports Public Relations. Sports PR is a highly demanding field that requires a lot of hours and generally low pay. However, it can be rewarding and a whole lot of fun once you break into the field, which is the hardest part of the whole deal. Sports is a small club; once you get in the door, the field generally takes care of its own.

  • If you're still in college, major in a field that will give you a writing background. A writing background is the No. 1 desired feature for employers in this field. Major in English, communications, journalism or, if your school offers it, writing. Write as much and as often as you possibly can. Volunteer for the school newspaper. Do whatever you need to do to get as much experience and knowledge as you can.

  • Take a class in desktop publishing, or at the very least in Adobe's InDesign software. While this is not a necessary component of sports public relations, most positions come at university media departments, and a lot of smaller schools require their Sports Information Directors (SIDs) to be able to publish their own media guides.

  • Write to all your area teams; college, NFL, NBA, MLB and so on. Volunteer to work on game days. Working on game days is the best way to get your foot in the door with a sports team and get your first public relations experience on your resume. There's a lot of jobs that teams need done on game days, from running stats to pulling wires for the camera crews on the sidelines.

  • Get a longer-term internship with the team or college you've been working with. Colleges in particular have a lot of work that needs to be done, as most have several sports, some with 20 or even 30 teams that need to be covered. College PR departments tend to be underfunded, so they will generally allow interns to cover one of their lower-end sports to gain experience and save money on staff. Even if you do not get your internship with a college, any teams can use extra hands around the office to produce league-mandated materials, or get players to interviews on time.

  • Find your first paying job. If your internship experience does not land you your first full-time job, visit ncaa.org, and look for paid internships with college public relations departments. These positions are exceedingly low-paying and only last one school year, but these positions will allow you to cover multiple sports and do the job full time. After a year or two of experience, you will be ready to land your first real paying position.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will almost certainly have to move at some point during your career for a better job; if this is not possible, do not get into this field.
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