Among the many individuals on the sideline of an NFL football game are team equipment managers. NFL equipment managers provide players with the equipment they need to protect them from injury. Equipment managers maintain and administer all team equipment. Equipment includes football pads, helmets, chin straps and cleats. Getting a job as an NFL equipment manager is not easy and requires connections in addition to preparation.
An NFL Equipment Manager's Perspective
Jacksonville Jaguars equipment manager Drew Hampton explains that NFL equipment managers must do a lot of packing, which includes packing clothing items, sports drinks and other items as requested by the head coach. Understanding the amount of hours equipment managers work is critical to working in this field. Hampton notes a great amount of time away from his wife and children. Another consideration, according to Hampton, is being extremely prepared. NFL equipment managers must be familiar with team schedules and the weather forecasts of cities where games will be played.
Though Gordon Batty, equipment manager for the Green Bay Packers, took an unlikely road to becoming an NFL equipment manager (Batty got a job for a professional team in Canada after being caught trespassing by the team's owner). he supports the idea that those seeking a similar position in the NFL possess certain skills. One of these skills is the ability to communicate effectively. Also, "you got to be extremely organized," states Batty. Finally, he recommends having good anticipatory skills, as thinking ahead is normal in the NFL.
An important aspect of an NFL equipment manager's job involves administrative duties such as managing equipment budgets, creating invoices and operating computer software programs. Working as an assistant equipment manager is one way to learn these skills. Getting an associate's or bachelor's degree in business administration is also an ideal way to pick up these skills and other important business-related skills.
Working the Ladder
As with other professions, interning or working in entry-level positions is a proven way to get promoted. In the NFL, interning with a team or looking for entry-level jobs with teams can be one way to get a job as an NFL equipment manager. NFL.com lists job openings posted by each team in such fields as sales and marketing, communications and community relations. Internships are also available. Baltimore Ravens equipment manager Ed Carroll started as a sales representative for Riddell, the NFL's helmet supplier, handling promotions for each NFL team.