At its core, the sports industry produces, facilitates, promotes, and organizes any activity, experience, or business enterprise focused on sports.  Many interested in working in sports limit their focus on professional teams or collegiate athletics; however, this industry has almost unlimited opportunities when considering the wide variety of functions, organizations and sports.  It’s essential to understand that the sports industry is highly competitive and is difficult to break into. Your chances of opportunities increase if you are willing to relocate. It’s also very important to note, more than likely you will work long hours, and you will often be working while others are playing; however, you get to do what you love everyday.

Job Title Examples:

  • Athletic Director
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Coach
  • Public Relations Director
  • Marketing Director
  • Sports Information Officer

Skills Needed:

  • Teamwork
  • Decision making
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication

Find Opportunities

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Using IrishCompass, LinkedIn, and ND’s alumni association directory called myND is the best way to start on the networking front. Developing and maintaining a strong network is crucial to break into the industry - more so than perhaps any other industry.

Stay in touch with ND alumni groups in whatever city you’re pursuing a career in - most likely they will be willing to help you get connected and find potential opportunities.

Job Databases:
Collegiate Sports opportunities

  • NCAA Market
    • Job opportunities for students and individuals interested in college coaching and athletic administration.
  • NACDA Jobs
    • Job opportunities for students and individuals interested in college coaching and athletic administration.

Professional Sports

  • Team Work Online
    • The majority of professional teams partner with Team Work Online to advertise positions; however some teams post positions through their own website, so it is always wise to check a specific team’s website.
    • Links to client recruiting systems, and search functions according to sport, location, job title, team name, level of position and functional area.

All Sports/Recreation opportunities

Recreation opportunities

  • Cool Works
    • Positions in recreation and hospitality organized by category, state, and season.
  • National Recreation and Parks Association
    • This career center posts positions in a variety of areas of recreation including finance, programs and management.
  • Outdoor Jobs
    • Variety of positions in the outdoor recreation industry.

Industry Timeline

Unlike a number of other industries (e.g. consulting, banking etc), there is not a structured hiring time-line for those wanting to work in sports.  Some of the larger brands (e.g Under Armour) may advertise positions during fall semester, but the majority of sports industry jobs employ a “just-in-time” hiring process; beginning in spring semester and even going into the summer months.

Applying and Interviewing


Your resume will often be the first impression for a potential employer.  You want to make sure that your resume is concise, direct, and specific. Ensure that your resume is tailored for the position and for the industry. Highlighting relevant coursework can demonstrate your fit for a particular position. Review our guide on resumes for more information on how to construct one.

Cover Letters

A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer. Use the position description to make specific connections between your skills and experience and what the organization is looking for in a candidate. The cover letter should be concise and well-written and your cover letter should not repeat your resume verbatim, but enhance it. Together the cover letter and resume can help land you an interview. Review our guide on cover letters for more information on how to construct one.


Most interviews will contain a mixture of resume based questions (questions about your past experience) and behavioral based questions (your ability to handle prospective situations at work.  Most positions will begin with an interview that has a mix of these questions. Review our guide on common interview questions

Preparation is extremely important for interviews. Research the company/organization, current and previous projects they’ve worked on, and even the people that you’re interviewing with. This will not only help provide talking points but will show your knowledge and genuine interest in the position. Utilize our resources on how to best prepare yourself to excel in your interview.

Interview Prep

It is very important to display a passion for sports as well as sports knowledge to get into this industry. Be prepared to relate your practical experiences and transferable skills to the position you’re applying for.  You want to have an authentic interview experience, be yourself!  You don’t have to ‘know everything’ in the interview, but you do have to display an eagerness to learn. 

Another important aspect of the sports industry interviewing is to go in with an understanding that opportunities in the sports industry are very competitive.  Applicants straight out of college will most likely be competing for internships vs. entry level positions.  If you can land an internship, blow their expectations out of the water and set yourself up for a full-time opportunity when one opens up.  Also, keep in mind, your colleagues can serve as strong references if you do an outstanding job. 

Online Resources

Focus Areas in Sports:


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • e-Sports
  • Extreme Sports
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Health & Fitness
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts / Combat Sports
  • Motor Sports
  • Olympic Sports (e.g. Track & Field, Swimming etc)
  • Outdoor Sports (e.g. fishing, hunting)
  • Soccer
  • Snow Sports
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball


  • Administration
  • Analytics - Business
  • Analytics - Player Performance
  • Coaching
  • Communications & Media
  • Community Relations
  • Development/Fundraising/Advancement
  • Event Management
  • Facilities Operations
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Medical
  • Sales
  • Sponsorship
  • Player Operations
  • Player Welfare/Development

Campus Resources

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Career Counselor:
James Biddick
Student-Athlete Career Development Program Manager
Schedule an Appointment

Student Clubs:

Employer Examples:

  • Agency (e.g Wasserman Media Group, 4Front)
  • Association (e.g. NFLPA)
  • Brand (e.g. Nike)
  • College Athletics
  • Commission (e.g. Greater Columbus Sports Commission)
  • Conference (e.g. ACC)
  • Events (e.g. Spartan Race)
  • Fitness (Gym, CrossFit) 
  • High School Athletics
  • League HQ (e.g. NFL))
  • Player Agent
  • Professional Sporting team (e.g. Chicago Bulls)
  • Sporting Good Stores (e.g. Dick's Sporting Goods)
  • Facility Management

Join Handshake:

Select "Sports & Leisure" as an Industry Interest and get updates that matter to you. Handshake is a dynamic system that works to match students with the most relevant resources and opportunities offered by our office including:

  • Access to personalized job recommendations – This is based on major, career interests, and profile information such as skills and experiences. When students fill out their profile, they’ll be able to see jobs and internships that match their interests and skills.
  • Ability to schedule one–on-one counseling appointments  – Counseling appointments are able to be scheduled through Handshake and held virtually via Zoom. 
  • Ability to Interact with employers – Students can research contact information for local and national employers. Employers can also message students with opportunities and information.
  • Connect with students across the country -  Students can interact with their peers through messaging, get tips and advice, as well as network. 
  • Search for and apply to open positions -  On Handshake, students can see jobs and internships posted specifically for them as well as employers actively recruiting from Notre Dame.