The NFL is one of the largest sports leagues in the world. Each year, the Super Bowl is seen in over 100 countries and by over 100 million Americans.
Due to the success of the league, getting a job with an NFL team can be difficult. What does it take to find work if you have a sports management degree?
Internships Are Not Optional
You need to have at least one internship with an NFL team during your college years if you want to land a job with a team after you graduate. In some cases, you may be able to make connections with NFL executives by working with major college programs that have former NFL employees working for them.
The good news is that your guidance counselor or the head of your sport studies department can help you find internship and other work experience opportunities within the NFL. For those who are serious about getting ahead, it may be necessary to travel to a city several hours away if there are no teams nearby.
Its All About What You Have Done
While you have to do well in school, your practical experience is going to pay off more than getting good grades in class. If you can show that you have experience selling tickets, negotiating contracts or community outreach, you are going to be a valuable commodity to an NFL team.
The biggest thing to understand about the NFL is that they are all about their public image. In recent years, the league has gone to great lengths to show that they care about their fans by adding WiFi to new stadiums as well as the RedZone channel on stadium jumbotrons. This means that you have to be able to understand public relations and how to sell the team to the public if you want to get a job in any capacity at the NFL level.
Who Do You Know?
Take the opportunity to meet as many people within the sports world as possible during your college years. If you have the chance to take a class taught by a marketing professional currently working with an NFL team or by a current NFL executive, you should jump at that chance. Many NFL teams hold their summer training camp at a college campus. Working at training camp gives you an opportunity to work around players, coaches and executives. This is the perfect place to network with the people who you need to know if you want a job in the NFL.
It takes a lot to work in the NFL regardless of what degree you have. If you know that your goal is to work in the NFL, you need to start gaining work experience and business connections as soon as possible. The experience that you gain and the connections that you make are going to outweigh almost anything that you do in the classroom.