When a sporting event occurs, the game day coordinator needs to plan everything going on around the guys or gals on the field. There are food vendors, security staff, drivers, reporters, and all manner of people who need direction. The members of the teams need lodging, food, and entertainment. The infrastructure of the venue needs tending and overseeing. And, the game day coordinator is the person who must keep it all straight and smooth-running.
What’s the Job All About?
A game day coordinator is the quintessential “people person.” Coordinators have to deal with conflicts, unforeseen circumstances, and a host of other unexpected moments. They need to be able to think on their feet and to make quick decisions in a fast-paced, stressful environment.
Coordinators must be superior organizers and problem solvers. They must also be sharp and savvy at the negotiating table. They must find, hire, and see to the training of venue employees and visiting contractors while not breaking the bank. Most of all, they need a thick skin and the ability to deep breathe through disasters, both real and perceived.
Game Day Coordinator Education
Most jobs of this nature require a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited, four-year college or university in the United States or a foreign equivalent. Popular degree programs for game day coordinators include sports management, athletic administration, and marketing. Many coordinators also pursue a Master of Business Administration or a degree in public relations. Some even strive to earn a Juris Doctor in business law to become part of the organization’s legal team while performing the coordinator’s duties.
Game Day Coordinator Pay
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the median salary among all game day coordinators in the United States is $49,370 annually. The mean is $53,730. At the top end, coordinators who move into senior positions, often in management, make upwards of $150,000 annually.
Pros and Cons
Many people who pursue this career do so because they love sports but do not have the requisite ability or body type to be successful in their sports of choice. This job makes it easy to be involved tangibly.
It’s a terrific job for the extrovert because it involves dealing with other people nearly 100 percent of the time. This is not a job for someone wanting to work behind a desk. The best part is that the career is set to take off, with more than 30,000 new jobs coming into the marketplace by 2022. On the flip side, the hours are long and irregular, and most coordinators start at a lower salary than the average populace. The tight deadlines contribute to the coordinator’s overall stress level, and so does the fact that the success of the event rests squarely on the coordinator’s shoulders.
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The job of game day coordinator can be fun and challenging for go-getters who have a strong sense of self, good character, and the ability to thrive in the most stressful of conditions. The career outlook is promising making this a great career choice for sports lovers.