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Five Professional Organizations to Consider Joining as a Sports Management Graduate

Sports management is an extremely competitive field, difficult to get into without contacts or a standout qualification. The college graduate in this field needs to use every opportunity to enhance his or her visibility as a promising candidate for some niche in the sports industry.

Joining a sports management professional organization opens up opportunities to learn and stay abreast on current developments in the sports world and to network for job possibilities. Here are five professional sports management organizations that will provide these opportunities.

The North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM)

NASSM is an organization of professionals and students in the fields of sport, leisure and recreation. Its purpose is to enhance the professionalism in this field by promoting study, research, scholarly writing and professional development in sport management in both theoretical and applied aspects. The organization publishes the Journal of Sport Management and holds a yearly national conference.

NASSM involves students in their functioning through a Student Board and a Student Representative on their Executive Board. The Student Board organizes events at the yearly NASSM conference for student attendees to learn from and network with practicing sport managers and professors in the field of sport.

A helpful resource to students exploring the field of sport management is ExSport II, which is an interactive career interest system. By answering 18 questions on specific interests, your “scores” will show the specific sport management careers that are compatible with your interests.

NASSM provides job postings for academic sports management positions through partnership with Job Target, and industry job postings through TeamWork Online.

National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)

NACDA is the largest association of collegiate athletics administrators, with 12,500 members from the United States, Canada and Mexico. It provides opportunities for networking, exchange of information and ideas, and training in two institutes: Management/Leadership and Sports Management. They also have an intern program for students who aspire to collegiate athletics administration.

Their annual convention in June focuses on examining contemporary problems in athletic administration with separate sessions to meet the needs of administrators at all levels. The NACDA Foundation manages a postgraduate scholarship program and sponsors clinics, seminars and workshops for its members.

NACDA administers a number of different organizations and events which are connected with college athletics. Its official journal, Athletics Administration, focuses on current issues in collegiate athletics administration such as athletics facilities, promotion, marketing and legal ramifications. The Job Center lists job openings nationwide.

Sport Marketing Association (SMA)
SMA was founded to meet the need for an academic organization with a focus on sport marketing. It promotes professional interaction among practitioners, academicians and students worldwide where new knowledge in sport marketing can be shared. The university professors who form the majority of the 350 members have conducted leading edge research and added to knowledge in this field.

An annual conference is held each year and is a time when industry leaders share their experiences and insights in a beneficial exchange with professors and students. A feature of the conference is the Career Fair which provides opportunities for students to network with industry professionals.

National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA)

NACWAA was founded to empower and support women in the profession of athletic administration. It takes a proactive role in advancing women into positions of influence in the world of college sports and beyond. It provides educational programs, networking and mentoring experiences to its members. It’s an advocate for women in pertinent National issues.

NACWAA partners with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to sponsor four leadership development programs for women. The Pre-Level I symposium is held annually with a focus on graduates and other women aspiring for a career in intercollegiate athletics. The Association also provides an extensive job list.

College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)

CoSIDA has a membership of 3000 college sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals in the United States and Canada. It provides its members with professional development and continuing education. It also assists and supports its members to take leadership roles and serve as a resource in the college intercollegiate athletics community. It is affiliated with NACDA and runs its convention in conjunction with the NACDA annual convention.

CoSIDA is the founder and manager of the American All-America® program. The Academic All-America® Hall of Fame honors those who have achieved lifetime success in their professional careers and support philanthropic causes in their communities.

Joining one or more of these organizations will give you rich opportunities to interact with and learn from professionals and see how classroom theory is put into practice. It will provide you with the chance to network and to form professional relationships that may open doors to jobs in sports management.

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