Go Team!

You can’t deny the impact that a professional sports organization has on jobs and the local and regional economies.  Whether it’s football, baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball or tennis, there’s no question that professional sports are big businesses.  Die-hard fan or casual observer of any of these or other sports,  we sometimes don’t even realize the size and scope of the reach of your local team.
In some parts of the country the financial impact of the sports economy is far greater than it is in other areas.  There are regions of the United States where collegiate and professional sports dominate the leisure time activities and the attentions of their citizenry along with much of their disposable income.  In the lousiest weather and even when their favorite team’s ability to win falters, stadiums fill up with fans.  Not to take anything away from those on the field, but it takes a far greater number of people to make the experience of attending a sporting event a good one than just the relatively few who are competing, although a winning team helps.
There are so many people involved in the presentation of live sporting events, the actual numbers are staggering.  The organizations behind the teams are staffed with all kinds of professionals, many of whom you never know are there.  Most obviously are the owners, managers, trainers and coaches, medical staff, outfitters, procurement specialists, statisticians, a long list of media professionals who document with stills and video every move of every player of every practice session and game.  There are performance analysts, travel and transportation people, those who handle logistics and fulfillment, sales, promotional and marketing staffs, graphic arts and radio, tv and in-house production departments.  And we can’t forget the ticket sellers, groundskeepers, merchandise and food vendors, and dozens of others who make a day at the game an experience beyond what happens on the field of play.
And the financial influences extend well past the confines of the sporting arena.  Bars, restaurants and other retailers who operate independently from the sporting operations are tied to the attendance and pedestrian traffic moving in and out of these events to expand their bottom lines.  Certainly the stadiums would prefer that attendees spend their money inside their venues, but many prefer to meet and eat before or after the sporting events.  And then there are the countless other establishments who cater to the sports enthusiast, selling licensed merchandise, and those that display the cable, satellite and network broadcasts on large screens throughout their businesses so the fans stay connected even when they are shopping or eating, and their favorite teams are on the road.
These days, we must also include the reach of social media professionals who keep fans abreast of what’s happening with their home town heroes and their competitors even when they can’t be tuned in via more traditional means.  Most teams have their own smartphone apps, as do the leagues and the networks that transmit their games.  So these endeavors include not just the content writers, but the coders and graphics designers who make these apps viewable and useful.  This further applies to the creators of sports oriented video games, fantasy sports leagues and all the other technology and entertainment oriented to the enthusiast.
Of course there are many non-athletes who love to watch sports, both from the stands and from the comfort of their homes.  But those who seek to professionally align themselves with their team or particular sport have opportunities to work inside by applying for any one of a wide variety of diverse positions in almost every discipline, none of which require a great throwing arm.  You can be successful in sports without being a great athlete.
If you know your strengths, have a good idea of where your skills fit in, and work well in a team environment, you might have a chance of being hired by a professional sports organization.  There’s no question there will always be a lot of competition for these off-the-field jobs, just as there are for players’ positions.  While the pay won’t be as astronomical as those on-field gigs, you might earn good wages, and be able to work almost alongside the players you admire.
So, go ahead, and give professional sports a shot.  You never know until you try.  And if you’re not interested in working within the world of professional athletics, don’t forget to get outdoors, get some exercise and fresh air during the warmer months.  Throw the ball or Frisbee around and play just to have fun.   Go team!
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