By Mark Tudi |

Your network is the key to finding opportunities in the Sports Industry that would otherwise go unnoticed.  So many jobs are filled by someone the hiring manager knows or was introduced to through an existing associate.  In order to be a major player in the sports industry, you need to start making connections.

The first step to growing a solid, effective network is to identify what segment of Sports you want to work in (click here to explore the different career paths in sports).  Once you’ve done that, you can begin to effectively target the people you want to add to your network.  Without this specific focus, you are likely to network with people who cannot help you get where you want to go.  Networking with an employee of a football franchise will most likely not help you make contact with a hiring manager at Callaway Golf.

Once you know where you want to work, identify the top 50-100 individuals who are leaders in your skill set (if it is Finance or Sales, research and find them).  Next, identify the top 50-100 individuals who are leaders in your Marketplace Segment.  Next, subscribe to Magazines, Directories and Newsletters that cover your Job Cateogry and Marketplace Segment.  Go to Trade Shows, Conferences and Special Events that cover your interests.  Join associations and groups that will help you find people with common interests…Your school’s alumni association is a great way to strike up a conversation with people who went to your alma mater.

By targeting key individuals for your network in an organized manner, you will be better educated as to who the key decision makers are in the industry segment you want to work in.  Learn about the individuals, their careers, their organizations, and what you can do to make inroads into a mutually beneficial association.

Meet the people you need to meet…be yourself…bring value to the relationship…the old saying “in order to get what you want, you need to give them what they want” is true.  Find a need and fill it for people you want in your network.  Treat your network as your most valued treasure…because it really is in the Sports Industry.

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