Digital Careers for Sports Enthusiasts: Take The Plunge This World Cup

11 June 2018 By Alastair Cleland

1646 Original

​Always wanted to work in sports, but never taken the opportunity to make it happen? This World Cup is the perfect time to turn your passion into a career, as digital businesses expand operations to match the hype.   

Watched by billions, the World Cup is the world’s largest sporting event. Digital businesses worldwide capitalise on the event by creating media coverage, analysis and content related to the competition, but also by running competitions, interactive games and sports betting operations.

If you’re skilled in any aspect of digital, or have experience working in the online sector, your passion for sports could be your ticket to an exciting new career path. Sports fans now expect content 24/7 on their mobiles, in specialist apps and games. 

The Big Opportunity for Digital Business

2018’s World Cup, hosted by Russia, is going to be massive. With 32 teams competing for the title of World Champions, the World Cup will attract 3.2 billion viewers across the world (if 2010 and 2014 are anything to go by) and bring in billions in revenues across broadcasting, sponsorship deals, merchandise, and more. 

For those working in sports broadcasting, sportsbook or digital media, the World Cup is always going to be a busy time. As the most watched sporting event globally, there are business opportunities abound: the winners will be those who leverage digital technologies to engage consumers with their brand. It’s not all about the big players: even smaller brands can appeal to very specialised audiences with tailored messaging on social media – from endorsement by a football influencer to a sponsored ad on Instagram. For start-ups or young companies, the World Cup could provide a crucial boost to digital businesses, with the chance to gain big exposure and win new customers and contracts. 

Now Hiring, with “Sports Passion Essential”

If you’re working in the digital sector and you’re a football fanatic to boot (pun intended), you might see the World Cup as the perfect time to consider your career in the sports sector. 

Job roles available for those with knowledge of sports include digital media, sportsbook and igaming, event management, mixed-media broadcasting, digital marketing, advertising and PR. Here, sports passion and knowledge is more than a hobby: many businesses actively seek it. For sports fans, the bonus of working in an industry of personal interest can be huge, plus you’ll likely be surrounded by colleagues who are similarly passionate. 

Key Requirements:► Passion for sports, and knowledge of tournaments, teams and culture ► Active engagement with digital sports media ► Relevant skills, ideally with proven experience  

Experience Needed: ► Entry-level roles available with some employers ► Most require at least 1-3 years’ experience in similar role – ideal for second-jobbers seeking a transition to an exciting industry

Worth Knowing:► Digital sports media roles can involve shift work or unsocial hours ► Competition for roles can be intense, so be patient and do what you can to stand out

Work In Digital Sports: 7 Career Paths…

Inspired to take the plunge? Here’s a breakdown of some of the main employers and areas hiring now for jobs in digital sports: 

1 – Digital Sports Media

The World Cup is no different to any other major sporting event; people across the world are demanding a viewing experience that’s live, interactive and immersive. As people are increasingly choosing to view sports on smaller screens, via digital OTT and streaming services (rather than linear TV), business models of sports broadcasting are changing, making it a dynamic sector to enter. There’s a demand for rights negotiators and commercial strategists, as well as the technologists needed to build the applications that support new viewing experiences.  

Jobs Include: Product Management; Tech Development; Content Editor; Platform Management; Commercial Management

2 – Sports Affiliates

Sport is big business. Affiliates look to build audiences of dedicated sports fans, then send traffic to new paid-for services like streaming media, sportsbook and membership products. On the smallest scale, hobbyists with sports websites can use an ‘affiliate-style’ arrangement to make money from their site. But the biggest affiliates are huge businesses in themselves, with global digital brands and huge monthly earning potential.

Jobs Include: Relationship Management (Affiliate-Side); Affiliate Management (Advertiser-Side); Content Editor; SEO Management; Digital Marketing; Growth Hacker

3 – Sports Betting 

Europeans love football, which is why it’s the continent’s bet of choice, comprising around 75% of betting activity. At World Cup time, things will be even more intense than usual for those working in sportsbook. But as it can be a lucrative sector, there are rewards too: bookmakers’ profits during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil alone totalled more than $36 billion. 

If you’re from a technical or data focused-background, you could try your hand at sports trading, using mathematical modelling and statistical analysis to optimise revenues. There’s also huge demands for developers and product specialists to keep audiences engaged. While financial rewards can be significant in sportsbook and igaming, it’s the fast-paced nature of the work, and the likeminded colleagues that keep many people motivated. 

Jobs Include: Sports Odds Trader; Sportsbook Executive; Tech Development; Design & UX; Business Analyst; VIP Management; CRM 

5 – Digital Marketing

As the way we interact with sports has changed to an online, mobile first experience - advertisers have had to change their strategy accordingly – from creating an effective social media presence to launching new products to coincide with major sporting events. There’s plenty of creative roles across digital marketing, advertising and PR that help sports brands interact with fans, and other brands use sports as a way of enhancing their brand image and driving revenues.

Jobs Include: Digital Marketing; Content Writers; Search PPC; Social PPC; SEO; Social Media; Email Marketing; CRM

4 – Sports Analytics 

Sports and data have always gone hand-in-hand. The final score is just the tip of an enormous iceberg that includes player stats, performance comparisons and – increasingly – data that’s sourced from fans and communities. Those who can make sense of, interpret and visualise all this sports data are in higher demand than ever. In the Sportsbetting space, this skill is particularly prized, and analysts use sophisticated modelling tools to inform predictions on sporting outcomes. 

Jobs Include: Data Scientist; Data Analysts; Business Analyst; Statistical Modelling; Digital Analytics

7 – Sponsor Campaigns

The huge exposure of sporting events like the World Cup is a golden opportunity for brands. Campaigns make the most of every inch of space, from media placement to events and stunts. Social media managers, PR executives, pay per click analysts, brand managers, digital content creators are all in demand – if you’re creative but data focused, and you relish the idea of getting your teeth into sports related campaigns, maybe this could be the sector for you.

Jobs Include: Account Management; Brand Management; Brand Activation; PR; Relationship Management; Digital Marketing