Want to make a career in Sports Media and Journalism? - Mad About Sports

Want to make a career in Sports Media and Journalism?

Sport is not just about participation and the players that dominate our screens. It is also part of the commercial world, managed and marketed to make money. Sponsorship and media are now significant influences on all sports. Sports Media has been one of the most interesting and lucrative career options for those who are passionate sports geeks who wish to weave their understandings and tales of the sports world into a beautiful narrative for all viewers and spectators. 

Sports Media covers the broadcasting and reporting of sports in the media. Jobs range from sports information analysts to sports journalists, TV/radio announcers, and the production/technical side of broadcasting. Around the world, sports and entertainment industries are converging, as both sectors continue to rise to the opportunities and challenges presented by new digital technologies, which are shaping the way we spend our leisure time. Sport is inherently social and it lends itself to the discussion via social media, and sports organizations and athletes use it as a tool to communicate with fans, and several social media platforms are used at once by organizations to market their teams.

In India, the triggers are already present with a spectator base of over a billion people, 16 sports television channels, a growing list of corporate and brands willing to invest in emerging cricket and non-cricket platforms. The commercial success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to a surge of similar commercial formats in other sports such as football, badminton, kabaddi, golf, and hockey. The estimated value of IPL is between USD 3.7 – 4.1 bn that makes it the 6th highest valued sporting event in the world. Advertising spends on sports was around USD 700 million in 2013 and is expected to grow at a rate of 20-25% over the next few years.

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IPL

The media also plays a very important role in shaping people’s opinions and the way they perceive the sport. Most people, whether or not they play or watch sport, are aware of sport through the media. This includes local, national, and international sport. 

The media is a powerful voice for and influence on the sport. The different mediums available range from television, radio, the Press, films, the Internet, and the showstopper, Social media. Social Media has impacted every industry and it hasn’t left the sports industry untouched either. The focus on Social Media in the internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry has been growing rapidly in recent years. Social Media is deeply woven into our social culture and platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to name a few have enabled Professional teams and athletes to bridge the gap between fans and themselves. 

Recently, podcasts have also made stunning inroads into the Sports Media industry. Podcasts have been going on for a little while and, as with so much else right now, it can be really difficult to tell how long it’s been going on. The Podcast market has been expanding. More people have been listening to podcasts and, most definitely, much more people have started to make them. The podcast space is maturing in ways that are of real interest to the sports industry and can be particularly seen as it moves from rights trading towards a more direct-to-consumer approach. Podcasts, however, are often about niches, taking far and wide niche interests or carving niche audiences out of very large ones. So podcasts, and audio in general, have strategic uses for sport in the short and medium term. They are offering another direct route to fans right now, another source of commercial inventory and, for brands, a more compelling campaign vessel. 

If someone wishes to carve a career in the Sports Media industry there are a plethora of opportunities in the form of sportswriters/reporters for print media (including newspapers and magazines), sports editors for print media (including newspapers and magazines), hosts of radio or television sports shows, Sports announcers/commentators for radio or television, sportswriters/reporters for television or radio broadcasts, producers or directors of television or radio sports shows, online writers/reporters for sports websites, e-magazines or e-newspapers, online editors for sports websites, e-magazines or e-newspapers, Sports information specialists and media representative for sports teams, associations or major venues to name a few in this vast sea of options. 

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IPL Commentary

The next question which you might be asking is how to get a job in this field?

There is no simple answer to this question as there is no straight path to making a career in the Sports Media industry. In order to work in the Sports Media industry, aspirants need to create a personal brand for themselves. By a personal brand, I would mean that you should start putting up your work in Sports Media on Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Be it commentary, blogs, podcasts, or video blogs; put forward your work in front of the world through these channels. Once you start doing that, you will reach out to an audience who might appreciate your work and in the process, you will be developing your personal brand. Once you are good enough, you can start sending your work to Sports Media Professionals and if they happen to like your work, you can land your dream Sports Media Job very soon.

Now, you might be wondering what to do if you want to improve your skills as a commentator/blogger/podcaster in order to build your personal brand?

This is where I would like to introduce you to Mad About Sports’ short term course on “Sports Media and Journalism”. The course is designed to help students and working professionals realize their dream of working in this sector by helping them build their personal brand in the Sports Media industry. Through this course, Mr. Arunava Chaudhuri (ex-COO of Mumbai City FC, consultant to Bayern Munich), and Mr. Pulasta Dhar (commentator at Star Sports, ISL, I-League) would take you from the basics of Sports Media to advanced real-life case studies in the domain to practical experience via group work and assignments. You will be made to do old commentary pieces, write interesting blogs, interview famous personalities, and interact with a few of the best in the industry. Basically, the course has everything you need in order to kick start your journey into the field of Sports Media. 

If you are passionate about making a career in Sports Media, register for our next batch and we will see you soon. Give it a go, you’ll certainly carve a niche for yourself. 

-Neha Shetty

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