USA Football is looking for a communications intern (maybe two interns) and they’re willing to pay you. For more information about the opening, please visit this website.
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body on youth and amateur levels, hosts more than 100 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent non-profit also manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions.
Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football leads the development of youth, high school, and international amateur football. Former U.S. Congressman and NFL quarterback Jack Kemp serves as USA Football’s chairman. Among those on USA Football’s board of directors are NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Washington Redskins running back Brian Mitchell.
USA Football interns are compensated and have opportunities to apply communications coursework to practical applications within an exciting, business-casual workplace. We currently seek one or two communications interns to work full days (9a to 5p). We offer a flexible schedule.
So I had been keeping a list of the sports teams (professional and collegiate) that I knew were on Twitter as well as their employees and athletes. At first, the list was just for my personal use but then I shared it with my bosses at the University of Michigan and a handful of other individuals.
Well, Brendan (@beingthere) decided to take that concept a step further in two ways. First, he created a Google document that enables everyone to update the document with new accounts. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone interested in Twitter, social media and sports. I recommend going through and following the relevant athletes, teams and leagues. You can follow the list on Twitter here.
Second, he started a blog entitled Sportsin140 that deals exclusively with sports and Twitter. One of his first posts discusses how the new Women’s Professional Soccer league (WPS) will allow its players to tweet during the game. In the post, he links to a web page that cites all the WPS employees on Twitter. I’m listing the PR/new media-specific employees below for your convenience. It will be interesting to follow them as they try to get this new league off the ground. The WPS inaugural match was yesterday (Sunday).
WPS Web Coordinator – Amanda Vandervort
WPS Director of Public Relations – Robert Penner
Boston Breakers New Media & Communications – Kevin Hassett
Chicago Red Stars New Media – Elly Deutch
Los Angeles Sol New Media – Christopher Higginson
The Milwaukee Brewers recently posted an internship opening in the Community Relations department for this summer. For more information about the opening, please check out this website.
This position is responsible for providing clerical and administrative support to the Community Relations Department. The spring internship program begins in May with its conclusion correlating with the end of the semester and beginning of classes (August/September).
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Assist with the preparation and execution of Community Relations projects and programs.
• Compile materials to be typed, following written or verbal instructions.
• Fulfill, package and ship donation requests
• Open, read and distribute incoming mail
• Screen incoming calls and respond as necessary
• Make phone calls to various organizations
• Maintain and input donations in the department’s internal database. (Access)
• Keep inventory of donation items
• Provide other administrative support to Community Relations staff as needed
The Washington Nationals just posted two job openings yesterday. The baseball team needs a Community Relations Coordinator (entry-level) and Community Relations Director. For more information about the postings, you can check out the respective websites here and here.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COORDINATOR SUMMARY
Assists in various communications/media functions and performs the following duties.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
1. To assist in coordination of player appearances
2. To manage tracking of donated and/or autographed memorabilia
3. To create and maintain Community Relations database
4. To support activities and projects of Community Relations Director and serve as liaison
5. To serve as liaison between Community Relations Department and Ticket Department
6. To assist in general administrative tasks for Community Relations Department
7. To assist with and provide support for Washington Nationals Foundation activities
COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR SUMMARY
The Director of Community Relations will direct all efforts related to the organization’s community relations mission. The Director will work with all internal departments and key external stakeholders to position the organization as a “valued corporate citizen”. The Director will ensure that the WNBC is proactive in addressing critical local issues while maintaining a visible and positive community presence by performing the following duties.
This week, Sports PR Blog is pleased to present an interview with Brian Gleason (@BGleas), who is a former media relations coordinator and intern for the Boston Celtics. In total, he spent over four years working for the team in some capacity. He talked about sports PR and his responsibilities with the Celtics. If you want to read more of what he has to say about sports public relations, please check out his PR in Sports blog.
1) You spent nearly four years as the media relations coordinator for the Boston Celtics after a stint as a media relations intern for the team. How did you land the internship and then how did you move up to the paid position?
As the story usually goes, I landed my internship with some help. My uncle was friends with a member of the Boston sports media, and he mentioned to the reporter that I played basketball, loved the NBA and was a marketing major. The reporter introduced him to the head of PR for the Celtics and we got some information about the internships they offered and how to apply. The rest is history.
As far as landing the full-time job, I think I had an advantage as an intern. I didn’t go to college in Boston. I moved to Boston for the internship, so that was my sole reason for being there. Due to that, I made myself available at all times. I came in on weekends and holidays, stayed late on game nights, and let them know from the start that working in the NBA was the reason I was there. Then, as luck would have it, shortly after my internship ended a person on the full-time staff moved on and they called me. Two weeks later I was the Media Relations Coordinator!
2) One of your job requirements was to develop story ideas that could be pitched to the media. What tips do you have for people working in sports PR when trying to come up with these ideas?
The on-court or on-field stories are covered by the beat reporters on a daily basis, so as far as pitching goes, I recommend really getting to know the players. Learn about their lives, where they come from and what their interests are. I don’t mean become their buddy or hangout with them, but through working with them, build a relationship. Find something compelling that would interest lifestyle reporters or an audience that your team isn’t in front of on a daily basis. Also, get to know some of the national reporters when they come to town and drop interesting nuggets about players you might want to get some extra publicity for. That will help land features on ESPN, in Sports Illustrated or similar outlets.
3) How did your job responsibilities differ when you were working a home game versus when you were traveling with the team? How would you describe your day and your duties on an average road trip?
I’ll try to be brief, since so much goes into a game day! Home games are really a completely different animal than a road game. At home you’re running the show as far as the media goes. You’re dealing with credential requests, media seating charts, game notes and making sure both home and away TV and radio are taken care of, and that’s just during the day. At the game you’re making sure your players are available, helping out the visiting PR person and in general just putting out fires.
The road is a much slower pace during the day, you might have one or two beat writers that travel with your team, so your day is basically shoot-around and preparing to go to the arena . I always like to head to the arena a little early to get some of the details out of the way, because something is always going to come up that you’re not anticipating, and you won’t have your staff there for backup. On the road you may get a few random requests from members of the home media, but for the most part you just make sure everyone is available pre/postgame, and the coaches get all of the stats they need. Another aspect of the road is dealing with player tickets, which can be a real headache when you have real PR issues to attend to. Each player receives two tickets however they all seem to want 10. But, you can use the ticket process to your advantage. If you help a player out with tickets you always have that in your back pocket the next time you need them to do an interview they may not want too.
4) What was the most challenging aspect of your job? Most rewarding?
The most challenging aspect of the job was gaining the trust of the players and media. Obviously, a huge part of the job is handling media requests and delivering players to the media. When you first start working for a team, especially at the entry level, it can take some time to gain their trust. But, once you do, the job becomes much easier, and much more enjoyable.
The most rewarding aspect of the job was the camaraderie and getting to know and work with all of the wonderful PR people for the different teams and the league office. It really is like a fraternity. When your the home team you bend over backwards for the visiting PR person, and when you’re on the road you know you can get a helping hand if you need one.
5) What advice would you give to people hoping to find a job in sports PR? What skills and experiences do students need to have to qualify for these entry-level positions?
The best way to break into sports marketing or PR in my opinion is to do an internship, but the key is to bust your butt while you’re there. Working for a professional sports team is a huge time commitment for employees, so anything you can do to alleviate that for the people you’re interning for is huge, and will make them remember you. During an internship make yourself available to the visiting PR people on game nights as well. Don’t go overboard to the point where you’re pandering, but introduce yourself, let them know who you are and make yourself available should they need anything. Also, check in once or twice during the game to see if they need anything.
Lastly, when your internship is done continue to follow-up and make yourself available for game night help. PR staffs for teams are always looking for game night help that has experience, but is willing to come in for free.
USA Hockey is looking for a year-long media relations and PR intern starting in June of this year. For more information or to apply for the Brian Fishman Internship, please visit this website.
Applications are now being sought for the prestigious Brian Fishman Internship, a professional development opportunity in the media and public relations division of USA Hockey, Inc.
Responsibilities include assistance with various media and public relations projects, event promotions and publishing initiatives, including work with USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world. Chosen candidate must be willing to travel on occasion, both domestically and internationally.
Applications for The Brian Fishman Internship must be received by USA Hockey no later than Friday, March 27, 2009.
Those interested should forward a completed application form (available at BrianFishmanInternship.com), current resume, list of references and samples of work produced. In addition, a brief essay (400-500 words) detailing the applicant’s interest in The Brian Fishman Internship that relates their personal and professional characteristics to those that were reflective of Brian, including integrity, determination and a love of hockey, must be included. All material should be sent to: USA Hockey, The Brian Fishman Internship, 1775 Bob Johnson Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.
The internship term is 12 months and begins in June 2009. A stipend is provided.
The Sports Career Consulting Blog has a great guest post up about how to choose a sport management program for one’s undergraduate studies. Dr. Heather Lawrence, an assistant professor of sport management at Ohio University and the brains behind the Everything College Sports Blog, gave five questions to ask before selecting a program:
1. Does the faculty have industry experience as well as academic credentials?
2. What classes are included in the curriculum?
3. Does the college or university provide ways to get experience working in sport?
4. How do I know if the program is accredited?
5. What kind of jobs are program graduates getting?
Her conclusion to the guest blog post really resonated with me, which is why I’m including it below, but please do go read her entire post if you’re considering a SM program in college.
In conclusion, these are a few key areas in which prospective students should ask questions to potential colleges and universities in sport management. Perhaps more important than the responses to ANY of the above questions is the willingness of the student to do what it takes to be successful. Employers want to hire graduates who have been completely immersed in the sport world, taken advantage of volunteer opportunities, understand the business of sport (and are not just a fan), stood out among their peers in college, and are committed to being in the sport industry for the long haul. So, the choice of college is important but the main responsibility is on the student to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise (academic and non-academic) to prepare for working in this incredibly exciting yet competitive field.
Some students in my SM classes at the University of Michigan will say the aspire to be the GM of the New York Knicks or the PR Director for the Dallas Cowboys. Dreams are great and I’m not the person to say that can’t happen, but if you have zero experience by the end of your sophomore year in college and just have the SM degree to your name, you better start booking it over the next couple years or it just isn’t going to happen. The demand for these positions is intense and you’ll need every out-of-class work experience you can get to boost your resume. I know that my SM and Communication Studies degrees will likely not be the reason why I get a job, but it will show that I have not only gained valuable experience in the industry but have studied the world of sports business as well.
The Denver Broncos are looking for an intern to assist the web department with its content. For more information, please check out this website for more information or to apply for the posting.
Provide editorial and multimedia support from the start of training camp (mid July) through the end of the 2009 season, including playoffs, if necessary (approximately early January):
Updating web site content, including, but not limited to:
• Press releases
• Player bios and roster
• Game day content
• Events calendar listings
• Injury reports
• Community stories
• Spanish content
• Weekly capsule and notes
• Collecting player-related content, including, but not limited to:
• Fan Q&As
• Collecting and expanding audi•and phot•content offerings
• Preparing and sending wireless updates
• Writing feature articles and news items for team publications, including Broncos Gameday and Broncos Magazine
Sports PR Blog is honored to have another interview for you this week with today’s post featuring Derek Garduño, the manager of media relations for the Utah Jazz. He took time out of his very busy schedule to answer some questions about sports public relations for this blog.
1) You started off as a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune before transitioning to media relations with the Utah Jazz. What motivated you to make the switch?
During college I started interning with the Utah Jazz communications department as a sophomore while I was also working at the Salt Lake Tribune as a sports assistant. About midway through the first year of my internship (I can literally remember the moment) it hit me that sports PR (specifically the NBA) was exactly what I wanted to do for a living. I enjoyed writing but I had figured out journalism wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do for a career. So I spent the remainder of my time in college building my resume towards that goal. I continued my internship with the Jazz, continued to work at the Tribune and changed my major from English to a double major in communications and journalism.
The reason for the switch was really due to my background. I played basketball growing up and could never get enough of the NBA. Sports PR was a great fit because I really enjoy working with a variety of people. PR departments also work the closest with general managers, coaching staffs and players. That was a great dynamic that interested me from the start.
2) How does your background as a journalist help you with your job today? What types of skills are crucial for someone working in media relations?
I think my background in journalism has helped me immensely. I remember what it was like trying to track down information on a tight deadline. I’ll never forget covering high school games, keeping my own play-by-play and box score while also trying not to lose track of the game. Then postgame I would be chasing down players for interviews while also trying to keep an eye on the head coach so I could finish up my questions.
The NBA is an entire different level; we have reliable box scores/play-by-plays, set times for media availability, etc. But the basics of how to help the media do their jobs more efficiently is what separates good media relations from the bad or even average. For me, I realized fairly early in my career that in most cases the media is working the same long hours that I am and for the same reason – they enjoy what they do. The difference between doing the bare minimum and making a conscious effort to try and improve your media relations is where the separation lies. I’m obviously biased but I think our department does a tremendous job in this regard. We’re constantly looking for ways to streamline things that make covering the Jazz and our other properties easier and more efficient. For example, we just launched a Web site built specifically for the media. Some of it takes what’s available in various places on NBA websites and pulls it to one place. It includes our game notes, rosters, practice times, injury updates, visiting team PR contacts, postgame quotes/sound, etc. It’s a one-stop shop for anything you would need to cover the Jazz. We are the third team in the NBA to launch a site like this and I’m really proud of the work our department did putting it together.
3) Has the struggling newspaper industry affected how Utah’s media relations department handles media inquiries and/or is it taken into consideration when pitching a story to the media?
Our Vice President of Communications, Linda Luchetti, has been phenomenal in addressing the struggling newspaper industry with our department. She took the time last summer to meet with local editors and find out what we could do to help make covering the Jazz and our other properties easier since most newspapers are short staffed. The luxury we have is that we are the only of the four major sports in the state. There is a split of BYU and Utah fans here but the team most of the state agrees on is the Jazz. Linda has encouraged us to develop new ideas (such as our online pressroom) to help maintain the coverage we have and grow new opportunities.
When pitching a story or accommodating the media we try and go the extra mile. Whether that be asking a player questions that a member of the media emails us which we can then send back in an audio file or making members of our front office available to shed a different point of view on various topics. If their first request isn’t a possibility we want to try and find an alternate route that may work.
4) Many professional sports teams are turning to the Internet to directly reach their fans as well as the media whether it’s through Twitter, Facebook, their own social networking website or online media newsrooms. The Jazz has already harnessed social media with official team accounts of its own including Jazzbots. When did the team starting using social media and what made your organization want to do so? Which department is responsible for handling the team’s presence on these various platforms?
Since this question really was more related to our Web site I asked Jared Conger, our internet marketing coordinator to share his thoughts.
Currently our marketing department handles the online presences. The team opened Jazzbots in October 2007. The other social networking entities were created in July 2008, with the exception of Twitter which was opened in January 2009.
If a team does not create an “official presence” within these various sites, it leaves them open for the public to create pages of their own which can often be misconstrued to be an “official” site; you then can run into false information being leaked as well as teams losing website traffic. There are also different genre’s of fans that may not be visiting the official team properties, these various mediums give you the chance to reach out to them and build a fan relationship with the franchise; you also open up your branding to the world a little bit more with more exposure.
5) What advice would you give to individuals hoping to find a job in the field of sports public relations?
Gain experience through internships, realize you may have to move and stay determined.
Quality internships, which are becoming more competitive to attain, are a great way to not only improve your resume but help determine if sports PR is for you. Spend a season working nights, weekends, holidays and odd hours to figure out if this really is the career path you want to pursue. It isn’t for everyone.
I’m very lucky to work for the team I grew up following as a kid but I applied plenty of places around the country when I graduated from college and was prepared to move. There are not a surplus of jobs in sports PR and the wider you open your job search the better chance you’ll have at finding one.
Lastly, as I’m sure most of your readers already know this is a tough industry to break into. Stay positive and keep working towards your goal. I know it sounds corny but it’s true, few people get the first job they apply for and I was in the same boat. You constantly have to look for ways to gain experience when you don’t have that full-time job you’re seeking. Explore writing opportunities with local newspapers, look at internships with television stations and don’t rule out PR agencies either. Sports PR has evolved from straight sports information to include a more traditional corporate PR influence. All of the stats, game notes, bios, etc. are still expected but the business side of sports continues to warrant a need for public relations as well.
The Carolina Panthers are looking for a community relations intern this summer as well as an intern for the upcoming 2009 season. You can learn more about the postings at the respective websites here and here.
Responsibilities would include assisting the Community Relations department with:
• Pre-Season Game day operations
• Junior Training Camp (involves local & overnight travel)
• Writing articles for team publications (web, Gametime, & Roar)
• Attending player appearances
• Fan Packs and donation requests
• Fit Squad Kids Combine
• Coordinating and implementing various youth/prep football programs
• Other department duties as assigned
In addition, the Panthers are looking for a media relations intern for the upcoming season. To learn more or to apply, please visit this website.
Responsibilities would include:
• Coordinating player interview requests
• Transcribing coach and player conference calls
• Writing and distributing weekly releases
• Assisting with media credentials
• Updating team statistical information.
Training Camp is in Spartanburg, SC so intern would need to be able to occasionally travel between Charlotte and Spartanburg during Training Camp.