On the first episode of the Work in Sports podcast, Carl Manteau of the Milwaukee Bucks said, “I’ve always enjoyed sharing insight into working in the sports industry, the things I wish I knew when I was starting out. I love the idea of this podcast, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
That summarized this whole project beautifully.
I’m Brian Clapp, Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and the host of the Work in Sports podcast. I’m sharing all of my best career advice gathered over 25 years in the sports industry, and I’m bringing in a bunch of old and new friends to do that same.
We’re sharing our knowledge with you, so that you can be better prepared to make your mark in the sports industry. Friends like Colleen Scoles, Philadelphia Eagles, Talent Acquisition Manager (episode 5), Mark Crepeau, Basketball Hall of Fame VP of Marketing (episode 8), Josh Rawitch, Arizona Diamondbacks Sr. VP of Content and Communication (episode 18), Chris Fritzsching, Detroit Lions Director of Football Education and many more.
Every Wednesday I bring in a special sports industry guest, like the names listed above. And every Monday and Friday I go solo, digging deep into a fan question related to working in the sports industry. Topics like, are sports conferences worth attending (episode 22)? What are the best entry level sports jobs (episode 17)? How do I prepare for a sports interview (episode 14)?
We’re covering everything related to sports careers, so if you want to make your love of sports more than just a hobby or escape, this is the place to learn more!
How to Become a Player Personnel Coordinator in the NFL with Ameena Soliman, Philadelphia Eagles
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning for WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast.
I started to read a new book the other day and after about 70 pages I had to put it down.
This is abnormal for me, I’m the type of personality that once I start something I have to finish it. I have to know how it ended.
This is true for novels, movies, hikes to waterfalls you name it. I have to reach the moment of closure.
I could be watching the worst Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy, which is slowly rotting my brain away with each passing line of dialogue (hello Failure to Launch), but I still have to see how it ends.
This frustrates my wife, who can cut ties in a moment’s notice… but that’s another story. She’s from Philly, she doesn’t suffer fools.
Back to the book.
I had to put down this book for a very simple reason. And this is a book of great acclaim, an international best seller that was turned into a pretty darn successful movie.
I put it down because it followed every generalized cliche you could possibly make about races, cultures, religions and creeds.
The Japanese character was good at math and a whiz on computers.
The Palenstinian character had been involved in terrorist acts.
The Russian character was cold, calculating and emotionless.
The Mexican character worked hard in the fields and then drank beer every night.
The Jewish character was tight with their money and a shrewd negotiator.
Of course, the American character was dashing, intelligent, and fearless — I’ll leave that to your own interpretations.
But I didn’t make it much past those characters. This isn’t me being “woke” or pandering to our current culture war, I just really hate generalizations. I hate cliches, I hate lazy, boring storytelling.
Spreading this narrative and reinforcing to people where they should fit, is a dangerous weapon, meant to discourage.
I’m not having it. I may spark some outrage with this, but I fail to believe we are all pre-determined to fit into categories at birth. We can be whoever we work and are driven to be.
Of course, I am oversimplifying, there are systemic obstacles that prevent many of us from becoming exactly who we desire to be, but the over-arching point is simple — none of us fit into a cliche, we are all individuals.
Generalizations like the ones exhibited by this trash book slide their way into our sports world often.
I just finished reading an article where the EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, Renie Anderson, posted an opinion piece on NFL.com reminding people that “hey, women work in sports too, and there are lots of us in the NFL!”
Let me repeat that – She is an Executive VP and Chief Revenue Officer in the NFL – which immediately qualifies her as a badass – and she had to write an article telling people that women really do work in sports. In 2020.
Let’s break down some more walls, let’s get out of this generalized,
How to Follow Up Effectively After a Job Interview
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast.
Big show last week, if you missed it go back and check out Dr. Bill Sutton on the show, if you are unfamiliar with Dr. Sutton, he is the Kevin Bacon of sports.
Everyone tracks back to him.
Seriously, I’d guess at least 20 of my prior podcast guests count him as a mentor. He’s been training and teaching the movers and shakers in the sports industry for decades. Doc Sutton knows how to help people find their fit in the industry, how to inspire and be an ally for diversity hiring, he consults with professional teams on their sales and marketing, he worked directly under David Stern at the NBA. He’s amazing, and we talked for a long, long time, but it’ll feel like 10 minutes.
It goes fast.
He is super connected, incredibly smart, and always pushing the industry forward. A lot of times you hear of someone who has been in academia for decades and you may think, subconsciously of course, that they aren’t up to date, that they don’t push modern ideas, that they may be stale.
Listen to this show and you will be blown away. He’s talking about video as a sales tool, business intelligence, seeing potential in people beyond their test scores – it's awesome.
Let’s get into today’s question from Tony in Missouri
Hey Brian, big fan of the show, I only just found out about the Work In Sports podcast after listening to your interview with Zach Maurides from Teamworks. That dude got me fired up, and you asked the exact type of questions I wanted to know about. It was like you were reading my mind! Since then, I’ve gone back and listened to your interviews with Dan Duquette, Leigh Steinberg, Jack Mills, Kara Walker of the Boston Celtics, Celia Bouza from ESPN and more. But my absolute favorite was with John Ferguson VP of People and Culture from Monumental Sports and Entertainment. I’m a victim of covid layoffs. I had my first job after college, things were going well, but then you know the rest. Good news, I have had three interviews in the last few weeks and your advice has been awesome and helpful. In his interview, John said that candidates should follow up with their hiring manager or the person wh...
Where Sports Business is Headed in 2021 and Beyond with Dr. Bill Sutton
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the WorkInSports podcast.
My goal today, to write the shortest intro to a podcast interview ever. Dr. Bill Sutton joins me today, and we have an incredible discussion ahead for you. It’s meaty, there is a ton of info in here, life changing kind of stuff, and I’m not one for hyperbole.
Dr. Sutton is synonymous with the sports industry.
36 years in sports academia at University of South Florida, Ohio State, UMass, Robert Morris, University of Central Florida – meaning he has taught, trained, mentored and placed, quite literally thousands of the people thriving in the sports industry today. But he’s not just a classroom guy, writing research papers and repeating the same axioms. He’s been a VP in the NBA working directly under David Stern, we’ll talk about that coming up, and he’s consulted with various pro teams ranging from Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia 76ers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Mets.
Everyone goes to Doc Sutton for advice and insight. He’s honest, straightforward, knowledgeable and I don’t think I’ve ever met someone so committed to helping the people he believes in.
Time for me to shut up – here's Doc Sutton.
Watch the Full Work In Sports Podcast Episode with Dr. Bill Sutton
Questions for Dr. Bill Sutton, Sports Business Expert
* Outside of your illustrious career in academia, your professional background is in the sales, marketing, business ops side of sports. In 2020, no sector of our industry was more negatively affected than sales. Our job board is always full of sales jobs, but in 2020 those numbers plummeted.
You are on the front lines working with many teams, leagues, and organizations as part of your consulting business. Do you think sports sales jobs are rebounding? What is your overall outlook for 2021 concerning sales and marketing opportunities?
Dr. Bill Sutton on the Future of Sports Sales Roles in 2021
* We so often hear the term analytics, and we are pre-conditioned to think player side analysis. Moneyball. Oakland A's. But in today's world, isn't it the business analysts, the revenue optimization specialists, representing one of our industry's real growth sectors?
* I've often remarked on this podcast the need to continually innovate and adapt – when I first started in the industry, social media, analytics, data-driven decision models, eSports – many didn’t exist, others were not common, now they are massive. While I don't expect you to predict the future, what do you see as the new emerging frontiers of the sports industry?
* Thirty-six years of experience in higher ed, but you are retired now from the college classroom experience, so you can speak freely and be honest. The program you founded at USF, the Sports and Entertainment Management MBA program, is a little different from most, having a co-op element and focusing on students gaining real-world ...
Virtual Career Fairs, A Strategy
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast...
For those of you who haven’t listened to last week’s podcast with Zach Maurides, go listen to it. Seriously, now. Stop listening and start there first.
Zach is the founder and CEO of Teamworks an athlete engagement platform that is currently working with over 100 professional sports teams and 200 full college athletic programs to be their student-athlete hub, managing their schedules, communication, itineraries, academics, nutrition and so much more.
They are growing massively, and Zach, as a former student-athlete, an offensive lineman at duke, is so incredibly informative.
Not convinced – I'll give you one nugget, one concept of many that Zach shares during this awesome podcast interview.
“I want to hire confident people. Confident people put in the work, and know they are going to win because they put in the work. Arrogant people just expect to win. We don’t want arrogant people.”
Now picture this coming out of a 6’6” 290 lb. former offensive lineman, trust me when I say this --- you are going to feel fired up and ready to put in the work.
Ok, Wednesday – the godfather of sports business, seriously, I think you must kiss his ring before getting into the sports industry, Dr. Bill Sutton.
For those of you who don’t know doc Sutton, he is the smartest most connected guy in the #sportsbiz I know. And more importantly, the most passionately supportive of his people. He has trained the best in the industry from GMs to sales directors, and he’s not just an academic, he’s worked for David Stern in the NBA and countless other organizations as part of his side hustle consulting business. One quick story – he and I really hit it off, it’s a great interview, and at the end, he said, "that was a lot of fun, I loved your questions and the way our conversation went, who else can I help you get to be a guest on your show?”
Figuring I could aim high since he is offering, I said: “Would you happen to know Scott O’Neil, CEO of the Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Sixers and Devils, I really like his style and would love to interview him?”
Within 30 minutes of the completion of our interview, Scott O’Neil emailed me to book a time.
Now that is legit power.
Sports Career Question from Amy in Boston:
Let’s get into today’s question, which comes from Amy in Boston. Fun Fact, if I was a girl, I was going to be named Amy.
“Hey Brian, big fan of the podcast and your various articles, I feel like I’ve gone back through your archive so many times to answer my pressing career-focused questions. What I think is great is that your show isn’t just about sports, it’s about culture, and decision-maker and planning and strategy...I find it so informative.
Amy – you get me. Continue.
“My question is pretty simple: I got pretty good at the career fair circuit in late 2019, I had a good flow, made lots of contacts, felt like I was on the edge of getting hired... and then, you know, stuff. I’ve seen and heard a lot about virtual career fa...
Sports Business Leadership with Zach Maurides, CEO and Founder TEAMWORKS
Hey everybody, I am Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast...
In the sports world we are all accustomed to being led by a coach. From early tee-ball or youth soccer to more intense high school competitions or club teams and then for some of us college – we are all accustomed to the coach archetype.
As I say that, your first thoughts may go to a vision of a stern-faced sideline warrior, fussing and cussing at their horde of athletes. This is the common perception. Bob Knight. Lou Piniella. Mike Ditka. Bear Bryant.
Notice something in that list – they are all bygones.
Think for a second about the most important coaches of our era – Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Gregg Popovich, Joe Maddon, Cheryl Reeve -- they are not the fire and brimstone types, sure they get upset and have human emotions, but they are teachers and leaders first.
Today’s successful coaches are quite different than traditional bosses you may see in the workplace. This is one place where sports are ahead of other industries.
Traditional workplace bosses master a particular skill, then up level to controlling others who are utilizing the skill. For example, a great salesperson will eventually be promoted to Sales manager. A wonderful software engineer gets promoted to managing other programmers.
But successfully completing tasks, as they did as an individual contributor themselves, is different than leading. Which is why many traditional bosses can tend to be transactional vs. Transformational.
In business your boss may want you to give orders, a list of transactional items to complete, to work harder, to dedicate more time and effort.
Successful coaches on the other hand, teach the craft, empower, show how to work smarter not harder, focus on technique and approach to benefit the performance, and lean heavily on the broader team mission of success.
Coaches teach. Bosses tell.
The Atlantic Magazine highlighted the extrovert bias in corporate culture, concluding that aggressive outspoken business leaders are more highly compensated and promoted.
But the science is quite clear on this – empowering your direct reports, in sports or in business, is motivating, builds confidence and enhances performance.
Authoritarian demands, being aggressive and loud, may garner attention, but they don’t work. These techniques don’t develop cooperative and competitive teams.
I lean towards Gregg Popovich’s view on this.
“Competitive character people don’t want to be manipulated. That is what the leader that hoots and hollers is doing – manipulating, not coaching. Empowering athletes provides a psychological boost and a mental edge at the most important moments.”
When today’s guest Zach Maurides was playing college ball at Duke as a 6’6” 290 lbs. Offensive Lineman he played for four offensive coordinators, three position coaches and two head coaches.
He was exposed to different leaders and leadership styles, and from that,
A Strategy for Managing Multiple Job Offers
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast…
Some big news before we get into the stat line and today’s question...
As some of you may have read -- WorkInSports has been acquired by iHire. Now, before panic ensues, this was not a hostile takeover like in the movies. We wanted this, we angled for this, we pushed for this!
iHire is an awesome company one we have long admired, In fact, our CEO and their CEO are good friends even before this deal.
I’ll cut to the chase and oversimplify this whole process -- they have way, way, way more resources than we do, which means we can and will do more to help sports job seekers and sports employers.
The tools and advantages of this deal will be explained in the months to come as we work through the integration process. I’ll be adding some quick segments to future shows to introduce you to new iHire/WIS tools aimed to help you land your dream job or hire your next great employee.
If your organization wants help with their hiring -- call me. We will be set up to help you dominate more efficiently.
If you have questions about stuff like this or for the Monday podcasts -- hit me up. I’m available in all sorts of ways --- there is LinkedIn, connect with me there. We have a private Facebook group for this here podcast -- you can connect with me there.
And my email still works and will forever.
FYI -- this podcast will grow. Our new team is highly committed to its growth and reach, which fires me up, so don’t worry about that.
I’m still here.
In fact, I’m already strategizing another career advice related podcast -- so if you have ideas on what you’d like from another career focused podcast. Speak!
Time for the Stat Line!
This is a massive week. Get excited.
1: 23,018 total jobs on WorkInSports.com--- I saw a competitor in the sports job board space brag all over social about how they bested 2,000 sports jobs. Who hoo pat yourselves on the back.
We have 23,000.
Reminder: sports jobs aren’t just with teams. Red Bull, Entercom, NBC Sports, Fanatics -- we have them all.
2: 3562 -- I started tracking this data for the stat line back in September of 2020 -- this is the highest number of weekly ads to the job board since I started tracking. 3,562 new opportunities added this week alone. Not every one will be a match for you -- but chances are you can find your match one WorkInSports.com.
3: Little quick math -- that is 509 sports jobs, fresh opportunities, added every day of the week, on average. First time over 500 jobs daily -- that’s awesome.
Jobs, jobs, jobs! Here are three cool jobs added this week to the job board
Head of Corporate DEI - The Athletic
The Athletic is searching for a Head of Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to develop and execute on The Athletic's efforts towards diversifying our corporate team. The ideal candidate is a strategic, operations-oriented thinker that can successfully execute on existing strategies, as well as recommend, advocate for, and implement new solutions that support the company's DEI goals.
My Favourite Podcast
This show has quickly become my favourite listen. For someone getting started in the sport business, Brian sheds so much light on various sectors within the industry. Great interviews, powerful stories, and applicable takeaways leads to an excellent product.
Must for anyone working in sports industry
As a student studying to work in the sports industry, this podcast gives incredible insights into potential careers paths, getting experienced professionals to tell there stories makes this a MUST listen to anyone who either is working in sports or strives to work in sports one day.