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!
John Ferguson: VP of People and Culture, Monumental Sports and Entertainment – Work In Sports podcast
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast…
Do you ever say a word over and over again so that it becomes common in your mind, but if you take a moment to really think about it, it’s arbitrary and weird.
Take the word spoon for example. Yes, I know this is a strange start to a podcast intro but you should be used to that about me by now, so stick with me.
We all know what a spoon is, but when you say it a bunch of times you start to realize -- that’s a weird word. Who the heck came up with calling that scoopy you eat with a spoon.
We normalize things in our brains the more we say them or experience them. We become desensitized over time to their uniqueness and just accept them for what they are. We don’t often challenge what has become normal.
Spoon. Not to go too far down this rabbit hole - but spoon is of Germanic origins meaning “chip of wood” which doesn’t help things at all.
Alright, I have a point here.
Let’s spin this forward to this conversation, and throw another phrase out at you: Human Resources.
Think about it for a second -- it’s kind of cold, isn’t it? Objectifying just a little?
People are people, not just resources to be managed.
Human Resources makes it sounds like “Hi I’m Jane, I manage the Human Assets, John over there manages the Material Resources, and Bill manages the Software Assets”
Kind of cold, right?
And yet the Human Resources departments of every organization are the people that care most about the employees! These are the living breathing hearts and souls of an organization! But their title, their sector of the industry... I don’t know, kind of sounds menacing when you really think about it with a fresh set of eyes and ears.
Smarter people than me, I think, have started to feel this same way. I’ve seen more and more titles break away from straight up Human Resources, and break toward something more akin to -- Chief People Officer or People and Culture.
Look there is nothing wrong with Human Resources, I’m not getting upset over it, I’m not staging a walkout, I just like to question some of the things we accept as normal. Watch a movie from the 80’s and you’ll see people smoking at their work desk or on airplanes -- that was really normal for a while, until someone said -- maybe we need to do this a little differently.
Again, not conflating human resources with smoking on a plane, but I just find myself enamoured with norms and accepted behavior and terms...that when you really think about them are a bit out of place.
This brings me to today’s guest -- John Ferguson, who is the VP of People and Culture at Monumental Sports And Entertainment, one of the biggest ownership groups in sports -- Washington Wizards, Mystic, Capitals - arenas, esports teams, conferences, TV networks -- they dominate the sports scene in the DC region.
And John, one of the coolest most down to earth people I have ever spoken with in my life, cares about the people and the culture of his operation. He cares so much about every person that comes into the organization and creates a culture that brings out the best in everyone.
Gear up -- this is one of my favorite discussions of all time -- here’s John Ferguson:
Handling Behavioral Interview Questions – Work In Sports podcast
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkinSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast…
So quick update before we get into the stat line and this week’s fan question.
Like so many of you I made a resolution this year. A kick off the new year with a new attitude resolution. Well, I’m here to report, I’ve already broken it.
That’s the problem with resolutions, it’s usually something you are very drawn to and therefore difficult to cut cold turkey. Mine, was a reduction in sugar intake...both desserts and alcohol. The desserts part isn’t too hard for me, I’m not a big sweets guy, thankfully, but I do like the wine, the bourbon and the tequila.
I lasted 16 days… which actually was better than I thought I’d do. Football is just really hard to watch without something wonderful in the palm of your hand. I made it through wildcard weekend drinking lots and lots of tea.
But two glorious football weekends was too much for my resolve, Aaron Rodgers and I had a little bourbon together, then Tom Brady and I had some red wine.
I’ve come to the conclusion, resolutions can be kind of silly, especially dramatic ones. Just make incremental positive choices, keep your vices in moderation, and set goals for yourself that are based on accomplishing something positive… and you’ll be better off.
Ok, enough about that -- let’s get into the stat line!
Alright people -- let’s jump into three stats that will help you see exactly what the sports industry employment situation looks like right now --
17.783 jobs currently active on WorkInSports.com the number one job board for the sports industry. To put that in context -- that’s a 6.5% jump over last week. We are in the upward trend right now, lots of positive activity in the sport industry, lots of opportunity.
The first full week of January we added 3,002 new jobs to the job board, and I was pumped -- that is a great sign, January is always a huge month, but I was a little fearful of things being flat. Well, for the second full week of January we beat that number, 3,022 fresh jobs added last week.
Now this isn’t just a puff out my chest and brag about our job board and product moment - although I am feeling pretty puffed up -- now for real, these stats are too show you what’s happening in the industry. I’m showing you trends and patterns so you can have a more educated knowledge of what is out there for you.
Stat #3 --
Every day of the week last week we added 432 new jobs to the job board. Sports specific jobs all across the country - including 1,518 currently in or near Los Angeles California, and 206 in Miami, Florida.
This is the absolute right time to be a workinsports.com premium member -- we work with over 8,000 sports employers, if you think you can search the job postings of 8,000 sports employers yourself -- good luck. We do the work for you, that’s just one of the huge benefits of our site!
Ok - - next step -- let’s talk cool jobs and internships!
Job #1 -- Have you heard of the O’Fallon Hoots. Nope, neither had I. I was looking on our jobboard and say O’Fallon Hoots and thought, that is a typo. It is not. The O’Fallon Hoots a collegiate summer league baseball team in the United States Prospect League, are hiring a broadcaster and media relations intern.
Nigel Eccles, Co-Founder of FanDuel, Flick & StarStock – Work In Sports podcast
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and engaged Learning at Work in Sports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast.
I’m no psychiatrist, I barely understand why I do what I do, but I can tell you that fear is a pretty insane driving force.
Chased by a bear, you’ll run faster than ever before.
Have a big test tomorrow that determines the status of your scholarship - you’ll study harder than ever.
Fear is a strong motivator. Well, scratch that, fear makes us uncomfortable, and we try our hardest to return to comfort, that is the human condition, get into comfortable spots and build a house there. So yes, fear contributes to the motivation, but really it’s the idea of staying in a fearful state that motivates us to get out of it.
OK, let’s not get all nuanced and into the psycho-babble -- suffice it to say, if you are sitting on your couch doing nothing, and a racoon comes in through the window, after screaming, you’ll move, fast.
The fact the remote was just out of reach, or you needed water, or the doritos on the countertop didn’t get you to move… but that damn racoon sure did.
I’ve interviewed many entrepreneurs over my career, and they are a different breed.
You think their motivation comes from money - I’m going to make this thing and sell it to Apple for a billion dollars -- that’s not it.
It’s not the money.
Success is the goal. Legacy. Developing something completely new, disrupting a marketplace, changing the world. That is what entrepreneurs seek.
Like an artist, they are consumed by their passion for their vision. And more importantly, to put a fine point on it, they are ruled by fear.
What if this isn’t it? What if my idea doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t disrupt? What if i am not special?
This fear drives Entrepreneurs to work harder and with more passion and focus than most others can reach. Failure is not an option.
Because of this passion and focus many entrepreneurs aren’t willing to pivot. They stick to their vision with steadfast determination, determined to find success where they thoughtit would be.
Today’s guest, Nigel Eccles co-founder of FanDuel, Flick and StarStock, is a serial, and successful, entrepreneur, but he’s also a pragmatist.
FanDuel, the multi-billion dollar daily fantasy sports company, wasn’t a pure idea created on the cliche cocktail napkin during a discussion amongst friends over adult beverages.
FanDuel was HubDub - the original idea was an online political prediction market. It failed because as nigel himself said “HubDub didn’t really have a good business model”
I can see where that would be a problem.
But Nigel isn’t the type to just pack up and turn off the lights. He looked at what they had created, and how to pivot it into a new and different market. Sports.
He and his HubDub team pivoted.
I’m guessing, and he may not admit this, because his fear of failure drove him to see other options for his success.
And FanDuel has been successful. At the time Nigel sold his interest FanDuel had around a 450 million dollar valuation. A few years later, it is now valued at 11.2 billion.
Negotiating Like a Boss – Work In Sports Podcast
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at Work in Sports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…
Well, I could surely get used to back to back NFL triple headers - I kept trying to get out of my house and doing other things, but the games just kept drawing me back in.
And then it’s 8:15 on Saturday night and I’ve got Brady and Gronk to watch? And then it’s 8:15 on Sunday night and I’ve got Steelers Brown to watch?
I mean the good news is, I could turn off the Steelers-Browns after the first quarter, sorry Steelers fans, and get off my ass.
What a weekend.
For those of you who haven’t listened to last weeks interview with Matt resnick, I suggest you go back and listen. For 5 years Matt was the People Acquisition Director for Madison Square Garden, [Knicks, Rangers, MSG Network, MSG] and knows his stuff when it coms to getting hired in sports.
We shared a ton of tactical advice, plus some strategic thinking and planning that can really make the difference for your career. Go listen
Coming up this week - Nigel Eccles. Name sound familiar? Well, it should. Nigel is the co-founder of FanDuel. Yes, that FanDuel. The one he sold for 450 million, and has a current valuation of ...wait for it… 11.2 billion dollars.
Spoiler -- I did not ask Nigel why he didn’t wait a few more years to sell FanDuel and make an extra couple billion. I’m figuring that could be a sore spot for him.
But we did talk a ton about leadership, creativing, establishing a culture, the growth of tech and his new start up -- Flick, a sports focused chat app which looks super cool.
Tune into that on Wednesday.
One last note -- Because i want to brag a little. As we start the spring semester for college students across the globe, I am proud to announce our sports career game plan is now bing used in the curriculum of over 30 sports management programs. University of Florida, Grand Canyon, Ball State, Graceland, Dean, Findlay, East Carolina, -- and many more -- sorry if i didn’t mention your school, I’m going off the top of my head here.
Our course is on professional development for the sports industry, and if you are a college professor listening and I’ve piqued your interest, email me. If you are a student, talk to your professors and have them email me. If you are just an interested person, we can sell it to you direct.
Ok, enough of me talking -- well, that’s not true, I’ve got a lot more talking to do, enough of me pitching… let’s get to the stat line…
Here we go, three stats to give you an update on the overall health of sports employment…
16,705 active sports jobs on WorkInSports.com the leading job board for th sports industry -- that is an increase of 8% over last week.,..that’s a big jump, and I told you it was coming. January is always huge for new jobs.
We added 3,005 active new jobs in the last week. That is a jump of… wait for it… 215% week over week. Like i said, here come the jobs. First week on January, 915 jobs added, this week, 3,005.
That means we added an average of 429 new jobs every day of the week last week. That is worth checking in on. We’re back baby!
Ok, second part of the Stat Line… jobs!
Matt Resnick, Sports Talent Acquisition Executive – Work In Sports Podcast
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…
There is a theme already clearly presenting itself in 2021 - get back to work.
I didn’t have to spend a lot of time workshopping that theme, there wasn’t a lot of debate or struggle -- it’s clear as day.
2020 wrecked a lot of people. Careers were put on hold, bills became hard to pay,health was in question, it became hard to see a bright future --- everyone, in some way or another was knocked down.
I don’t mean this to sound trivial, and I’m not minimizing the pain people are going through -- but it’s time to get back up.
I tend to be someone who visualizes a lot. I’m what you call a visual learner, if I drive somewhere once, I’ll never forget how to get there again, because I can see it in my mind. If I am shown how to do something, whether that is fixing the plumbing or running a report in google analytics, it sticks.
Because I know myself and what impacts me the most, I conduct a lot of visualization exercises throughout my day. Sometimes certain visuals get stuck in my mind on a loop, and there are two that keep resonating with me, and are indicative of 2020.
#1 is from my fav movie of all-time, Good Will Hunting, if you haven’t seen it, go, now, do it. It holds up. Some movies don’t stand the test of time, this one does.
There is a scene where Robin Williams who plays a psychologist, is trying to help the troubled boy genius Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, by looking him in the eyes and saying over and over again each time with more meaning and feeling “it’s not your fault”, which eventually makes the tough skinned Hunting break down and cry.
That’s 2020 for you people. It’s not your fault.
That’s a realization we all need - but it’s not enough. Just realizing it isn’t your fault is a good start, but it also puts you on the edge of excuse making.
It’s not my fault… so let’s go grab another bag of doritos and watch UNC-Greensboro play Wofford on ESPN plus.
Nope - that’s not the visualization, or reality, we want.
It’s time to channel your inner Herb Brooks. The rousing pre-game speech from the movie Miracle, about the MIracle on Ice when the US defeated the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics.
I’ll summarize it thusly -- “This is your time, now go out there and take it”
It’s not going to come to you, it’s not going to find you buried in a pile of misery, self-doubt and Cheetos and offer you salvation.
It’s on you to take it.
This month, to get you focused on all the steps, strategies, and trends in hiring for 2021 we will feature interviews with three incredible people connected to sports Talent Acquisition.
John Ferguson, VP of people and culture from Monumental Sports and Entertainment [Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, TV networks, eSports teams you name it]
Kali Franklin, VP of Human Resources for NYCFC of the MLS
And today’s guest Matt Resnick, former Director of People Acquisition for the Madison Square Garden company -- Knicks, Rangers.
Sports Industry Hiring Trends in 2021 – Work In Sports Podcast
Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…
Let’s see if I remember how to do this… it feels like I haven’t pushed out a new episode in a while, yes, I took a break, a little vacation, my first and only one of 2020. That means, I totally 100% disconnected...which means, there is a ton of work to do today.
You ever notice that? Vacation is awesome, but the work just piles up, and then when you get back… it’s rough. Today so far, rough.
But enough about me -- who’s ready to start 2021?! I’m feeling pretty pumped, even if a bit overwhelmed right at this moment.
Let’s start this out right with our first stat line of 2021! This is important, this will give us baseline data for the year...so as we continue talking throughout the year we can observe the trends as they relate to right now at this moment. Kind of cool.
Let’s get into it.
For those of you new to the podcast, welcome! Every Monday I provide a snapshot of the data behind sports employment. We’re WorkInSports.com, the number one job board for the sports industry, and we’ve been doing this for 20 years, so we have tons of current data and historical trends.
So let’s get started…
Datapoint #1: 15,473 active sports jobs right now on WorkInSports.com -- that number is down about 7% from our last stat line, and don’t worry that is to be expected. Between Christmas and New Year, employers aren’t really posting jobs, so it is no surprise that number is down a little.
The rebound, starts now.
Data Point #2 - We’ve added 954 jobs in the last week -- that is WAY down, down 58% from the previous week...but again, I’ve already explained why. We need to go one step deeper…
This brings us to data point #3…
954 jobs added last week, divided by 7 days would be an average of 136 jobs per day. BUT, let’s add some recency to the trend line. 278 jobs added today, and I’m recording this at around noon eastern time.
This is when things pick up, activity starts going through the roof, and it is the most important time for you to be on top of the job action.
OK, part 2 of the Stat Line -- for all you new listeners -- I also provide three cool jobs that are fresh on the job board, just to give you a little taste of what’s out there. I guess it is misleading to make this part of the stat line since it’s totally subjective, but this is where I want to put it, so I do.
Job #1… Director of Fan Experience At Stanford University -- this position will oversee a team whose ultimate charge is to create a compelling in-venue experience for our student-athletes and fans alike. This team will design, program, and direct events that satisfy the evolving preferences of fans, create long-lasting memories, and persuade the community to continue to attend.
I find so many of the people I get to know in sports, love the live-action, the pace, the creativity, the engagement with fans -- this job is ideal if you have that spirit and experience. And, if you have kids, maybe you get a discounted tuition to Stanford! Talk about benefits.
Job #2...Marketing Associate at Burton Snowboards -- Ok, so this is a short term temporary remote role...which may not sound ideal, but hear me out. Burton is looking for an individual to assist us in keeping in touch with our community through social media. In this role, you will be primarily focused on social community coordination.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Aspiring PR professional in Sports
This podcast is so helpful, especially as a recent graduate looking to begin a career in sports. I wish I listened to this when I first realized I wanted to begin a career in sports.
Must Need in Podcast Playlist
In a world where there is currently lots of negativity and ambiguity, Work in Sports is the perfect podcast to listen to. For those suffering with a lack of motivation or get super lethargic at times, listen to the “Discovering the Energy Source Inside of You” episode. Brian does a great job sharing all insight through his guests and tips within the industry (he is also a really nice guy to interact with as well!).
Learning every episode
Already working in the industry I can attest to the value of Brian’s show. It actually goes beyond what those who want to work in sports would expect. Each show is chalked full of wisdom and experience from others in the industry that those looking to break in or those of us already in can learn from. This is my favorite and most valuable podcast by far.