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How to Build a Network in The Sports Industry

The importance of networking in sports can’t be understated. As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know, which is why between 70 and 80 per cent of jobs are filled through networking. 

It might seem overwhelming when you’re starting out, but networking is a skill you can learn just like anything else. Here are some networking tips to help you kickstart a career in the sports industry.

Join or volunteer at a local sports club

Local sports clubs are brilliant places to meet like-minded people who are passionate about sports in your community. There also are lots of opportunities to help out at these clubs, which will look fantastic on your resume. 

Once you’ve volunteered a few times, you might even be offered an ongoing job. This could allow you to climb the ranks and make valuable connections. 

It’s worth noting that many professional athletes join their local sports clubs when they retire, so you might even be able to talk to them and pick up a few tips on breaking into the sports industry.


Internships are a good option too, as they give you a space where you can make mistakes, grow as a professional, and build your confidence in a variety of skill areas. They’re also a great way to gain references for your resume. 

If you’re interested in an internship in a specific sport, your best bet is to contact the club you’d most like to work for and see if they have any internships available. You never know what they might say!

You can also check out Sportspeople, which is a job board specifically for roles in the sporting industry.

Industry networking events

While it’s easier than ever to network online, putting a face to a name still has a huge impact when you’re building your network.

Networking in person helps you form connections with people. It showcases your personality and makes a much bigger impact than just sending messages online. 

You can also make connections with more people in person because it’s likely that there are people in the room that you might not have thought to reach out to online.

10times have a great directory where you can look up sport networking events near you.


While there are obvious advantages to in-person networking, LinkedIn is still a valuable tool to use in creating and connecting with your network. 

LinkedIn is a fantastic resource that everyone should have, regardless of industry. It was created to help professionals find jobs and network, so definitely take advantage of it.

LinkedIn networking tips include:

  • Connect with everyone you know on LinkedIn
  • Congratulate your connections on milestones and comment on their posts
  • Send personalised greetings to your connections
  • Optimise your profile by including your job title, industry and relevant experience

Find a mentor

One of the best things you can do in any career is to find a mentor who can take you under their wing and guide you through the industry. 

In the sports industry, this might be a coach, club owner or anyone with experience working in your area of interest. You can ask someone to be your mentor directly, or you can use a service like Headspace’s online career mentoring

It’s important that a mentoring relationship is mutually beneficial. You can do this by setting clear goals and objectives that you both want to achieve, scheduling monthly check-ins to ensure you’re both on task, and creating a safe space where you can bounce ideas off each other.