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  • Writer's pictureBrett Zalaski

Should I Stay in the #SportsBiz Industry?

I've had lots of conversations on the phone that included this conversation. I've had 3 people write in to the site over the last two months asking this. Here's a direct example from a laid-off NFL rep:

I've worked game days for years during the time my friends are going out. I've been underpaid compared to my friends for years. And then they let me go. I'm just not sure it's worth staying in sports business.

I'm not going to speak for everyone. Everyone has their own reasons to either work or not work in the sports industry. But I had a unique start in the sports industry. I had a high-paying job at a high-profile best practice research company (CEB, wrote The Challenger Sale). I had my nights, my weekends, and a good paycheck. In fact, when I took my job at the NBA league office, I moved to NYC (the most expensive city ever) and received half the salary I had at CEB.

And, even in my worst days, I've never regretted that decision. The opportunity I've had to help people through the vehicle of sports has been the privilege of a lifetime. Hearing stories of families who have benefited from their experiences at games. Seeing the stands packed with screaming fans. The relationships that have come from fans and co-workers alike. The businesses who have told me the very real impact sports has had on their success. It's such fulfilling work.

And if I told my 6-, 10-, 15-, 20-year old self what my job is today, he would freak the fuck out in excitement. As long as the industry will allow me, I'm going to try and make an impact in it.

I've heard of very few people who came from outside into sports and regretted it. And I've heard from far more reps who left and regretted it.

Again, every situation is unique. The pressures of life is real. I know, I suffer from anxiety. But if you can stay? Stay in #sportsbiz. No matter how hard and challenging the market is right now, it's just worth it.

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