The dream of working in a sports job: Which advantages does a career in the sports industry provide and which disadvantages will I have to face?

Our life is a huge compromise in almost all things. The partner we choose, the town where we move to and as well our job, that provides us with the money to survive. Since humanity always aspires happiness, we try to find the smallest compromises to create our life at least a bit how we imagine it to be. That also is crucial when it comes to our sports job – before deciding for a career we have to consider many factors like payment, education, place of location. Since we spend around 50 years of our life with working, the job-decision should be taken deliberately so that we can spend these working years as good as possible.

The easiest way to make a good decision? A pro and contra list! Here's our version of it to see which advantages and disadvantages a career in sports provides!

The advantages

The sports industry is blooming

The sports market has been growing significantly over the years and is expected to develop even further. The reason is - simply put - the steady popularity of sports (and esports) events, and with it, the brands, products and companies that are part of it. Due to esports, digital revolution and even politial situations (like the evolution of diversity and gender-specific & gender-neutral events), the sports industry is facing opportunities instead of threats. As a consequene, companies and brands have the chance to increase their revenue which results in a higher demand for employees.

After all, a successful business means a safe working space - and one which allows development for yourself inside the company.

Investing time in something that you love

Who decides in favour of a sport job already does a big step onto happiness because there is nothing better than transforming the hobby into a job, right? Right! As a matter of course, a 100% willingness to support the brand, sports or agency you are working for is much easier if it is part of your spare time - or personal life -  as well.

Normally, if you apply for a sports job the reason behind is not simply the field of work which suits your CV, but probably the identification with the brand. In everyday life, this will give you a proper motivational boost to do your job well and to even result in enjoying it more.

More than just colleagues

The teamwork with sport job-colleagues is also pretty laid-back, since all have the same passion and therefore there is no need to break the ice first. How can we be so sure? If you check the job descriptions at Sportyjob, you'll notice that apart from hard and soft skills, most brands are actually asking for an interest, knowledge or even practicing of the sports that they are related to.

For instance, if you want to work at blue tomato, Atomic or Salomon, a passion for ski or snowboarding is a must. komoot? Biking. Boardriders? Surfing. Mammut and The North Face? Hiking. You get the point.

Even if you aren't the same age or don't seem to have much in common, there's always a link between all of you. As a result, the office atmosphere is always a little more familiar and personal than in other industries.

Being in the centre of sports

Really amazing about sports jobs is, that (according to the field you are working in), you are close to your idols, this may be either professional athletes or celebrities of the sports industry. Jobs at sporting events, for example, are normally an entry-card on meeting athletes. On the business front, sponsored athletes are normally invited to visit the headquarters every now and then. Just check adidas if you want to know more.

Furthermore, it is advantageous to get tickets, gear and clothing (that you would have bought anyways) either for free or at least, with a discount. Neat!

And last but not least: Working in a sport job is absolutely wicked!

The disadvantages

Overtime and weekend shifts

How already mentioned at the beginning, there are two sides to every coin. Sports jobs quite often are associated with long workdays and weekend-work. This, of course, depends on the field you're working in.

Since events, competitions etc. predominantly take place at the weekends, everyone either working directly for the event, association, club or as a sports journalist or a PR agency, is going to face work on the weekends.  Also, whenever an event is coming up, it normally means a lot of unpaid overtime hours due to the big amount of organisational tasks which come up right in advance.

Same goes for jobs in retail: If you choose to work for a sports brand in retail, it might be that you'll be facing 6-day-weeks and long working days.

We know this doesn't sound really good, but don't be discouraged! Of course not every sport job condemns you to do unpaid overtimes and there are others which reimburse the extra effort extraordinarily well, but unfortunately this is not the majority.

Average payment

When it comes to money you will have to cut back your prospects because the basic salaries of sport jobs in general are not as high as the ones of comparable jobs in other sectors of economy. While sports clubs and teams offer over-the-top-salaries (but only few jobs), payment in the field of sporting goods is very average. So, if you're "doing it just for the money", a position in banking or IT would probably be a better choice.

As we all know, demand determines supply – that means that sportjob-companies can define lower wages for treasured sport jobs. This may be traced back to the fact that sport jobs are really popular and therefore there are a lot of potential candidates

But isn't the abdication of money worth the feeling of getting up in the morning and looking forward to working in a sports job, where you will have fun and can enjoy your passion day by day?

Nicolas Cerrato on esports & its development

esports are still very young and require way more innovation and creativity than regular sports: the promise of esports is that of the wedding of professional sports and Hollywood. Many groundbreaking things have yet to be imagined, invented and brought to life.

Nicolas Cerrato

Formerly a small niche, esports has become a successful branch of the sports industry thoughout the last years. With professional clubs incorporating gaming teams and live streams watched by millions, it offers great market potential which is still increasing every year.

However, it's people like Nicolas Cerrato who are helping to evolve the esports industry by using its potential for entrepreneurship. Being a former gamer with the necessary experience to understand the field, he found Gamoloco, an insight portal on gaming streams early on. Since 2014, they have been providing viewership data from established streaming platforms and making it readable due to developing their own metrics.

Furthermore, Nicolas is a well-known guest in the esports section of Quora. His insights or his advice on how to become a professional gamer are pure gold, thanks to his own experience which he shares openly.

Bringing all his answers together in one post, we asked Nicolas in this interview about Gamoloco, the future of esports in the sports business and his personal advice on how to achieve a career in esports. So, please, everyone:


Meet Nicolas Cerrato

" I am from France and my esports dreams started the year after I graduated from high school, in 1998. In 1999 I became a professional in the space as I dropped out of college and opened a PC gaming center in downtown Paris. Quickly after that I started one of the 1st pro gaming teams in the world, it was called GG. Since then I almost never stopped working in esports and the last thing I’ve been working on is Gamoloco, a data service focused on Twitch viewerships which i started in 2014. I’m the President and CEO at Gamoloco."


You’ve been a professional gamer in the past, but decided to add more to the esports business with your info portal Gamoloco. When and how did you come up with the idea to found Gamoloco? And what was your motivation?
I got the initial idea in 2012: I was the head of sales & partnerships at a start up producing of esports contents back then, working closely with Twitch on a daily basis. I realized that Twitch viewerships were carrying a lot of information and meaning, of the kind any professional in the space would want to access and decipher. My motivation has been to help market actors make the best calls when it comes to strategy and investments. As a seasoned veteran, I’ve been witnessing many clueless moves in the space, sometimes leading to spectacular wastes of time, money and energy. Gamoloco aims at speeding up the learning process and contributing to making the best calls.

What is Gamoloco? What is its role in esports?
The business of esports can be seen as a competition for attention and viewerships: What game is the most watched? What event is the most watched? How do they compare to each other? How do they compare to regular sports? Has there been growth lately? If yes, where?… That’s the kind of questions Gamoloco helps answering.

How does a day of Nicolas Cerrato at Gamoloco look like?
I wake up without an alarm, somewhere between 6 and 8. Then I usually go have coffee outside and start my day checking www.gamoloco.com: to see if everything is working, and to get my daily dose of viewership data. Viewerships are one of my main informational sources regarding esports and gaming: they tell me what gamers were interested in yesterday, last week, last month. After that I usually do some Qi Gong in a park close to where I work and then it’s back to work. Usually i do coding, the hardest for me in terms of required brain power, in the morning and more business-oriented work (data research, promo, sales, hr, networking) in the afternoon.

Being an expert in esports, it’s obvious that you have a lot of experience in the field. How did your esports career evolve? What have you been doing before you started at Gamoloco?
I experienced many different things as an esports professional: gaming center owner, tournament organizer, pro team manager and coach, journalist all the way to „Le Monde“, shoutcaster on some of the biggest stages, TV show producer, community manager, business developper, creative director, consultant. I would describe my journey in esports as passionate and chaotic, just like my life. Things have started to settle a bit lately and I can only be happy and proud of the variety of experiences I’ve been through. I definitely understand esports from many angles.

esports was a big topic at the last ISPO Munich and its counterpart the ISPO Digitze. It’s a quickly growing branch of the sports industry with a lot of potential for sports companies. How do you think esports will effect the sports industry?
I think they will merge. There are many hints showing that, not the least of which being the big interest of pro athletes and established sports organizations in esports: if a bunch of people still can’t get the potential in esports, sports entertainment professionals for sure naturally do. Within 15 to 30 years from now, we’ll have high quality augmented reality games that require to be both an outstanding athlete and gamer to perform. At this point, the door will be open for esports to reach their maximum potential as they will become one with sports.


Within 15 to 30 years from now, we’ll have high quality augmented reality games that require to be both an outstanding athlete and gamer to perform. At this point, the door will be open for esports to reach their maximum potential as they will become one with sports.

Nicolas Cerrato

Imagine sitting in a room with esports enthusiasts who would love to make their passion a profession. Which advice would you give them on how to achieve career in esports? How do you possibly enter the esports business?
JUST DO IT. If you’re passionate, if this is what feeds you energy, just do it. Bring your light to the mix, get involved in a team, community site or tournament organization or whatever suits you in the space. I don’t believe in degrees that much. Learn by doing and remember: esports are still very young and require way more innovation and creativity than regular sports: the promise of esports is that of the wedding of professional sports and Hollywood. Many groundbreaking things have yet to be imagined, invented and brought to life.


If your curiousity grew steadily throughout this interview, you can shed some light on esports and gaming live streams on Gamoloco: https://gamoloco.com/.

Landing your new job – Expert advice that could give wings to your career

Make a top ten list about the hard things in life and "work" will always be a part of it.The reason for this are two things which probably everyone of us has experienced at some point:
  1. "What am I going to do with my life?" Back in school, college or university, when we had plenty of options of becoming (more or less) everything we want, but we just couldn't figure out what. The different career possibilities are endless, but which one is the right one?
  2. "I hate my job" Going to work day in and day out on auto-pilote, because it just doesn't satisfy us. If you work in a job that you don't enjoy, because it isn't meant for you. Hard.
Both cases actually require finding out which career would suit you, challenge or bring out your talents, hence turning profession into a passion. But how do you do this?

"Without understanding your personality, experience, connections, and self-awareness you're not going to get very far". - Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzie


As head of assessment at one of the world’s biggest recruiting companies, author of 10 books and Psychology Professor at University of London and the University of Columbia, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is well placed to give you the answer to this question and some more. Together with an expert team of psychology professors from University College London and Columbia University in New York and Red Bull, they developed the online assessment Wingfinder, a tool that aims at outlining your strengths and handing you a talored coaching plan to maximise your skills.In this interview, he gives you advice and tips that you can take to increase the chance of landing the right role, based on experience, hard data and science. Inset: Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is head of assessment at one of the world’s biggest recruiting companies and psychology professor at University of London and the University of Columbia. Photograph: Shannon Morris

For those searching for a job out there:

Jobs today can pay well. They can also be interesting. They can also require creativity and fulfil multiple life needs. Competition is fierce though and qualifications and experience are only part of the requirement — without them, you can do very little; but without understanding your personality, experience, connections, and self-awareness you're not going to get very far, either. We live in a talent economy and the main talent passport you have is your reputation and how you can explain it. How are you different and better from your competitors? I don't like the idea of cultivating your personal brand – it sounds trivial, vacuous and narcissistic – but if your reputation doesn't stand out in a crowded market, or if you can’t explain how you will use your talents at work, you’ll only make it if you are lucky.

What’s your top tip for somebody working out their next step?

Self-awareness can go a long way. The better people understand their own strengths, limitations, and interests, the smarter their career choices will be. They’ll end up liking their jobs more, performing better, and staying put longer. Self-awareness, in other words, is a sorely undervalued talent enhancer because it can help people identify jobs that actually match their values and skills. Remember: talent is largely personality in the right place. For individuals to make better choices for themselves, they’ll also need some data - making the free, career-related feedback available at Wingfinder even more crucial.

What’s the most important thing to show in interviews to get any job in any company?

Your main competitive advantage lies in discovering and being able to explain your own skills. Tests we’ve set up on Wingfinder give you tailored feedback as to how you can do this. What you need for any role, in any company is what’s called the RAW components of talent (Rewarding – interpersonal and intrapersonal skills; Able – a style of thinking or Intelligence suited to the demands of the role; Willing – drive and motivation). Inset: www.wingfinder.com model; based on the original meta-analysis of employability & success by *Hogan, R., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Kaiser, R. B. (2013). Employability and career success: Bridging the gap between theory and reality. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 6, 3–16.

Interviewers often ask, ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’. How do you suggest people answer?

Try and look like you’re thinking about the answer, because the more you look like you have rehearsed the less truthful your answer will seem. Avoid common clichés such as ‘I'm too much of a perfectionist’ or ‘I'm too self-critical’. Avoid being completely honest, too. Much like a first date, an interview is not the time to reveal your deepest darkest secrets, so instead highlight the things your interviewers may have already identified as weaknesses, be it gaps or shortcomings in your CV and background, which will show self-awareness. Red Bull’s Wingfinder is one of the most valid freely available personality tests that can identify your strengths your shortcomings, and even offer coaching advice on those same weaknesses. We all have flaws and limitations, but it's our ability to keep them in check that determines our true potential.

What are the most common mistake people make as they begin a new career?

Thinking they are better than they actually are. When in fact modesty, self-awareness, the right career choices, and hard work will open doors. Expect less and give more. You’re at the beginning of your learning curve, so understand that this journey is probably not going to be a straight line. Nothing will open more doors than performing in your current role and being valued by those that you work with.

If you could redo your time studying or the first years of your career what would you do?

I would spend more time on extracurricular activities, getting real-world experience. It’s important to focus on your studies but use your spare time to create something, pursue hobbies, internships, projects and interact with people, proving to yourself that you can influence others and work well with them. These interpersonal skills are critical in any company.

What do you wish you knew when you graduated or early in your career ?

That, from now on, life will only get harder and more complex, but the rewards feel even greater. In a real sense, you never truly graduate — it’s a constant flow of learning, adapting and gaining more insight into yourself. Learning how best to leverage your curiosity and creativity, drive and how to work with others will be the greatest way of finding success.

Failed it! 6 career mistakes to avoid in your sport job

What to do with a mistake: 1. Recognize it. 2. Admit it. 3. Learn from it. 4. Forget it.

- Dean Smith

Everyone makes mistakes. Especially in a career, no matter if you're a freshman or have been a professional in your job for years. The only important part is on focusing how to improve through them. Well, here's the thing: Most of us already trip on step one - recognizing them. Seeing our own mistakes is always harder than noticing them in others. That's why we want to share some of the crucial mistakes that we made during our career. You might have made or are making some of them yourselves right now - or can prevent yourself from doing so by following our advice.Here's our 6 career mistakes and how to avoid them.

Being idle

If you want to be successful, you have to work on yourself - always. Don’t get lazy, but try to always stay up to date on the innovations of the sports business and your job. Because it might also happen that your position and learned skills become outdated, through digitization or other reasons.You can start reading books, attend seminars (which is often supported by your employer), visit events and fairs, do (online) courses. Not only will you be an expert on your field, but training your brain and gaining knowledge is actually very satisfying.

Lack of confidence and over-confidence

Not believing in yourself or feeling like the superlative of your field? No, thanks. 
Your level of self-confidence plays an important role in the development of your career.As a fact, success in sports begins in the mind in at least 80 percent of cases. The same goes for your career. If you don’t trust in yourself and your abilities to handle your tasks, then no one else will either. When picking up a project, you need to show confidence, but just the right level. The moment you feel overconfident is the moment you will stop developing yourself - and fail.

Not taking any risks

You might fear to fail or receive negative feedback. But actually, both of these will make you better in your job. If you always play it safe and work low-key, you will probably never climb the career ladder. Dare to think outside of the box, dare to upset your boss or colleagues by voicing your opinion even if it doesn’t theirs. You might succeed and gain respect. Or you might fail and learn. Either way, it will bring you forward.

Overestimating or lying about your skills

Being eager and passionate about your job is great. You might want to prove yourself by showing your skills, picking up projects that you don’t know much about or finishing jobs in a very tight timeframe. Just remember: The moment that you make promises, people will hold onto those. Overestimating yourself and ending up not fullfilling set goals will shed some bad light on yourself and your work. Try to gauge your abilities correctly to set realistic expectations.Even worse is lying. If you claim to bring skills or experience that you don’t have, you’ll end up seeming questionable. This will either result in missing further opportunities, or getting fired.

Doing it just for money OR purpose

You should never decide on a career that you hate because it pays well. It affects your health, your body, your mood - in the end probably the rest of your life. Funny enough, the same goes for opposite. If you are one of the lucky ones to start a career in your field of passion, or being able to realize your ideals in a job, and it doesn’t pay enough to live, it’s again not worth it. It might be satisfying during the working time, but whenever you don’t know how to pay your bills at the end of the month, this again has a negative impact on your life.Naturally, aim for a job that satisfies you AND pays enough to live comfortably. You might even add some value to your surroundings and your community.

Being a lonesome wolf

If you are always working alone and don’t reflect on your career with anyone, you might just get stuck. That's especially a problem if you work from home or self-employed.A network is important not only in the sports industry, but actually for everyone. Whether it’s people that inspire you or an expert to ask for a second opinion on your project, the people that surround you influence your career - ideally, for the better.

The different types of product managers in the sports industry

Get an idea about the different requirements for the position of a product manager in the sports industry

When it comes to product management, the job title is actually very vague. Most of the times, you'll find a job posting  looking for a „Product Manager“, senior or junior. If you're lucky, it is expanded by an additional keyword.  While Marketing positions often give away their specific role in the title - like SEO Manager, Social Media Manager, E-Mail-Marketing specialist, etc. - the product manager role is often just named as that, a Product Manager.

When looking through the different job ads on Sportyjob though, you’ll realize quickly that the requirements and tasks vary a lot. A consequence from the different profiles that a product manager can fulfill. There’s often more to this role and choosing a product management position that fits your skills, interest and character often needs a detailed look in the job description.

To make your job search easier, we've analyzed our job postings and created an overview about the different types of product managers that companies have been looking for in 2018. So what kind of product managers in the sports industry do exist? 

But first: What is a product manager in general?

[caption id="attachment_35313" align="alignleft" width="120"]Profiles of Product Managers in the sports industry Click to view our infographic on the different roles of a product manager[/caption]

In the sports industry, product owners or managers aim for success for products or product lines released in the domain of a brand. They develop strategies to please the customer’s needs in order to optimize a product or its communication and conversion. They create roadmaps, analyze and predict the market, set the communication in between the different related teams (engineers, marketers, designers), stakeholders and executives.The role often comes with great responsibility, decision-making and a good knowledge of ones market.

In detail, the position and its responsibilities vary a lot according to company sizes and goals. Here’s some examples of product managers that you’ll find in the sports business.

 

The Product Developer

This product manager is driving the process from briefing, over concepting, developing and finally, producing new products for a sports company. In the sport’s goods market, the position often just focuses on a certain product group of a brand. For example did Timberland (VF) look for a „Global Product Developer SMU Footwear“ in October who oversees the development of accurate prototypes. SMU Footwear stands for Special Make-Up, an edition of a shoe made of special material. Especially for experienced candidates who have worked in other industries before, this role is a lateral entrants magnet, as long as you have some product knowledge.

Even if it might seem so, the product developer does not design the product, but he oversees and manages the development. His/her responsibility of  is the translation of customer's needs  and afterwards putting it into the form of specific product requirements, communication between the different teams to produce molds, develop or find out new materials to use, the way to advertise the product, etc.

Which skills do you need

A product developer should always have great concepting and communication skills as they need to document and define the development. Writing specific spec’s for engineers and manufacturers, as well as reporting to stakeholders are a constant part of the job.

Furthermore, they should acquire great decision making skills and prioritize, rank, and/or reject features, enhancement requests, etc.

Also, an eye for detail great understanding of material, fabrics and technical aspects of a product come in handy.

Product Manager Conversion Specialists

There’s product managers that tasks mostly focus on improving the conversion of already existing products. In conclusion, this strategic role needs a good understanding of analytical tools and data, as well as key metrics. Instead of developing products or improving them, these product owners are working on optimizing the conversion across all channels, landing pages, funnels, customer’s experience and even pricing.

Further examples are Workflow Product Managers who track a customer’s workflow to improve the functions of a website or app and the interaction with the user.

Which skills do you need

This kind of product manager is very data-driven. They should bring an understanding for different monitoring tools, like Google Analytics or KissMetrics, depending on the tool the sports brand is using. A former knowledge of E-Commerce and Online Marketing can be a big plus.

Digital Product Manager

Instead of handling the management of analogue products, the digital counter part of this position handles digital products. In the sports business, these are mainly hired for online platforms. He or she evolves the online and/or mobile experience for the best user experience. In their recent job ads, VF looks for a Digital Product Owner who is developing innovative ways to deepen customer engagement and profitability through the use of digital channels. 

Their exact performance in the position depends and can be located in each of the described roles above, but often includes technical aspects.

Which skills do you need

In addition to the essentials of every product manager, the digital role requires an understanding of the digital landscape, as well as technical aspects of e-commerce.

What does a Sales Manager in the sports business do?

Whether you are about to get promoted or think about applying for the position of a Sales Manager in the sports industry, it's good to know beforehand what the role includes. Because, even though, the title indicates "Sales", its requirements are very different from an actual salesman or vendor.  Since the position is one often found in our job board - as the sport's good's market is one of the biggest hiring branches - it's time for an overview of the position.

The Sales Manager job profile

So, what exactly does a Sales Manager in a sports company do? Like we said, direct selling is, in most times, not a part of this position anymore. However, knowledge or former experience as a Vendor is a big plus. Why? Because a Sales Manager coordinates, guides and leads the Sales team of a company. Together with the HR department, they hire and train new team members, giving them the necessary base to succeed in their jobs. Furthermore, the Sales Manager defines the different Sales territories for each team member, defines the sales goals in smaller companies and supervises their team to make sure that the quota is reached.Further typical tasks and projects of a Sales Manager include:
  • Building a Sales Plan
  • Taking care of customer's relations
  • Management of external distributors
  • Expanding the Sales Territories and developing new channels
According to job level (junior, senior), company size and business organisation, the job description and the tasks that come along with it may vary. A quota at big corporate players, for example, is often defined by management executives, while the Sales Manager is responsible that the set goal is met. Normally, all tasks can be found in the job description or else inform yourself actively by contacting the HR department of the company. 

Which qualities and skills do you need as a Sales Manager?

In general, it's great if you bring former experiences as a salesman. It's often successful and experienced salespeople that get promoted to Sales Managers during their career in one company. Understanding how distribution works and which instruments to use to push Sales will be a great base to direct your team.For external applicants though, the sales experience is not always necessary. Sports companies especially look for management experience, since leadership skills are absolutely necessary in this position.
A Sales Manager is an achiever. He is performance driven and has strong analytical skills which helps him and his team define tactics and strategies to develop sales within or beyond market potential. Natural leader, he is capable of creating favourable environment, processes and organization for his sales teams to perform at their best.

Stephane Janssoone, Managing Partner of Sportyjob

Instead of going forward and working alone, like talented salesmen often tend to do, you need to be a teamplayer. As a guide and mentor for your Sales team, you need to take care of each member, listen and support them in reaching their tasks. Furthermore, a Sales Manager needs to motivate its team on a daily base.Good communication skills are also essential for this role. You need to be able to explain the tasks, sales plan, budget and distribution channels to your team, so that they understand what exactly they need to fulfill. In combination with patience and enthusiasm, they will be the perfect foundation for training your team. They also come in handy in case of upcoming problems with customers or between team members.Your analytical skills are crucial for the managing part of the role. You should be able to set up a realistic budget and goals, reading quota and being able to foresee the development of your sales on a monthly, quarterly or yearly base. Also, if you are able to keep calm and think through different steps, this will help you make success-driven decisions - which will come up often in a leadership position.As you see, the role definitely requires former experience, so the job is not suited for a career enterer who just finished his studies or apprenticeship. Whether it's other management positions or Sales, to be considered for the position, you should have been working in a suitable field for at least 3-5 years.

Two examples for Sales Manager positions in the sports business

If the profile fits yours and the career as a Sales Manager seems attractive to you, you can find different job opportunities throughout europe in our job board. However, there's two sports jobs that we would like to highlight.One being a great possibility to enter the career as a Sales Manager when you've only got little experience in this position. Keep in mind though that the role in general is not an entry position! The second position is a great challenge for experienced Sales Managers who are willing to conquer a new market and set up quotas, goals and strategically plan the distribution for a brand in a new region.These two are exceptionnel examples to see in detail what the requirements for the position are and how much the tasks can vary, straight from the view of two well-known sports companies.

Sales Manager at Black Roll, Switzerland

If you'd look for the classic profile of a Sales Manager, this position is perfect. You'll be the connection to the important clients, taking care of communication, ordering and delivery processes. Find out more.

Sales Manager at Bollé, Hong Kong

For experienced Sales Managers, this position is a great way to expand their career to a more challenging level. The position will be responsible for the overall strategic direction to review, plan, manage sales and margin achievement and initiatives across Asia region. This position is also responsible for the day-to-day managing of Asia distributors and related Sales forces, while maintaining existing and developing new channels of distribution. Find out more.

8 common questions in sport job interviews and how to answer them

Even though the questions of an interview differ for every sports company, there's a handful which pop up almost every time. Answering them might be easy for some, but hard for others. That's why we're here to help. Whether you just graduated or it has been a while since your last interview - here's advice on how to answer the most common job interview questions.

"Tell me about yourself"

Most of the times, this is one of the first questions the interviewer will ask. Normally, you should recite your resume here , but don't just trot it out completely. The recruiter normally knows your CV and your application and probably even has a duplicate of it in front of him/her. Instead, use this moment as an opportunity to show the milestones that you feel are the most relevant for you and the job. It shows your personal focus and is a great way to highlight your qualities for the position. 

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

Whether you're a person who is planing ahead or prefer being spontaneous and see where life is taking you, your answer should be honest.  You don't need a concrete plan to answer. What they'd like to find out about you is if you're ambitious and possibily a loyal employee, you should also reword the question for yourself to "If you're still in this company, where do you see yourself in 5 years?".It could be something around the lines of: "I like the idea to have proven myself in this company and advanced my career by offering added value through the years." 

"What’s your biggest weakness?"

The most cliché answer we have heard? Probably "I am a perfectionist". It proves that you didn't understand the purpose of this question. It aims to find out the strengths of a person: Whether they're reflective and able to analyze themselves and in conclusion their surroundings. Also, if they're able to solve problems, whether it's their own or work relative.The best way to answer this interview question is to be honest about your weakness. Keep in mind though that it's supposed to be work related - you don't need to share any personal problems. Furthermore, add the way you've been dealing with your weakness in the past, showing that you're able to provide solutions. 

"On a scale from 1 - 10, how would you rate yourself / how proficient are you at xxx?"

Whether it's about yourself or Word, Excel, Photoshop or any software, this tactical interview question comes up in every other interview. We’ll let you in on something of our headhunting experience: The question isn’t really about the skills, but about seeing how well you are able to evaluate yourself. Have you heard about "hiring for attitude"? The response "Clearly a 10!" is probably exaggerated in most cases. There's always room to improve yourself, train and learn new skills, but you can't change a first impression. Be honest about your skill-set, give them a clear insight by going a little into detail of your knowledge (a little is key here). But also admit in which areas you could do better. If you show that you're eager to learn and would be grateful to improve throughout your job, this shows a lot about your work attitude - and recruiters will mark it as a strength.

 

"Why do you want to work for this company?"

This should be a no-brainer - as long as you want to work at the sports company. It might be hard to answer though when you're not really into the job. In any case, informing yourself beforehand about your future employer is the key to formulate your response. Find out what they value, which features they emphasize on their website and integrate them into your answer. Of course, you can always share your personal interest as well - maybe you have a nostalgic story with the sports brand, love their products or their services - it shows passion. 

“Tell me about a time when...”

Probably the most concrete question - which requires a concrete response. The interviewer wants to find out how you'd react in a special situation. A classic way to answer this, is the so called STAR format:
  • What was the Situation
  • What was your Task
  • Which Action did you take
  • What was the Result
Following these simple rules, you'll be able to keep it work-related and rational. 

"When you have been let go and they ask about it" 

This is actually not a common question and only comes up rarely, but as we know it's one of the hardest to answer, we wanted to integrate it in our post anyway. Whatever reason there was, that you have been let go, there's two rules to follow when answering:
  1. Don't badmouth your former employer
  2. Focus on the positive and the opportunities that came out of it
Emphasize that you're excited for the new opportunity to prove yourself, to pursue a new position that fits you better. 

"Do you have any questions?"

Yes! The answer to this one is always yes. It shows you care, that you're interested in your employer and the job.Possible questions could be:
  • What has someone else in this position done to succeed in their role?
  • Which advancement opportunities has this position in the next years?
  • What indicates success for this company?
  • Could you describe a typical day of this position?
  • Can I contact you if I think of anymore question?

Of course, a job interview it not only about the questions, but also about your body language and your appearance. We also prepared advice for this in our blog How to score in a job interview for a follow-up and the best way to win your interviewer over.

How Vans off the Wall enhances creativity: An interview with Dirk Jacobs

Coming up with new ideas in a well established company can be tough - especially with everyone in the team living up to their specific role. Over the years the way a brand is experienced is clearly defined and established in everyones minds, taking its toll on creativity and innovation. So how do you bring your team to overcome their own mindset and practice forward-thinking?Back in April, the Original Actions Sports brand Vans off the Wall just showed the world how. In collaboration with the Design School of Politecnico di Milano, they launched the event Spring off the Wall at the biggest design program of the world, the Milano Design Week. An event which let people experience Vans off the Wall in an exciting, interactive way.Under the motto of  Speed, Balance and Vertigo, visitors of the Milano Design Week could live the sensations of skateboarding by jumping into a foam pit, surfing through clouds like a Silver Surfer or walk on huge unstable foam waffle soles. 

 What you'd expect to be the creation of a great event management / brand marketing team, was actually an idea born in a completely unorthodox way.  Dirk Jacobs, Creative Director Vans EMEA, allowed us to take a peak in the concept behind Spring off the Wall and his way of engineering creative thinking.
Dirk: "Evey year I get my team together to come up with projects that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the work priorities, but with personal development. I mean, Vans’ purpose is enabling creative expression, not just for consumers, but also for the people behind the brand. We, me and my team, get to see the personal side of professional skills. In the process, I skip all regular titles, everyone could do what they want instead of what they normally do -  I saw creativity and leadership in people that I’ve never seen in a creative field."
From the pool of projects, Dirk chooses one every year that will come to life. In 2018, the idea was to collaborate with the design school of Milano to have their students bring to life their own brand experience in a creative way.
Dirk: "We have our Brand, we have our Brand Pillars: Action Sports, Music, Art, Street Culture - all the students fit the profile of our consumer. I found it interesting to talk to the perfect target group to see how they perceive Vans, what they think about it. Also, they have an amazing reputation, so I was really intrigued by it! About 2000 students applied for the project, which was obviously too many. So we asked them in a survey about their knowledge of the brand and action sports and their personal story with Vans. I had a hundred of applications and I was going through all of them for three weeks - it was my evening lecture. Some of the stories were very personal, some were almost like poetry. I really liked them. In the end, we chose about 120 [students] and we coached them in a workshop about our brand and gave them the challenge to show what „Off the Wall“ means to them."
At the same time, the decision was made to open up Spring of the Wall to design week. Bringing the project to another level, the collaboration was turned into a mentoring program for the students. Vans rented out a space for designers coaching and encouraging the project teams on expressing themselves in a professional matter. The group was divided into teams that each were composed of students from different design disciplines: Fashion, Communication, Architecture, graphic design, etc.What came out of it, was the creation of possible spaces for the design week that were a physical expression of the brand. Giving them space, time and freedom to express themselves, with the necessary guiding through industry professionals, the students came up with ideas far away from the regular communication of Vans. Instead of focusing on a stiff presentation, the students laid their focus on creating a space of participation, letting people experience the brand with all of their senses. 

 In the next step, they separated the groups another time and chose a number of students for a final group, gave them a feedback and another week to update their idea. In the end, there were 20 students and one concept.

Dirk: „These 20 students, they wanted to talk about skateboarding. I mean I love it to death, but it was never our way to speak to a broader, more lifestyle consumer. They wanted to talk about the experience of skateboarding. But how do you explain it to someone who has never skated, taking the skateboard away? The drop in in a bowl, the importance of balance, the feeling of height“

[gallery columns="4" size="medium" ids="32008,32026,32017"]
The students of the Design School of Milano dared to address a topic close to the brand, but far away from their regular communication. Even though Vans is originally associated with skateboarding, their main audience is situated in the lifestyle section: "Vans is a nostalgic brand, and everyone has their own personal Vans story or Vans memory, like the pair you wore when you gave your first girlfriend a kiss". The innovative concept showed a great approach to being authentic and back to the roots of Vans while at the same time being forward-thinking and very unusual for the brand.  Something that was taken in positively by both the audience and the company itself.
Dirk: "The response was amazing! We had about 10.000 people for the drop in. You jumped out of a shoebox into a foampit. At first, I thought it was childish, but people did it two or three times. The jump was 2 meters high. I don’t know what it was - the simplicity brought the child out in people. People went crazy!"[gallery columns="4" size="medium" ids="32011,32014,32029"]

5 reasons why you should look for a sports job abroad

How about looking for a sports job internationally instead of your home country? Working abroad can kickstart your career in the sports business.
Today the change of location within Europe is easily performed and even enjoyable, so how about realigning yourself with a new sport job abroad ? It doesn't matter whether you are looking for a change yourself or got offered a new position in another country by a Headhunter, we would definitely recommend you to at least consider moving. To sum this blog up before we even start: A sport job abroad will benefit your hard and soft skills, your personality, your professional network and might even bring the step forward in your career that you've been longing for.Do you feel something tickle in the back of your mind? That's probably your wanderlust that tells you to get up and just go for it.Here's 5 reasons why you should look for a new job in a different country:

Some sport jobs can only be found in a particular region

Sport companies often settle in regions where you can also perform the sports that they're specialised on. To concretize: You'll find companies concerning Ski, Snowboard and Mountain activites in alpine regions, see Blue Tomato in Schladming (Austria). Water sports like surfing or wakeboarding on the other hand build up their headquarters close to the ocean or a lake, see Quiksilver in St. Jean de Luz (France). Then, there's sport jobs in sport clubs or leagues which are often based in the cities their team plays for. If you want to work in these companies, a move is almost always necessary. Even if it means relocating to a small mountain village when you used to live in the city. As a plus, outdoor enthuasiasts normally benefit a lot from this as they can finally perform their favourite activity all-year-round and outside of holiday times.

A fresh start: Let's go on an adventure

Sometimes moving isn't the result of a job search, but the desire for excitement and a refreshment of your life. Especially if you've been stuck in a city that you could never warm up to or just got a little bored of. If you have the advantage of being flexible and without (too much) obligations, how about trying something new? Finding yourself in an unknown place might make you feel a little uncomfortable at first, but the experience will support you develop yourself, your mind's strength and your personality in a way that you probably didn't expect. In the end, this will also affect your career.

Get an international insight on the sports industry

The sports industry is a worldwide business. A lot of companies, especially the big players like adidas, Intersport or VF, act internationally, with hubs and shops all over Europe. Furthermore, they expand their sales on other continents with the help of e-commerce. As you might know, different cultures are accompanied by different market conditions and customer's needs, which results in specialised Marketing strategies, product management & design, and so on. Working abroad gains you a better understanding of the culture and market of a country - which will come in handy if you work in an internationally operating company.

... and improve your CV

Hands down: If you've worked in another country, learned about a different culture, this experience will stand out in your CV and will increase your chances to get hired. Also, it represents openness, self-confidence and flexibility - and normally goes hand in hand with great language skills.

Kick up your salary

Even though, I'd personally always choose a good team and a job that I love over better payment, for others the value of work is measured in money. (Which is absolutely ok!). Getting promoted isn't the only chance to increase your salary, sometimes moving to a different country brings the desired effect. As a Marketing Manager in the sports business for example, you'll earn more in Switzerland than in Germany or in Austria.However, higher payments are often accompanied by higher costs of living (especially with an increased lifestyle). You might earn double in Switzerland compared to Austria, but in the end, the rents and even groceries are more expensive, too.

 

How to build a network when you’re new to the sports business

If you asked one of our recruiters what you should do to find an internship or career entry position outside of job boards, they would tell you to use your network. In case you don’t have one yet, this means building one.You might wonder why you need a network. Looking at the facts, you might just have graduated from a relevant field or bring all the essential skills for a sport job. Well, let’s put it this way: Internships and career entry positions in the sports business are in great demand. When you’re looking at the big players like adidas, Nike, Quicksilver & co, there might be hundred(s) of others who apply for one position.Even though you might be the best candidate, in the couple of minutes that a personnel manager needs to evaluate your CV, your application could be overlooked. 
A well-build network will provide you a second look, a longer time - or just land your CV on the table of the head of department instead.So, let’s build a network, shall we? We know exactly how hard this can be at beginning - where do you start? How do you make connections? 

That’s why we wrote this guide that should ease your first steps in building a successful network.

Where do you find your network?

Apart from finding connections in your personal environment, the internet never ceases to create ways for connecting with people. Especially for the professional network, social platforms like Xing and LinkedIn have the main purpose of connecting professionals. There’s no getting around setting up a profile in the long run. BUT: We know that - without prior expertise and being a rookie in the sports industry - it might feel a little awkward using social media to contact people you’ve never met before. Then, how do you make the acquaintance of business professionals in the „real world“? You could join a meeting of local groups of experts - or, when the awkwardness strikes again, visit one of the events dedicated to networking or recruitment which are more anonymous at first.With their fairs and events, the sports industry hosts plenty of great platforms to meet the right people in an environment which is made for connecting. The most common and definitely a must-attend for everyone interested in sport professions, is the ISPO Munich and its counterparts throughout the world and year. It’s where the who is who of the industry meets up.

Upcoming events to build your network

We’d recommend visiting one of these three events in 2018 which are perfect for career enterers and young professionals:ISPO Digitize Summit:
  • What: Information summit about the future of the sports industry in regards of digital transformation
  • When: 28th - 29th of June 2018
  • Where: Messe Munich, Germany
>> Explore the ISPO Digitize SummitSport Job Day:
  • What: A career fair for young career enterers and students who are interested in the sports business with info booths from companies & a unique Speed Dating interview format to take part
  • When: 13th of June 2018
  • Where: Paris - Stade Jean Bouin
>> Discover the Sport Job DayInternational Sports Convention
  • What: Sports conferences and seminars for 2 days as well as a grande Exhibition of 6,000 sqm to ensure business and networking.
  • When: December 5-6, 2018
  • Where: Palexpo - Geneva, Switzerland
>> All about the International Sports Convention

How to build my network?

You’ve made it to the event, and you’re now ready to meet as many people as possible! That’s when you should stop in your tracks right away.

1. Find out who to talk to

It’s a general known wisdom that quality is better than quantity. That also applies to networking. Before you just storm off in whichever direction, find out who’s at the event and which connections to make. Companies you favor, important recruiters - focus on meeting those. Again, Xing and LinkedIn will help you gathering needed information in advance.

For example, when you attend ISPO Munich, you might have read that Sportyjob has a booth. If you looked closely, you probably know that Andy Gugenheimer, Sportyjob’s CEO is there. If you checked his LinkedIn profile in advance, you’ll know that he is also the CEO of AG Sport Consulting, a leading headhunting agency in the sports industry. That’s a worthwhile connection.

2. Be curious and interested

You might want to network to score a job. If this is your solemn purpose in networking, you won’t come far. Just asking for favors or expecting help will push your connections away. A network relationship, like any relationship, is supposed to be mutual. You might think that you’ve nothing to offer as a rookie, but that’s not true. 

Asking about their own career path or their company and plainly showing interest is also a giving approach. It shows that you value the work they’re doing. Also offering your opinion on relevant topics in a dedicated conversation can be helpful. For example, when meeting up with Andy, you could let him know what you liked about Sportyjob - and also what you were missing. (Constructive of course). Feel free to assume that companies would like to improve their services and products - it’s a fact in at least 90% of companies.

3. Provide your contact data

We won’t recommend you printing your business cards. If it’s not a striking, unique design, it will probably be lost in the bunch of cards people receive at events. Have you phone close by and exchange numbers or straight away connect through a social network. When the event has passed, send them a message appreciating the acquaintance.Even when plenty of time passes before your next message, they’ll always see that you’ve been in contact before.

The aftermath: Don’t forget to take care of your network

So you managed to make a few contacts but what do you do afterwards? If you just let them slip, it’s a lost cause. Like in every relationship, even a professional network needs attention and care.It’s essential to stay in touch with the connections you made. It might be on a personal level like having a lunch meeting (in case that you get along on a personal level). A more professional approach would be meeting up at events that you both share an interest in. A simple information like „Hey, I will be at the ISPO in January - and it would be great to meet up“. On the other hand, keep up through Social Networks or E-Mail. Just asking for an opinion on a professional topic or sharing interesting content - because never forget that the foundation of a business network is your profession. So even if shared memes might be fun once in a while, don’t overdo it.