New media’s influence on the sports industry and the resulting changes in the sport job market

The technical and social evolution has led to a change in the media and brand-sector of companies in the sports industry. Opportunities of global communication installed by web 2.0 are leading to a new transparency, with a big focus on service quality. Why? Because feedback is always around the corner.

The Web 2.0 created Social Media, Wikis and Blogs - possibilities for crowd created content. What matters to customers are intangible assets like trustworthiness, reputation and image. Before, Sports Marketing was focused on clear peer groups, it was target Marketing. Of course, it still is, but expanded by a social factor. Million dollar budgets for impressive advertising got rare. People don't only want to see, but interact with brands.  That is why society-focused communication with the aim of a good image is more important than ever before.

To fulfill these new needs of stakeholders, e.g. clients, distributors or employees, the company has to think and act like a human. That means not only being honest and careful with the corporate environment but also to re-organize stiff structures. This of course has an influence on sport jobs as well.

Which sport jobs have to be re-organized and how could the implementation work?

Fundamentally, the central functions of corporate communications – marketing and public relations – have to cooperate more than ever. Only in this way a consistent image of the company can be created. This is what practitioners call integrated communications.

One sport job that had to be adapted to the requirements of integrated communications for instance is the sport job of a Brand Manager. Brand Managers care about upgrading the existing brand-architecture by listening to the voices of the stakeholders of the companies’ environment.

Furthermore a lot of social media focused jobs are in vogue nowadays. Platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are no longer nice to have but absolute must haves. But online platforms don't live the 9 to 5 lifestyle - furthermore users want to have a 24/7 contact opportunity and who is not reacting fast enough to critical posts could soon be in danger of a shitstorm. This change in communication has created a multitude of sport jobs, which are mostly free-lance or at work at home, like e.g. social media manager of a sports team.

Also newfound or adjusted careers in social media are placements in SEO (Seach Engine Optimization) respectively SEM (Search Engine Management). Content Manager or Online Marketing Manager are working with special tools like linkbuilding or keyword-optimized blogs to provide the corporate homepage with a good search engine ranking.

Sponsoring engagements as well are affected by the change of the media landscape. Sponsoring Managers have to work closely with corporate communications and have to choose sponsorships carefully regarding their soft factors. Sponsoring nowadays means image and reputation-delivery, since the value of product-positioning via sponsoring is slowly decreasing.

Moreover some totally new sport jobs in the sector of sports engineering arised. They are IT related placements that care about social media and TV-relevant real-time editing of events like soccer games, horseraces or Olympics. The importance of applications which can be used interactively during events e.g. via mobile devices, has increased rapidly in the last few years.

Since online communications are permanently transforming, the functions of the diverse positions have to be adapted to these new needs. This only can be done effectively, if the stakeholder discussion is followed closely and one keep his  eyes open for trends – who is keen and able to invest this time will assure himself a sport job in the future.