Sport is a big business. In addition to the teams and players, there are companies that offer all kinds of different goods and services related to athletic competition. Television companies like BSkyB operate a catalogue of dedicated sports channels that cater to fans of most competitions and teams in many countries around the world. Serving a similar demographic, online bookmakers also allow their customers to place wagers on these same competitions, while websites like oddschecker build on this by comparing the odds and promotions that these bookies offer to new users.
The biggest leagues, like the NFL, the NBA, and the English Premier League all generate billions each year for their respective owners. Some of this money then trickles down to the teams, their players, other staff, and the other businesses that support them in their operations.
So while many of us may have given up on our dreams of being a star football player or tennis legend years ago, there are plenty of other opportunities to work in and close to your favourite sports. Some of these may be careers that you’ve never even thought about before.
In some sports, like basketball, cricket, and football, teams play half their games at home and the other half at their opponents’ arenas, stadia, and grounds. The only things they really need to take with them for these away games are the players themselves, their kits, and a few basic materials like drinks bottles and documents.
However, in other sports, the behind-the-scenes logistics is as much a gruelling task and the competition itself. For example, in Formula 1 more than 300 trucks are used to transport the cars, hospitality centres for each team, spare parts, fuel, tools, and tons of computer equipment.
The transport of all of this faces the usual headaches that trouble the haulage industry, but this is compounded by the fact that the entire sport usually only has a few days to transport everything from one country to another. For that reason, more than 500 truck drivers are employed so that many of the transport vehicles can keep moving 24 hours a day.
For this reason, there are plenty of driving roles in logistically challenging sports like this.
Data Collection and Analysis
If you’d rather spend hours trawling over numbers than running around a field but you still love sports, then a job as a data analyst or statistician might be for you.
American sports like gridiron football, basketball, and baseball have always been very stat-heavy competitions. Watch any of these games and you’ll see lists of stats on the screen while the commentator continually supplements this with even more numbers.
Those stats have to come from somewhere, and that’s where data analysts come in. These number-crunching sports fanatics sometimes sit at the side of the pitch, up in the stands, or in front of a screen and collect data on what happens during the game.
Others will then run calculations on this data to help teams and players become better at what they do, while others will make predictions on the outcomes of games so that bookmakers can set the right odds for the bets they take.
If you watch TV footage or look at photographs of old games from the 1970s, you’ll notice one major difference about the fields back then, compared to today. While modern stadia contain pristine grass with near-uniform blade lengths, back then they turned into giant mud baths before the end of a game.
Today’s perfect pitches are the work of dedicated ground people who tend to the pitch and stadium full time. This is the perfect role for someone who is both green-fingered and passionate about sport and comes with the satisfaction of knowing that millions of viewers will get to see your handwork on television every single week.
Not only that, but the grounds people actually play a hands-on part in helping their team win. A manager might request that the grass be allowed to grow longer or be cut shorter, depending on the playing style of the opposing team that is scheduled to visit next as changing the length can alter the effect of passing attempts.