This post is part of the #YPSportsChat Blog Series! This series will give young professionals an inside look at the intricacies of the sports business world and advice on how to navigate it.
By: Katie Prchlik, @KatiePrchlik
Hi Everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, my name’s Katie Prchlik. While a student at the University of Michigan, I was fortunate enough to have several sports related internships, was active in several student sections and was a Sports Marketing Intern for the University of Michigan. After graduating, I accepted a position as a Marketing Assistant at McNeese State. Now, I’m a marketing assistant at Utah State. Go Aggies! Feel free to connect with me on Twitter or on LinkedIn.
: A6) There's no such thing as working too effectively. Everyone can always get better & you do have a choice. #YPSportsChat
— Lynnea Phillips (@LynneaPhillips) July 6, 2016
Before I get into how Twitter chats can help one network, I want to say a quick thank you to the #YPSportsChat community. You all have made the chat a huge success and a great community that I’m glad to be a part of.
A5. Have to have a passion for this industry bc time off is simply not always an option. This isn't for the faint of heart. #YPSportsChat
— Tyler Knowles (@S_TKnowles) July 6, 2016
Networking, a topic with millions of search results is more than making connections. However, it’s not just handing out business cards or sending people LinkedIn invites, there’s a lot more that should be going into the process. The process involves building genuine relationships and maintaining those relationships once they’re created. Once the initial contact with someone has been made, whether it’s an in person meeting or interaction on Twitter, you should send a follow up email or hand written letter. After this, I recommend scheduling a phone call to get to know them or an opportunity to meet in person to catch up. After you’ve established a foundation to the relationship, make sure to keep in touch every few months, if not more frequently, to maintain your connection.
A4: Become jack of all trades. Design, writing, communication, problem solving… #YPSportsChat
— Jason Brower (@JaBrow) July 6, 2016
While there are a handful of different ways to network, I decided to focus on the one that I feel doesn’t get as much attention but one I’ve found to be extremely beneficial, especially in the sports industry, Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are free, not restricted to a physical location, and an easy way to meet people in the industry. There’s a handful of sports specific Twitter chats that cover different aspects of the industry, such as #smsportschat, #scachat, and #YPSportsChat. It’s important to follow more than one chat so that you can learn about different areas in sports, whether it’s areas that you’re interested in pursuing or networking in.
A3a: Another big skill is to not be afraid. Speak up, ask questions, try new things, be willing to fail in order to grow #YPSportsChat
— Johannes Schneider (@jocoolwu) July 6, 2016
Once you decide to join a twitter chat, participate on a regular basis! If starting with participating seems like too much, follow along and favorite tweets you agree with or respond to a tweet with a question or comment to further discussion. You will learn a lot from following the chats, but by engaging in the conversation, you not only will learn more, but others will learn from you and your experiences as well.
Once you interact with a tweet, follow the person, even if you just simply like the content they share and after the chat reach out to them. I’ve learned that the sports business industry will help each other out, and networking can only help you.
A4.Take every chance to volunteer/learn something new!Every skill you learn will make you that more marketable in the job hunt #YPSportsChat
— Deborah (@drdixon20) July 6, 2016
While learning from veterans in other chats was great, I soon realized that topics could be only relevant for experienced sports business professionals. I enjoyed following along but, I wasn’t as engaged. That’s where #YPSportsChat was partially born. Joey Elledge & I wanted there to be a Twitter chat focused on young professionals who wanted to pursue a career in sports for current students and recent graduates. While the chat’s participants’ backgrounds and experiences vary greatly, I’m proud that we’ve created a resource for young professionals to network and grow in the sports industry.
A6: Remember, your network is your NET WORTH. Build relationships and maintain them! #YPSportsChat
— Katie Gwinn Hewitt (@kfgwinning) June 22, 2016
If you’re a young professional wanting to pursue a career in sports or have already started your sports career, I’d love for you to check out #YPSportsChat, on Tuesday nights at 9pm ET/6pm PT. If you have any questions about networking, twitter chats, #YPSportsChat, or anything else please don’t hesitate to reach out! Hope you join us for the next #YPSportsChat!