How Social Networking Helped Me Find a Great Job in Sports

I am starting a new job with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes next week, serving as their Manager of Digital and Social Marketing. Some of you may be asking what the heck that is, so I encourage to follow all of the Coyotes digital/social activity to come; and the exciting team too!
This post isn’t about my new job, but a question some have asked – how did you get the new gig?
A lot of hard-working, bright people are trying to break into sports business. There are a lot of different paths (as I’ve learned from each podcast guest), but here’s my social media-infused path that led me to this great opportunity with the Coyotes…

social media

First, while I found job postings a number of ways, the best and most consistent source was Twitter (followed by LinkedIn) – by following accounts like ESPN Recruiting and Teamwork Online, as well as following relevant people that regularly post sports jobs (@activate and @rscibetti are good ones).

I came upon the Coyotes position via Twitter, but hardly stopped after I had submitted a resume and cover letter (each thoughtfully tailored for the position…not the just same resume for every job app!!).
I started by reaching out to a Tweep in the sportsbiz whom I’d met, and consistently corresponded with via Twitter and sometimes email) through a Twitter chat related to ticket sales! He has relationships with the Coyotes and I passed him a note just asking if could help assure my resume would be seen among the huge stack of them. I reached out to an additional SM pal that has extensive #smsports connections too.

sm-anime

I landed an interview, during which I made sure to demonstrate: I fit what they need, have a proven record of success, have ready-to-execute ideas, and know about their team & brand. The next interview, in person, further echoed some social networking connections that may have helped.
First, I found out one of the main decision makers was good friends with a peer in the sports industry I had met, spoken to at length, and kept in touch with – the CEO of 2nd screen tool SportStream – was frat bros with this guy! He spoke well of me and no doubt had a positive influence on his good friend (I think).
Lastly, I met with one of the team owners – a fellow Yalie – and an ex-hockey player at Yale. I spent all 4 years working throughout the sports department and still keep in touch with the SID, among others. The SID happened to know this Coyotes owner well, it turned out, and gave me a great (bonus) reference after he was contacted following my interview!

I felt good overall about my preparation, experience, presentation, ideas, and rapport; and even better with the socially-aided path I had tread. As you know, the story has a happy ending and I am amped to do big things to help lead the Coyotes to awesome fan experiences and organizational success!
I hope my sportsbiz job experience story inspires you to realize your dream and break into sports. Now go do it!

Posted by Neil Horowitz

Follow me on Twitter @njh287   Connect on LinkedIn

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