By: Nicole Hicks
Working in the sports industry has been and still is a longtime dream of mine. There’s something about following the story of your favorite player and watching it unfold. A good rivalry. The intense feeling of the crowd going crazy after the game winning goal or score.
My dream is to use my public relation skills to work within this industry I love: sports.
The sports industry benefits from public relations professionals in more ways than one. Public relations (PR) professionals help create strong media relationships, and convey understanding, acceptance, and communication between the public, sports organization, and athletes. Athletes today work under extreme pressure from the public and media because of how close athletes are observed. PR professionals build and maximize an athlete’s image. Having a PR professional allows the athlete to focus solely on their sport.
PR professionals foster relationships between organizations and the public by creating strong media connections. Having strong media connections in the sports industry is crucial. An athlete’s every move and action is criticized and watched around the clock. Having strong media relationships helps a PR professional promote a client’s positive image, especially in times of crisis. Examples of these relationships are with media contacts such as journalists and other employees of news outlets.
In every industry, social media is constantly changing and has become even harder to manage. Every sports organization, league, team, along with their coaches, executives, and players have their own social media account. PR professionals use an athlete’s social media account to help build their brand, raise awareness, and build trust with the public. Through social media, players and teams can reach their fans instantly. But caution should be taken because if someone makes a mistake, everyone will see it and it will soon be circulated all over the internet. Bad media for an athlete can damage an athlete’s reputation and this is why it is essential for a PR professional to oversee an athlete’s social media activity.
Once a sports season ends, a person would think the necessity for public relations management would end. This is totally untrue. Unlike what most people think, PR is needed for athletes year-round. After the season ends for a player, PR professionals continue to maintain a positive image and reputation for the athlete. In the off season, PR professionals help their clients engage in philanthropic work, volunteer activities, player appearances and much more. Those types of things may seem small but they are everything when it comes to building a brand, and maintaining a positive image and reputation.
Every industry, especially sports is subject to crisis, success, and criticism. The sports industry is ever-evolving when it comes to players, coaches, teams, leagues, executives and much more. Social media is also changing making it harder than ever to keep up. That is precisely why public relations is important in the sports industry. PR professionals stay up to date with current trends, create strong relationships through the media and public, manage reputations and tell stories. I plan on doing just that in the sports industry.
Breakenridge, D. (2018, June 25). How Sports #PR has Changed for the Better (Mostly). Retrieved from https://www.deirdrebreakenridge.com/how-sports-pr-has-changed-for-the-better-mostly/
Niewerth, P. (2010, September 24). PR’s Game Plan for the Sports Industry. Retrieved from https://platformmagazine.org/2012/01/15/prs-game-plan-for-the-sports-industry/
Sports PR. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://topagency.com/glossary/sports-pr-definition/
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