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Sport & Recreation careers

Olympics & Global Events

Why work for global events?

Now that all the excitement of the London 2012 Olympics is over and we have had to hand the torch over to Brazil for Rio 2016, it’s easy to stop being excited and lose interest.

But this is the wrong thing to do! Even though we’ve had to let go of the glory of hosting the Olympics, there are still countless opportunities to work in the always exciting field of global sporting events.

The available careers range massively from construction management jobs, to roles in marketing or maintenance. Stick with this article and we’ll try to give you a rundown of the kinds of job that are going, without overwhelming you senseless by the sheer mass of options you have.

What do I need to work in this capacity?

There are thousands of global sporting events around the world like the Olympics. Whilst they may differ, the same kind of roles can be found in each and every one of them, literally anything from the World Cup Finals to the French Open.

The skills you need depend entirely on what job path you choose to pursue. More than anything, employers will be looking for people with experience and a genuine passion for sport. A lot of people work their way up through the ranks, pushing their way from work experience roles and junior roles to managerial level positions. Consequently, it’s a good idea to get your foot on the ladder as soon as you can.

For pretty much every role, you’ll need to be a well-organised individual with excellent communication skills. In the build-up to the actual event, the pressure can really start to get to bursting point, so you’ll need to be able to work to tight deadlines and go the extra mile to work during unsociable hours. What’s more, most roles will require you to be flexible in your approach to work.

What options do I have?

One of most of the most popular lines of work in global events is in the marketing, advertising, sponsorship and PR side of things. You could be responsible for marketing the event, promoting it in the press, creating public awareness or organising onsite sponsorship.

You could also be in charge of how the event is seen on social networking sites, how it is advertised online or how it is depicted on television adverts. You might be dealing with different athletes, media companies and sportswear brands. Therefore, more often than not, this will mean juggling large budgets and working to tight deadlines.

These careers are truly essential to the general build-up of any major tournament. It’s all about creating a buzz and getting the public excited. It’s also about getting key sponsors in front of consumers in the right place and at the right time.

Other jobs are more ‘venue-focused’. You could be involved with anything, from working on the ticket sales team, to acting as the venue’s estate manager. In the former, you’d be in charge of ticket allocations and distribution, while the estate manager would oversee various construction duties and would play a central role in the venue’s structural development.

If you ever went past the Olympic village on the train, or read about what happened when they built the new Wembley Stadium, you’ll have noticed that working on the construction side of things can be quite strenuous and involves a heck of a lot of responsibility.

Other venue-related jobs can vary massively. You could be part of the security team, work on a merchandise stall, or dish out refreshments as a food or drink vendor. There are also opportunities to work in the catering team, where you’d attend to the needs of VIP guests, or even supply food and drink to athletes.

All in all, it’s worth taking an interest in the specific area you wish to pursue and try to get involved as early as you can. Get some experience of working in the sports sector and your job possibilities could be endless. Careers in the global events subsector can be extremely competitive, so try to network and get to know people throughout your career.

If you struggle with any of these jobs, there’s always the option of becoming an athlete. After all, you could always be the person receiving the gold medal and not the person erecting the podium.