There is no doubt that the coronavirus has negatively impacted many facets of society, not only all over the world, but over the last month, it has hit our country hard. One of the biggest areas that has been hit is the sports industry. As a current student looking for jobs in the sports media industry, it has been hard to find anything as many employers have either been laying off their employers or terminating positions.
Sports have completely moved in other directions as a way to continue producing content for the time being, although that has been tough with most leagues being either canceled or postponed. A lot of different and innovative content has been put out using virtual reality like the NBA 2K20 and iRacing. Other ways people have connected with famous athletes and commentators are through services like Zoom and Instagram Live. It has been a very interesting last month with all of this happening. It has forced the different networks and organizations to improvise and use many different options to produce content.
At the same time, many of these shows and events needing fewer people to operate has led to more furloughs in the industry and big media conglomerates like Entercom Communications started laying people off all around the country as fewer positions are essential with little to no sports to cover and mandatory stay-at-home orders.
Even here in Lincoln, Neb., companies like Hudl have been shifting around hiring practices and already hired positions to other places within the company to fill gaps. The company had 43 open positions before the coronavirus and was forced to not fill them with outside help due to the pandemic. They were forced to move people around inside the company to fill those positions, and it has left many employees in new territories they were not familiar with. Ben Burbine, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus, has had to completely change his job from selling to Division II and Division III sports programs to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and junior college programs.
“It has been a tough transition, having to start over in a new territory has been very tough, but I have been trying every day to overcome these challenges and build relationships with my new clients,” Burbine said.
This pandemic is also affecting many students still in school. As a senior, it has been challenging to find a sports job in this climate. However, I was very lucky recently to receive a position as a graduate assistant to the sports information director at Cumberland University in Tennessee where I will be going for my master’s degree in sports management starting in August of 2020. Many of my other classmates have not been as lucky. Allie Snow, a senior at UNL who is qualified for many positions in sports media, said she has been negatively affected by the pandemic.
“I’ve applied for sports jobs and two of the jobs have told me they were terminating the position because they cannot hire now … it’s stressful, now is just not a good time to want a job in sports,” Snow said.
Robbie Harbin, also a senior UNL sports media major, is also struggling to find opportunities in the current job climate.
“I have a few internship [and] entry-level type jobs that I have applied for that canceled for the summer because of the coronavirus,” Harbin said. “I plan on continuing the job search, but I am worried about actually finding something.”
The class of 2020 specifically in the sports field has no doubt been put in a very difficult position to be able to find a place that fits their talents. Even with the pandemic, many companies are finding new ways to create content. Overall, hopefully, this will pass, and we can all get back to the one thing we all love: sports.