Growing up, many basketball diehards have aspired to play in the NBA, living a dream wowing fans and playing the game they love. On the other hand, there are plenty of basketball fans that don’t consider themselves to be athletic. Are there NBA jobs for non-athletes?
Absolutely. There are many opportunities for a successful NBA career that the average person can attain without worry of athletic ability.
In fact, there are a variety of entry-level NBA jobs available that offer advancement opportunities for college graduates and others who wish to work in professional basketball.
Entry-level NBA jobs to consider
Here are some of the best entry-level NBA jobs to consider when starting your new career, providing opportunity to gain valuable experience in the sports industry.
#1: NBA Assistant Box Office Manager
As an Assistant Box Office Manager in the NBA, you’ll be responsible for selling and maintaining season tickets, partial plans, and group tickets. A Bachelor’s Degree is preferred for this entry-level NBA job, and you must have the ability to work independently and remain focused on ticket sales goals.
Besides assisting the Box Office Manager in all aspects of marketing ticket programs, this job also requires effective communication with fans, customers, and other NBA employees in a professional manner.
#2: NBA Event Coordinator
The events that NBA fans enjoy attending and watching on television wouldn’t be possible without the event coordinator. A sports event coordinator helps arrange transportation, organizes the schedule, makes sure there is proper media accommodations and makes sure audio and visual equipment are in working order. In addition, the event coordinator is responsible for contract cost negotiations.
Those interested in an NBA job as an event coordinator should have a degree in hospitality management and some events experience. The demand for this job is booming and is expected to grow 44% by 2020, and if you’re a self-starter with excellent phone and communication skills, this is a great entry-level NBA job with benefits.
#3: NBA Marketing & Promotions Assistant
The duties of an entry-level NBA Marketing & Promotions Assistant include assisting the marketing staff in the team’s essential functions with publications, website maintenance, and promotional materials. You may also be responsible for media content highlighting the players.
This is a demanding position that requires a degree in marketing, journalism, or public relations. However, if you have excellent organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and perform well in a fast-paced environment, this might be the perfect NBA job to jumpstart your professional career in sports marketing.
#4: NBA Media Relations Assistant
Another great entry-level NBA job is the Media Relations Assistant, providing customer service to fans and media. You must have excellent oral and written communication skills, high attention to detail, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
Besides assisting both the promotional and sales departments, you’ll also be writing press releases and facilitating media requests and interviews, all of which is experience that can lead to even better NBA career opportunities.
#5: NBA Athletic Trainer
With an expected growth of 30% by 2020, the athletic trainer is becoming one of the most important jobs in the NBA as the prevention and treatment of muscle and bone issues is paramount for top athletic performance.
The athletic trainer must be able to make timely decisions regarding player injuries, as well as determine a treatment plan while working with a doctor. Trainers generally work directly with athletes designing a workout plan to help prevent injuries. Despite the misconception that athletic trainers are athletes themselves, physical ability is not required.
Before you get to the NBA, as a trainer you can work in universities or medical facilities to gain experience needed at the NBA level. It should also be noted that most states require a certification from the independent Board of Certification, so it’s wise to get that.
#6: NBA Physical Therapist
Like the athletic trainer, an NBA physical therapist is important in helping athletes return from injury. Non-athletes can be physical therapists despite the misconceptions. Many NBA teams hire full-time therapists who work in tandem with athletic trainers and team physicians. Down the line, however, you could turn your professional basketball experience into a private practice and choose to work with individual players.
Many sports physical therapists have a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, which requires a bachelor’s degree for admission and other courses such as those in anatomy, physiology, and biology. Upon graduation, physical therapists may complete a one-year residency program. While a Doctorate’s education doesn’t suggest the next step is an entry-level NBA job, there’s potential to jump straight from school to the NBA with this degree.
#7: NBA Psychologist
An NBA psychologist works primarily with the players, helping them to achieve maximum performance. A psychologist uses teaching strategies from applied psychology combined with therapy to help players with mental health problems achieve success.
The career path taken is generally a bachelor’s degree in psychology, followed by a master’s or doctoral degree. Many times, those looking to begin an NBA career enroll in the doctoral program taking additional classes in sports medicine, marketing, or physiology. A promising field to enter in the NBA, there’s a predicted demand of about 22% growth by 2020.
#8: NBA Statistician/Data Analyst
Data analytics might be the fastest-growing field in professional sports, and the NBA has arguably used data analytics more than another league. While it’s no longer an emerging concept to basketball, we may continue to see a boom in hiring in this area over the next decade.
NBA franchises have begun to consider the idea of using data to make the best decision regarding the team’s player acquisition, playing style, and other decisions that could be impactful on the court.
A statistician at the entry-level position will need at least a bachelor’s degree, although a higher-level degree is preferred. A Ph.D. may even be required. Back in 2012 when basketball’s statistical analysis movement was in its early stages, John Hollinger of ESPN.com’s NBA coverage left his role as a columnist to become the VP of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. Hollinger was recruited to help upgrade the Grizzlies’ analytics department given his knack for analytics.
If you’re a “numbers” person, an NBA job in data analytics could be in your future.
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