They’re Out There

It’s no secret that the competition for good jobs is greater than it’s ever been. Even young adults with freshly minted college degrees have difficulty finding work in their chosen field. And so career advisors say that it’s more important than ever for them to get real-world experience by working as interns.

Cameron ChungEven finding internships is fiercely competitive, but they’re out there, and they are extremely valuable. They’re a real plus on résumés or portfolios, and for those students who land one are a great way to make professional contacts that may prove useful down the road. A hard truth about today’s job market is that more and more, employers want to see that the new college graduates they hire already have some kind of experience.

It can be a real dilemma, though. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? How do you get experience without that first job? And that’s why internships are so very important. Career advisors say that participating in an internship program not only makes a student a more attractive job candidate, but can also be an avenue to employment.

Cameron Chung is an aspiring sports agent who is currently an account executive in New York. He graduated From Florida State University in May 2014 with a triple major in Finance, Marketing, and Professional Sales. By then he had held three internships: at Q2 Sports and Entertainment and at StudyEdge, both in Tallahassee, and both of which led to a promotions after three months; and as a Finance intern at the American Junior Golf Association in Braselton, Georgia.

“My goal,” he says, “is to work for a major sports agency in the NFL, NBA, or PGA Tour. Agencies such as CAA, IMG, Wasserman Media Group, Relativity Sports, and Lagardere Unlimited are agencies I would love to work for one day.”

The Growth of Sports Management Education

The sports industry has become a sprawling, multi-billion dollar behemoth, a broadly defined business that by some estimates is worth upwards of a hundred and fifty billion dollars annually. It’s a tough industry to break into, but at the same time there are more opportunities than ever before: sports marketing and sponsorship, sports media, and even sports at higher education institutions, all of them growing at rates of up to fifteen percent.

Cameron ChungConsider sports management. Over the last three decades, according to some sources, there has been a significant growth in sports management education programs at many universities, with expansions in undergraduate and master’s-level programs, and even MBAs. One of the leaders in this has been the Center for Sports Administration at Ohio University, which over the last forty years has produced more than a thousand graduates who have gone on to careers in sports management, marketing, media, and other related fields. Another leading program is the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sports Management at the University of Massachusetts, known for the breadth and quality of its programs.

The entrées for most students aspiring to a profession in the sports industry are through an internship at one of the many agencies or organizations that are somehow connected to professional sports. Getting one is highly competitive, but a necessity for those who really want to break in.

Cameron Chung has been a contributing writer to SportsAgentBlog.com since early January 2015. He contributes weekly posts to the site, and also manages the company’s Facebook and Twitter social media accounts. He triple majored in Finance, Marketing and Professional Sales at Florida State University, and his long-range plans include becoming a professional sports agent.

Sports Agents – More than Brokering Deals

Professional sports agents are those men and women who broker deals for professional athletes. They handle the business end, while the athletes get out on the field of play.

Cameron ChungOnce upon a time, players may have been more actively involved in the negotiation process. But in today’s professional sports environment, agents have become key players in a multibillion-dollar industry. It’s the sort of work that invariably attracts people who love sports (and would probably rather be out there on the court, or the ice, or the gridiron), but also have the business acumen it takes to succeed in a complex milieu, and an ability to swim with the sharks.

It isn’t easy to break into the sports agent business. The most common route is starting out in a large agency, learning the ropes, and eventually establishing an agency of ones’ own. It’s a male-dominated industry: only about ten percent of active sports agents are women, according to some industry insiders. And it’s a profession that is all consuming. Veteran agents say that they’ve had to devote themselves one hundred percent to the job. There’s a lot of travel involved, which can make it hard to balance a professional life and private life. A lot of agents work for international agencies that have offices in major cities all over the world.

Cameron Chung is an honors graduate of Florida State University who hopes to become a professional sports agent. He triple majored in Finance, Marketing and Professional Sales. “I always strive to challenge myself intellectually,” he says, “which is why I completed three degrees in four years.” He is currently working as an account executive at a tech startup in New York.

Cameron Chung – Show Me the Money

In the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, pro football player Rod Tidwell famously tells his new agent, “Show me the money!” Translation: get me the most lucrative contract possible.

Cameron Chung
Cameron Chung

The movie asked whether a conscience-stricken agent, the eponymous Jerry Maguire, could continue to operate in the ruthless environment of big time professional sports, where money speaks louder than anything else. Maguire has been fired from a major agency after expressing his doubts about the ethics of the business. He is forced to start his own agency but only has one client, the confident and outspoken Tidwell. The film centers on whether Maguire can succeed but remain true to himself, and his core principles.

The film shows the enormous influence of money on professional sports. Money has always influenced professional sports – it is, after all, a business. But has it gotten out of hand? The sports industry today generates billions of dollars in revenues, and apart from the games themselves includes areas of sports marketing, sponsorship and media, to name just a few. There are numerous opportunities for non-athletes to break into the industry, but competition is fierce and unforgiving.

By the end of the movie, Jerry Maguire manages to show Rod Tidwell the money, without having to sell himself out. He succeeds while remaining honest and ethical. It is an example that Cameron Chung hopes to emulate. He is a 2014 graduate of Florida State University, an honors student who triple majored in finance, marketing, and professional sales. He has always been interested in sports and would like to become an agent himself. He is currently working as an account executive in a startup business in New York.

Cameron Chung – Relationship Management in Sales

Sales is not just about selling anymore. There are strategies and relationship management that is involved in sales. It’s not just about making the right sales pitch but instead starting a conversation. It is also not just about selling to anyone and everyone who will listen. You have to know your customer profile and learn more about potential prospects by qualifying them. Building a relationship will help to understand if you are a good fit for a potential customer or if the potential customer is a good fit for your product or service.

Cameron Chung

Cameron Chung is a professional sales consultant who knows the importance of building customer relationships. Though he has only been working for a short period of time, only graduating in 2014 from FSU College of Business, his raw talent and knack for not just relating to people, but setting long term business relationships and networking has made him a key contributor to his company. As a sales consultant, Cameron says that one of the most important skill sets you can possess on the job is the ability to relate to others, as well as to know other professionals in the field. Cameron says that business can be very closely related to politics, and that the more individuals you know, the more resources at your command and ultimately, the more sales and profits you will be able to generate. Cameron says that building and maintaining relationships within a community through various businesses, vendors, and customers is how you begin to build trust, which is a salesman or saleswoman’s best friend. Cameron says that a salesman is the face of the company, and if people trust you, they will trust your product.

Cameron Chung says that sales has always been what he is interested in, and he is one of those individuals who is fortunate enough to be able to work in his field. Cameron hopes only to continue to improve his skill set and general knowledge in the industry, and says that he will continue to put his best foot forward and learn everything there is to know about the business world. Cameron has also demonstrated a true knack and talent for the industry, as he picks up on the subtleties of the job and performs better than nearly all of his peers in the same arena.

Cameron Chung – Professional Social Networking

Social networking has grown from its early years of casual socializing to a strategic component of a business’s marketing plan. The use of Social Networking as a marketing tool and quick way for a company to build brand awareness has become a top priority to most marketing departments in any type of company. Being able to produce valuable content and gain mindshare of the consumer or other businesses that could use your service or product is so important that most companies hire someone specific to manage this piece of their marketing.

 Cameron Chung has built a strong understanding of the concept of Social Networking for companies and is trained in the field. He talks about how important social networking is to the profile of the company at every level. Social networking is a powerful tool that requires the right type of planning and guidance to tell the story of what it is people want to say. If it is a product, then that is the message. If it is a brand, then that is the influence and messaging you want out there. If it is a career that you wish to talk about, then it is important to engage with influencers and communities that talk about that kind of thing and establish your presence through the social channels.

Cameron Chung also understands that Social Networking is not just about blasting and announcing its own company’s news but to also engage with followers, customers, and other advocates. Cameron believes that a thorough social media plan will integrate all social media platforms in such a way that you rotate through these things with an objective to get the maximum impact from the work that you do. Cameron knows that social networking will only evolve and continue to play a key role in a company’s growth and success.