Do you have what it takes for a career in sports sales?

William Woods Undergraduate

Earlier this year, David J. Halberstam, Director of Corporate Sales for the Miami Heat, Executive Vice President of Sports for Westwood One Radio, and Vice President of Sports Sales for CBS Sports Radio, released The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

William Woods sports management degree students learn what it takes to pursue a career in sales.
For William Woods bachelors in sport management students interested in the sales side of the industry, Halberstam shares some fascinating insights on what it takes to not only survive in a sports sales career, but to thrive.

In the book, he takes readers through the process of cold calling to closing new business and the emotional rollercoaster business sellers, from rookies to veterans, must face each day. Included are interviews with twenty sponsors and advertisers who share their candid views on the business and offer advice.

In addition, the book covers 57 characteristics for working in the sports industry. According to Halberstam, a career in sports sales may be right for you if you:

  • Endure pressure comfortably and have an eagerness to learn
  • Crave the freedom to function in a mental sales setting on your own
  • Enjoy meeting new people and have a natural curiosity to learn what makes companies and their decision-makers tick
  • Appreciate the internal recognition of coming up with the big hit

In terms of work ethic, job skill and tips for success in a sports sales position, Halberstam recommends fine-tuning the following skills:

  • Stay current. Keep up with trends covering sponsorship and sports media.
  • Be good at setting goals and map a plan to get there.
  • Have the ability to decipher the pertinent from the non-pertinent.
  • Be a good team player. You’ll need the help of your sales teammates to succeed. Cold calling is an emotionally eviscerating task. Don’t undertake it alone.
  • Ask good questions of all — yourself, clients and agencies.

As most business professionals would tell you, half of your success is how you present yourself. In that, Halberstam goes on to share the characteristics you as a sport management student must learn to possess in terms of presentation and authority:

  • Be pleasantly persistent.
  • Speak articulately and present confidently. Know how to command a room.
  • Stay firm and not wishy-washy when talking with clients.
  • Work at an energized pace, pitch and tone and let your enthusiasm be contagious.

Coursework for those pursuing a bachelors of science in sport management degree at William Woods includes courses like Principles of Marketing, Principles of Management, Entrepreneurship. These courses prepare students with some of the skills above and the tools to thrive in a sports sales career.

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