A young innovator with an innovative idea

innovator innovative Sportidealisten Jakob Wikenstaal

We are so happy to share in this post more about the award our founder Jakob Wikenstaal recently received, as a young entrepreneur and innovator. Jakob won the award SKAPA for young talents. In this post, we will explain what SKAPA is and why Jakob won.

When you are reading this, you have probably already read this news but since we are proud to have our founder as one of the winners of the SKAPA Talang award, we wanted to share it with you. This is an award for young entrepreneurs and innovators in Sweden and Jakob Wikenstaal was one of the winners of 2020.

Words from the young innovator Jakob Wikenstaal

It is so fun when you get feedback. I am also grateful that I can get results and show that I never give up. Recently, I took part in Sweden’s biggest innovation award and I received an award as a young innovator. I won the prize, SKAPA talent – for young innovators in Skåne, a competition for people who are under 30 years old.

Once again, I am so happy and grateful 😃.

Why did I win? Well, I have won for the idea, Sportidealisten. If you aren’t aware of what we do and our idea, then here you go:

Sportidealisten is a niche solution for match making with sports jobs.

The innovator Jakob Wikenstaal with an innovative idea, Sportidealisten

Vision of Sportidealisten

The vision of Sportidealisten is to have a world where everyone can work with their passion. We believe that people work better and longer if they have a passion for their work and in our perspective that is a passion for sports.

“Wikenstål has created a niche solution for recruiting employees and matching dream jobs in the sports industry. The principle is not new, but applying to a niche industry is an incremental innovation. This young entrepreneur (28 years) will be exciting to follow in the future.”

– Johan Olsén, Business Manager, Almi Företagspartner Skåne AB
The innovator Jakob Wikenstaal with an innovative idea, Sportidealisten

SKAPA award – Sweden’s Innovation award for innovators

The SKAPA award is Sweden’s biggest innovation award, with the aim of providing support to inventors in order to develop their ideas. SKAPA is a foundation founded in the memory of Alfred Nobel in 1985 and awarded its first prize in 1986.

This prestigious prize, SKAPA Talang is awarded to the talents of the future. The prize is awarded to the young person or persons who have made the most deserving efforts in terms of innovation and creativity, the development of products and services that can lead to commercial opportunities. The award gives power to the innovation climate in Sweden.

The SKAPA Foundation is backed by the Stockholm Fair and the Swedish Inventors’ Association with the support of Almi Företagspartner AB, VINNOVA, the Agne Johansson Memorial Foundation and the Patent and Registration Office.

The innovator Jakob Wikenstaal with an innovative idea, Sportidealisten
Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

Transferable skills from competitive athletes, Part 2: Skills you gain as an athlete – Balance and focus

Transferable skills balance focus

As an athlete there are many great skills being developed like discipline, focus, goal setting and balance and those are not only for an athlete, their skills can be useful in other contexts too, for example in an entrepreneur’s environment. This is what we call transferable skills. During the spring of 2020, right at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in Sweden, our founder Jakob had the opportunity to sit down at an entrepreneurial event with four elite athletes with extensive knowledge of personal durability, the knowledge that has given them a total of thirty Olympic and World Cup medals combined. In this article, one of Sweden’s most successful Martial Artist, William Seth-Wenzel, will share, among other things, how to put yourself first and to ask for help when it is needed in order to find the optimal balance and focus!

Transferable skills from athletes: Skills you gain as an athlete

This is a four-part series where we share the conversation from a panel discussion from an entrepreneurial competition during spring 2020. We have divided each athlete’s story and experience into a separate blog post. Usually, when we are talking about skills, we are talking about skills needed in different jobs. Job ads contain some required skills for a role or some preferable skills needed. Even if you don’t have that skill from previous job experiences you might already have the skill from other experiences. This is called a “transferable skill”.

If you have played sports you probably have learned about teamwork, goal setting, or showing respect. This is something you could bring into your future job, which means, you transfer the skills into something else, like from youth sports to a job. Therefore, transferable skills. You could basically acquire skills from other experiences in life than your current job, but also from one industry into another. For example, what can we learn from athletes?

In the first part of the Transferable skills from competitive athletes four-part series we share a great story from Susanna Gunnarsson, one of Sweden’s most successful canoeists and she explained how to develop the secret to her successes and why it is her strongest skill.

How to find balance and focus

In this second part we will learn how to find balance and focus and why those skills are valuable to transfer into your daily life. William Seth-Wenzel is a martial artist with both World and European Championship gold in jujutsu. In 2019 he was named the Champion of the Year and Martial Artist of the Year at Kampsportgalan.

Athletes must balance short- and long-term plans and it is important for them to feel good and be resilient in order for them to achieve consistent results. Even if you do something that you really love, you may sometimes need to take a break or talk with someone that can offer new points of attack to the challenges you face. Below is the transcribed version from the panel discussion.

William Seth-Wenzel – what drives you to persevere with sports?

– Mainly, it is because I love the sport and get something out of it. As long as I feel that I am developing and have goals to fight for, I will continue. When it becomes more draining than fun and rewarding, then I quit – or should quit. You can continue to fight if you see there is a future beyond that is within reach, or else it will not work in the long run. I think many business owners can feel that type of stress and maybe let it get too much.

Mental health is a topic that has been widely discussed within sports in recent years. You have won European and World Championships but have also talked with a sports psychologist – explain why?

– To start with, I did not end up there voluntarily. It was the coach that gave me the opportunity to talk with someone because I was going through a period where I was less happy than usual. My first thought was “as an athlete I shouldn’t need this, I compete as a weapon”. In retrospect, I noticed how much it helped and that the psychologist made me think differently. He offered a solution that only he could give because he was outside of my usual world. The solution was focused on me and the more I visited the psychologist, the better my results became. My advice is to have the courage to seek help in time and take the opportunity to work more proactively.

Focus, Balance, Transferable skills
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

A high level of discipline is required by elite athletes and many are forced to choose between friends and training. What are your thoughts?

– Elite athletes sacrifice many things, but I don’t want to sacrifice things that I think are important. I need a life as an athlete and a life outside of it. If I need to give up something that is important, I will reprioritize. Perhaps I can shorten one of my sessions by half an hour. You need to make sure that the right things are sacrificed, or else you may not enjoy it. Prior to the last World Championship, I was feeling stressed out and had several things I wanted to take part in at the same time. I was studying full-time at KTH, I wanted to spend time with friends, I had a part-time job and I was unsure whether I would be able to push it all aside. I did it my way and added all the things in life I find important and that I want to keep. I trained less but in a more effective way and this gave me more time for other things, which made me happy, focused and balance in life.

How can you create a sustainable personal life as an entrepreneur?

– Dare to be selfish! Focus on yourself first, then help others and be an inclusive person.

Find your balance and focus with a challenge

There are many athletes that have been challenged in their lives around the competitions. Should they compete for their own sake or someone else’s will? Everyone, even athletes needs to find balance in their lives. One of the greatest heptathlon athletes, Carolina Klüft lost her motivation and focus even though she was the best athlete in her sport. So what happened? Instead of competing in that sport she moved to long jumping. She wasn’t the best one in this sport, but she found joy and balance in her life and her athletic career. Another one that has done a similar thing in 2020 is Stina Nilsson. One of the greatest cross-country skiers and she decided in April 2020 to change the sport to biathlon. Once again, to find joy, to find balance and focus in her life.

If you are not familiar with these two, then what about Michael Jordan? Perhaps did you like most of us sports interested people watch Michael Jordan’s documentary series on Netflix, The Last Dance? Did you think about that he stopped playing basketball for a while? He actually started a career in baseball in order to find balance and focus in his life. Even though if you are the greatest in your sport, you are the one who should decide your life. Maybe a new challenge like Klûft, Nilsson or Jordan is the way to go in order to find balance and focus in your life? Like Seth-Wenzel, dare to be selfish and learn how you work at your best. Focus and Balance are transferable skills you can use in other contexts too, just remember that it is okay to make your own decisions.

If you missed the first part about Mental strength, check it out here.

Next up, teamwork and values

In the next part about transferable skills from athletes, we speak with Rob Haans, who explains the importance of putting people in focus and the significance of the team for both athletes and entrepreneurs. Rob Haans has his own experience as a triple world champion in jujutsu and as the team captain for the Swedish jujutsu national team.

This story is made by Caroline Wendt at Future By Lund and the original story comes from here: Personal durability, part 2: Martial artist William Seth-Wenzel talks about why you should dare to ask for help.

Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

The modern leadership – how to be efficient

Leadership is nothing that only exists within the corporate world, it is a core factor in the world of sports. In this article, we will talk about modern leadership and how to be efficient, especially look into how this has been adopted in a sports context. One of the innovators that revolutionised the game of football and developed a new leadership is Arsene Wenger, also called “Le Professeur”. You will learn why the single ingredient is called efficiency and why you should remain true to your values and trust the process.

3 leaders who changed the leadership forever

This is the second part of the miniseries about leaders who changed the leadership forever. In this second article, we will introduce the story about Arsen Wenger, why he wanted to be efficient and how to be efficient, like for example changing the diet and changing the status quo.

Leadership lessons from 3 football managers who changed the sport forever

If you haven’t read the first part of this miniseries, make sure to jump over there to read more about the growing field of leadership, what leadership is and the introduction about the three football coaches that changed the way to lead in football.

Education about leadership is growing exponentially, it has become a multibillion-dollar industry. Leadership education can be provided in many different formats like conferences, certifications, human resource training, seminars from leadership gurus, coaching, books, and even post-graduation courses. But all of these formats can also be taught and learned from the sports context, particularly in football management.

If you still haven’t read part 1 you might want to understand what we mean by leadership. In the first article in this miniseries, we look at leadership as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement.

How to be efficient as a leader in the world of football

Johan Cruyff, Arsene Wenger, and Pep Guardiola. These managers not only reinvented the way of training and playing Football but also made it more understandable and exciting for the viewers. In the rest of this article we will look into Wenger’s lengthy spell with Arsenal, a radical change in the way football was play and how to be efficient as a leader.

The following piece will cover some of the most common terminologies used in Leadership literature with their academic definitions at the end.

The exotic manager – Arsene Wenger

Arsenal is regarded as one of the first football clubs in England to introduce organizational ambidexterity. On the one hand, the club considered the construction of a new stadium to exploit its growing fan following while, on the other hand, the Gunners wished to explore a unique form of football at the same time. Motivated from the increasing culture of the expensive style of play throughout Europe, Arsenal appointed an exotic French football manager, Arsene Wenger, in the year 1996. Wenger’s social constructionism mostly influenced his transformational leadership at Arsenal, which you will learn more about further down.

Arsene’s father, who was forced to fight for the Nazis in the Second World War, worked as the manager of his village football team. Arsene completed his degree in Economics from France while he was playing football semi-professionally. Wenger’s entire football playing career was in France. After initial football management assignments were in his home country, he had a brief managerial stint in Japan with Nagoya Grampus Eight before joining Arsenal.[1] All abovementioned life events had a substantial influence on Wenger’s decisions and coaching methods in England.

Wenger’s artistic football philosophy

As typical French, Wenger had massive admiration for art and culture. He used to see football as the thing of art. Wenger’s artistic football philosophy of progression via possession was based on short passes and accurate movement of players. Some of the team goals Arsenal scored during the Wenger era were as delightful as an extraordinary piece of art (including Wilshere’s goal against Norwich). Additionally, his signings of classy players like Dennis Bergkamp and Mesut Ozil underlined his love for elegance.

In order to show what we mean with the artistic philosophy, here are Top 5 Arsenal Team goals in Wenger’s Era


How to create efficient work processes

Wenger’s modern leadership with attention to detail and Taylorism (create efficient work processes) in player development and football coaching gave him the name of ‘Le Professeur’ (the Teacher) by the English media and fans. He initiated the French Revolution at Arsenal through his transformational leadership inspired by his social constructionism and Taylorism. Wenger is regarded as the first football manager to introduce sports science, food supplementation, and diet regimes to enhance the efficiency and performance of the players.[2] His idea of combining technology with diet and football can be contributed to his time in Japan, a country which is considered as one of the pioneers in technology and scientific research.[3] He abolished the drinking culture at Arsenal upon his arrival. According to a famous Arsenal player during the Wenger era, Ian Wright, Arsene restricted players from the consumption of sugar. The manager even considered an improvement in the food chewing habits of the players to increase their efficiency. By doing so, he and his management team believed that the food is absorbed as soon as it ingested.[4]

Having spent almost entire life in France, Wenger was socially constructed in French organizations, which are mostly iceberg-styled. Being the boss at the club, Wenger was unarguable. His strict and disciplined behaviour can also be seen as the result of the military background of his family. Initially, the players felt monotonous and uncomfortable, but as soon as the positive results followed, the attitude of the player towards the leadership of Arsene started to become optimistic. According to Ian Wright, because of amendments in diet and training methods, the Arsenal players were transformed into high performing machines. The players remained injury-free and got less tired during the matches. Their fitness complemented Wenger’s modern leadership and philosophy of progression via possession style of playing football.[5]

Another feature of Wenger’s modern leadership was the identification of undervalued and underdeveloped players and then utilizing his technical coaching skills and psychological training techniques to enhance their performance, productivity, and value. One of the most excellent examples of Arsene’s expertise in player development was the legend of Thierry Henry. Upon Henry’s arrival at Arsenal in 1999, the ex-Monaco winger was not confident to play at the centre forward position and told Wenger that he couldn’t score goals. In addition to countless hours spent on the training ground, Wenger utilized his mentorship by promising Henry to give ample opportunities irrespective of the number of goals he will score. Later, Thierry Henry went on to become the all-time highest goal scorer in the club’s history with 232 goals in all competitions.

From a transformational leadership to a charismatic leadership

Arsene’s education in economics along with his knowledge of football gave him the title of ‘King of Transfers’. He revolutionized the player scouting and recruitment system with his futuristic ideas. He was ahead of the time as he started exploiting the use of data analytics and worldwide scouting networks before it became a standard in the football industry. Wenger recruited players like Sylvain Wiltord, Dennis Bergkamp, and Marc Overmars who were initially regarded as small and weak for the highly physical English football but went on to become supremely successful Premier League players later. One prominent example of Arsene’s eye for talent was Nicolas Anelka. On the recommendation of Wenger, Anelka was signed by Arsenal for a reported fee of £684,000 from Paris Saint-Germain in the year 1997.[6] Two years later, he was subsequently sold to Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £22.3 million.[7]

As a result of the growing international popularity of the club, the Highbury Stadium’s capacity of 38,419 started to feel less. In the year 2001, the club was granted permission to build a new stadium with capacity more than 60,000. The £390 million stadium project was given a green light by the Arsenal management prioritizing utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number) over the forthcoming financial pressures. Wenger was the fundamental part of Arsenal’s loan repayment of £260 million for the construction of the Emirates Stadium. He has to alter his leadership style from transformational to charismatic to attract new players to the club while keeping hold of the best players under growing financial pressure. The impact of charismatic leadership was so immense that the major banks granted further loans to the club depending on the contract duration of Wenger.[8]

The result of the modern leadership, how to be efficient by Arsene Wenger

Arsene’s tayloristic approach helped Arsenal to plan and develop the modern state of the art Arsenal academy. He not only emphasized making the most technically advanced academy but also granted first-team opportunities to several academy graduates. After 22 years of service, in 2018 Arsene Wenger left Arsenal with 3 Premier League Trophies, 7 FA Cups and 7 Community Shields. His most remarkable achievement was winning the Premier League without losing a single game throughout the 2003-04 season, a feat that is yet to be achieved again by any other Premier League team to date.


Summary of leaders who changed the leadership forever – Arsene Wenger

All in all, the entire life of Arsene Wenger is nothing less than a modern leadership lesson in itself. As a true leader, Wenger learned from his experiences throughout his life. From a disciplined lifestyle inspired by his ex-military father to his education in economics, he utilized his upbringing to his and Arsenal’s advantage. The French manager was never afraid of challenging the status quo whether it is the typical style of play or prevalent drinking culture in English football. There were several instances when his methods were questioned by players, media, and fellow managers. However, Wenger remained true to his values and trusted the process of how to be efficient. With time, the team’s performances improved both on and off the pitch. And all his critics who doubted Wenger, in the beginning, were left with no option but to applause.

Another important lesson from Wenger’s life is staying focused on your vision while remaining flexible in your approach. Arsene had a clear idea for the club when he first arrived from Japan. Nevertheless, he had to take different approaches to realize his idea on different occasions during his career as Arsenal manager. Initially, he was faced with a challenge of convincing seasoned players to adopt his unique and relatively strange methods, while in later part of his career he faced financial restrictions in the transfer market by the club’s board. As a true leader, Wenger overcame it all through his flexible approaches and innovative solutions.

Keeping an eye on the future, upcoming developments and new technologies and their implementation was the core of Arsene Wenger’s success with Arsenal. As an efficiency-seeking leader, Wenger improved work processes, identified undervalued human resources and developed them for the long-term profitability of the organizations. Wenger was among pioneers to introduce data-driven scouting, food supplementation, and diet plans in football, which are regarded as standard activities for professional and semi-professional football clubs throughout the globe.

Modern leadership lessons from Arsene Wenger in bullet points

  • Learn from past experiences and use your upbringing to your advantage
  • Never feel shy to challenge the status quo
  • Remain true to your values and trust the process
  • Stay focused on your goal but remain flexible in your approach
  • Stay open to new ideas, keep an eye on future, upcoming developments, innovations, and new technologies
  • Improve efficiency of work processes, identify undervalued human resources and develop them for long-term profitability

This is a blog post written by author Shrey Upadhyay.

Next up Pep Guardiola

This was the second part of the miniseries about leaders who changed the leadership forever. Stay tuned for the third part, where will introduce our next great leader from the sports world, Pep Guardiola.

If you missed out from the first part about Johan Cruyjff, you can head over to the first part about leaders who changed the leadership forever here.

Academic definitions of terms used

Organizational ambidexterity – Organizational ambidexterity can be understood as the relationship and dynamic potential operating between exploitative and explorative resources and dispositions in organizational contexts.[9]

Social ConstructionismA philosophical approach to understand how people make sense of, and act in relation to, other people, their interactions and the contexts in which these take place.[10]

TaylorismA modernistic approach developed by Fredrick Winslow Taylor to create efficient work processes for the organizations.[11]

Iceberg-styled – An Iceberg styled organization has stronger informal and intangible elements like values, attitudes, beliefs, leadership style, behavior, organizational culture, power, politics, informal groupings, conflicts, etc. as compared to formal elements like goals, strategy, structure, standards, procedures, products, services, management, financial resources, etc.[12]

Utilitarianism – Utilitarianism in simple language can be defined as the greatest good for the greatest number.[13]

Charismatic Leadership – Charismatic Leadership refers to the type of leadership in which the followers follow the leader because of emotions rather than calculations. They are inspired to enthusiastically give unquestioned obedience, loyalty, commitment, and devotion to the leader and to the cause that the leader represents (House, 1976).


Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.


References used in this text

[1] Cross, J., 2015. Arsene Wenger: The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger. Simon and Schuster.

[2] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-8211695/Arsene-Wenger-introduced-tablets-Arsenal-sent-stars-Yoda-France-says-Ian-Wright.html

[3] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/slideshows/top-10-countries-for-technological-expertise-ranked-by-perception

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1I-LNa_h6Y

[5] ibid

[6] https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/nicolas-anelka/transfers/spieler/3226

[7] https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/9154453/nicolas-anelka-real-madrid-training-del-bosque/

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1I-LNa_h6Y

[9] Stokes, P., Moore, N., Moss, D., Mathews, M., Smith, S.M. and Liu, Y., 2015. The micro‐dynamics of intraorganizational and individual behavior and their role in organizational ambidexterity boundaries. Human Resource Management, 54(S1), pp.s63-s86.

[10] Stokes, P., 2011. Critical concepts in management and organization studies: Key terms and concepts. Macmillan International Higher Education.

[11] Stokes, P. (2016) ‘Chapter 3: Using critical approaches in managing people and organizations’ in Stokes, P., Moore, N., Smith, S., Rowland, C. and Scott, P (2016) Organizational Management. London. Kogan Page, 51-66.

[12] Siakas, K.V. and Georgiadou, E., 1999, June. Process improvement: The societal iceberg. In Proceeding of European Software Process Improvement Conference.

[13] Mill, J.S., 2016. Utilitarianism. In Seven masterpieces of philosophy (pp. 337-383). Routledge.

How to build a sustainable career in sports?

A sustainable career in sports

What makes people tick? How do you build a sustainable career in sports and why is sports such a strong passion for people? In this post, we will learn how to start your career in sports by identifying your own values. But also, we will learn about three personal values examples why sports matters, and why it doesn’t matter where you are or how little you play sports or what language you speak, the passion still remains.

A sustainable career starts with you and what you value

You might be struggling with knowing what you actually value in life and in particular in your working life. But don’t worry, it is not that hard. Let us share why you should put a strong focus on identifying your own values in order to build a sustainable career in sports. At Sportidealisten we believe that working with a passion makes you work in a sustainable way. If you don’t have a burning desire to wake up every morning in order to go to work, you probably don’t have a passion for that job.

  1. Start your sustainable career in sports by identifying what you feel happy about. Think about what tasks you do and identify those that give you confidence and happiness.
  2. How would you describe those working environments when you feel passionate? At Sportidealisten, we strongly believe in values like Transparency, Innovative Mindset, Open-Minded, Trust, Inspiration and Loyalty. Values will steer you towards a sustainable career because when you identify your work’s values with your own, you will feel more involved and part of something bigger. You and your colleagues will collaborate better than ever before.
  3. Now when you know how to describe them, think about what have been the key factors in any success you have achieved, either solo or in a team. Think about how communication has been working. Usually, you will notice that you desire certain ways to communicate with your friends, colleagues, teammates.
  4. Lastly, you can also learn your values by thinking about what you need and feel if you would delegate your favorite task to another person. Do you need quick answers? Do you need a certain trust? Would you enjoy the person to be creative in their problem-solving process or do you want the person to ask you the whole time?

These are some steps you could think about in order to identify your own values and start your journey towards a sustainable career in sports. We know how much it would mean to work with your passion, sports and we know the importance to support and work together. Our mission is to help you reach your own goal in the sports sector.

WHY DO PEOPLE WANT TO WORK WITH THEIR PASSION, SPORTS?

This is the third part of our mini-series of learning more about why people have a passion for working in sports and what makes them tick. From a project that was developed from the Covid-19 outbreak, we started to gather like-minded people that align with Sportidealisten’s values and drive. This part is all about understanding why a sustainable career in sports about identifying your own values. If you want to learn about the other two parts, check them out below.

In this third article about a sustainable career in sports you will learn why:

  • Sports always inspires me, no matter where
  • Less sports, the greater passion for sports
  • The universal language we all understand

Sports always inspires me, no matter where

As a child, and as an adult I always wanted to get involved in sports. It doesn’t matter if it’s an active or passive way, on the field, or as a spectator, behind the TV or game consoles, but I always follow the events. That’s why I chose this field, to make sport not only my hobby but also my profession. It really inspires me to work in the background of the events, to get a role in a team’s management or to work on making sports available for everyone.

– David

A sustainable career in sports with David Tolner

David Tolner – Sport Economist Manager

PS. He is looking for opportunities in Economics, Management, Marketing and Sales (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with David and support his sustainable career in sports.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

Less sports, the greater passion for sports

Growing up in India, a developing country in all sense, sports was always a luxury. And coming from a middle-class blue-collar background, sports always came second to academics. At the age of 10 when I had to drop out of my formal cricket training because of financial issues, the passion for sports only grew exponentially.

As I excelled through my academic routine, the love for sports went beyond the field to what goes on behind the stage. And years later when I had the opportunity to make the shift into the sports sector, I took the plunge and arrived in Madrid for my Master’s in Sports Management. My aim is to work towards making sports affordable to every kid growing up in any city anywhere in the world.

-Shreenath

A sustainable career in sports with Shreenath Pillai

Shreenath Pillai, MBA in Sport Management

PS. He is looking for opportunities in Administration, Communications, Digital, Management and Marketing (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Shreenath and support his sustainable career in sports.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

The universal language we all understand

I like everything about Sports, the insides and the outsides of it, from the daily operations leading up to the gameday event, the entwined businesses all around it. As a kid growing up in the eastern part of the world, I observed that not even religion can unite people as a sports team can. And the same can be said for nations all over the globe! As a whole, sport is one of the universal languages that make this world a better place. I would love to work, contribute and be a part of this culture because I believe in it. I believe in it based on the way it keeps us evolving.

During my recent internships, I have tried to learn more and more about the functioning of the sports industry. And in the process, I loved creating content through words, images and videos for various businesses to deliver their unique brand. For the coming period, I am looking forward to engaging myself in the business of sports. And based upon my past experiences I am here to create a better tomorrow.

– Chintan

A sustainable career in sports with Chintan Lalwani

Chintan Lalwani, Digital Marketing Consultant

PS. He has interests and experiences in Marketing, Sales, Digitalization and Communications (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Chintan and support his sustainable career in sports.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

3 examples of personal values from the sports industry

Thank you David, Shreenath and Chintan for sharing your reasons why you have a passion for sports and why you want to work in the sports industry. These are three unique stories and people and they are all three determined to share their passion and values in the sports industry and to work towards a sustainable career in sports.

My aim is to work towards making sports affordable to every kid growing up in any city anywhere in the world.

– Shreenath

This quote from Shreenath is sort of a summary of the impact and the passion these three people share around sports. They are all passionate about the engagement sports give them, no matter if it is on the stadium or behind the stage. They have understood that you need some ingredients in order to have a sustainable career in sports.

In summary, you have now gotten some examples of how to build a sustainable career in sports and how to identify your own values, but also three ways to express a passion. Sports could be experienced in all different scenarios, and it could be a good memory from an early age even though that you are playing sports and it could be a connecting language that we all can relate to. But to summarize, three personal values examples from the sports industry from David, Shreenath and David are:

  • Sports always inspires me, no matter where
  • Less sports, the greater passion for sports
  • The universal language we all understand

Our question now is to hear what you value? What is your passion? Do you also want to share your story? Comment below and contact us.

Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

Transferable skills from competitive athletes, Part 1: Skills you gain as an athlete – Mental strength

Transferable skills in sports

As an athlete there are many great skills being developed and those are not only for an athlete, their skills can be useful in other contexts too, for example in an entrepreneur’s environment. This is what we call transferable skills. During the spring of 2020, right at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in Sweden, our founder Jakob had the opportunity to sit down at an entrepreneurial event with four elite athletes with extensive knowledge of personal durability, the knowledge that has given them a total of thirty Olympic and World Cup medals combined. In this article, one of Sweden’s most successful canoeists, Susanne Gunnarsson will share how she become one of the greatest and what skill that took her to the top.

Transferable skills from athletes: Skills you gain as an athlete

This is a four-part series where we share the conversation from a panel discussion from an entrepreneurial competition during spring 2020, and we have divided each athlete’s story and experience into a separate blog post. Usually, when we are talking about skills, we are talking about skills needed in different jobs. Job ads contain some required skills for a role or some preferable skills needed. Even if you don’t have that skill from previous job experiences you might already have the skill from other experiences. You might have played sports and probably you have learned about teamwork, goal setting or showing respect. This is something you could bring into your future job, and this is what we call transferable skills. You could basically acquire skills from other experiences in life than a job, but also from one industry into another. For example, what can entrepreneurs learn from athletes? First up is Susanna Gunnarsson, one of Sweden’s most successful canoeists and she explains how to develop the secret to her successes and why it is her strongest skill.

A panel discussion with elite athletes at Creative Business Cup

The entrepreneurs in the Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup held on 12 March competed with their ideas, business models and teams – but also had to learn how they can think for themselves to manage their business concepts. To aid the contestants there were four elite athletes with extensive knowledge of personal durability, the knowledge that has given them a total of thirty Olympic and World Cup medals combined. An entrepreneur and an athlete are quite similar, they want to succeed. And therefore we can look into what an entrepreneur could learn from sports into their own adventure, what are the transferable skills from athletes?. Over four articles we present the thoughts of the four athletes. In the first, one of Sweden’s most successful canoeists, Susanne Gunnarsson, talks about mental strength.

As entrepreneurs strive to build the companies of the future it is important that they also find ways to maintain satisfaction so they can perform what is necessary. Elite athletes and their coaches are used to finding ways to perform to the highest level, both in the short and long term. For this reason, four representatives with elite sporting experience were a key part of the Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup.

– We want to give start-ups, businesses, and organizations the opportunity to share the broad knowledge that elite athletes and top coaches have in relation to strategies and processes for personal durability. Our vision is for an ecosystem where entrepreneurs, business coaches and investors collaborate closely, in sustainable business practices and with people at the core, says Lars Mattiasson from xPlot, who organizes the Swedish part of the Creative Business Cup. The arrangement was made in collaboration between Lund Municipality and Future by Lund.

The panel consisted of William Seth-Wenzel, a gold medal winner in jujutsu at both World and European Championship level and a student at KTH; Susanne Gunnarsson, with a total of 17 World Championship or Olympic medals in canoeing and now working as a coach, lecturer and treatment assistant; and Rob Haans, with several individual World Championship medals and now part of the Swedish national team in jujutsu. Joining via video link was Klara Svensson, former professional boxer with several world titles and now a self-employed business owner. The debate was led by Jakob Wikenstål with both an academic degree in sports management and experience as an entrepreneur through the job platform Sportidealisten.

The discussion came to be about what it is like to deliver every day to maintain momentum and stick to your big goals and dreams. It was also about how to work for the team to function, but also daring to be selfish and clear when asking for help to get what you really need. All necessary skills for an entrepreneur, basically great transferable skills from sports.

First up in our interview series about transferable skills is Susanne Gunnarsson, one of Sweden’s most successful canoeists. Susanna has won Olympic gold in K-2 500m in 1996 and World Championship gold in K-1 5000m in 1993, in addition to two Olympic silver medals, and three silver and five bronze at the World Championships. Furthermore, she won five World Championship golds in the canoe marathon between 1992 and 1998. She is unique in that in 1996 she won gold for both the Olympic sprint race and World Championship marathon. Nowadays she works as a coach, lecturer, and treatment assistant.

– When I was active, I remember that we listened to a tape with the psychologist Lars-Eric Uneståhl before training, but not much more was done at the time. During the 90’s I began to wonder what I needed to be the strongest – of course it was good to train, but also to change my thoughts. I worked on my thoughts by myself and it really strengthened me. What I did was, amongst other things, every night repeat the following words ten times “I am the best, I am the strongest”. Until finally it was ingrained in me. In a World Championship or Olympic final all the competitors are equally well trained – but it is the one that is mentally the strongest that wins.

How did you work on your goals?

– For me it has been important to write down my goals and my sub-goals along the way. I made it simple and drew a mountain with dashes on the path where I highlighted what I needed to do to reach the top. There were visions and sub-goals and the dream at the summit was Olympic gold. I kept my goals on my nightstand so I could look at it. Whenever I faced adversity, I analyzed what had happened because there are no shortcuts, and you must make changes to be able to take the extra step. That way I learned what was needed to make it all the way to the top. It is tough to be an elite athlete, mother, and friend at the same time and you have to learn to be part of and withdraw from circles and sometimes it is important to let go of something to get the energy. I recognise that this is the case even for entrepreneurs who work and focus on their businesses.

You gave birth to your second daughter four weeks before the 1994 World Championship in the canoe marathon. Many women may have waited to have children in their career – do you notice any differences today in that discussion?

– When my daughter was born it was four weeks to the World Championships and I had not really been able to train for eight weeks. But I was out trying to paddle five days after giving birth and it felt good. Then at the World Championships I won gold. I was one of the first in the world to resume my career after I became a mother. If it feels right, then it works. In a way, it is quite easy to bring children along when they are young, and you have a lot of energy as a mother. It should be the same when working for companies and it is good to be able to bring children to work. I believe that I see more young children brought to work these days.

How can you attain a sustainable personal life as an entrepreneur?

– It is important to feel joy and inspired by what you do. If you can do that, you will be able to achieve what you want to do!

In the next part about transferable skills from athletes, we speak with William Seth Wenzel, a martial artist in jujutsu. In 2019, William was named Champion of the Year and Martial Artist of the Year at the Kampsportsgalen (an award gala for combat fighters) for his gold medals at the World Championships and European Championship.

This story is made by Caroline Wendt at Future By Lund and the original story comes from here: Athletes teach entrepreneurs to be durable, Part 1: Susanne Gunnarsson – mental strength.

Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

Leadership through sport management – How to be innovative

Leadership sport management innovator

Leaders exist in all different industries as well as in sports. There are two types of leadership. There are formal and informal leaders. No matter who you are, you will find out that sports could be your go-to place to learn and build your leadership skills. In this article, we will talk about what leadership is, and especially look into what leadership lessons we learned from Johan Cruyff. An innovating footballer and manager that always tried to become more efficient and open to new ideas

3 leaders who changed the leadership forever

This is the first part of a new miniseries about leaders who changed the leadership forever. In this first part, we will introduce what leadership is, and then introducing some great leaders from the sports world and what these miniseries will talk about.

If you want to already jump to the second part about modern leadership and efficiency click on the button below.

Leadership lessons from 3 football managers who changed the sport forever

In the past few years, the business coaching industry has grown exponentially to become a multibillion-dollar industry[1] and leadership education is a part of this rapidly expanding industry. Multinational companies, business professionals, managers, entrepreneurs, and students invest a substantial chunk of their money on leadership development and education[2]. Leadership education includes conferences, certifications, human resource training, seminars from leadership gurus, coaching, books, and even post-graduation courses. However, if analyzed properly, a lot of significant leadership lessons can be learned from the sports industry, particularly in football management.

What is Leadership?

Before we dive into the examples, it is important to understand the true definition of Leadership. One of the most famous leaders of all times, Martin Luther King Junior defined a genuine leader as a moulder of consensus rather than a searcher for consensus. His definition is in prime proximity to one of the earliest and most meaningful academic definitions of leadership provided by Stogdill, who summed up leadership as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement[3].

“Leadership has nothing to do with the title on your business card or the size of your office. Leadership is not about how much money you make or the clothes you wear. Leadership is a philosophy. It is an attitude. It is a state of mind. And it is available to each one of us” writes acclaimed author Robin Sharma in his book, Little Black Book for Stunning Success. According to me, leadership is a skill of inspiring an organized group to pursue a particular philosophy, a process, a method in order to achieve the desired goal.

Leadership innovation

Prominent leaders in the world of football

From long balls, rough sliding tackles, and static player roles to slick ground passes, interceptions, and floating player positions, the world has seen a drastic change in the way football is played. Among many known and unknown contributors, the credit for the development of modern eye-pleasing Football goes to three prominent managers over the past three decades; Johan Cruyff, Arsene Wenger, and Pep Guardiola. These managers not only reinvented the way of training and playing Football but also made it more understandable and exciting for the viewers.

During Cruyff’s and Guardiola’s time at FC Barcelona and Wenger’s lengthy spell with Arsenal, the world saw a radical change in the way football was played. These three football managers inspired their respective teams to achieve great feats during their time and beyond. The playing style, training methods, diet schedule, training regimes, and psychological preparation introduced by them were so effective that it became a culture at FC Barcelona and Arsenal.

Nevertheless, altering the status quo of a football club, it’s traditions, training, and playing style was challenging for all of them to begin. The timing of their appointment and the context of the football clubs at that period was also complicated. In the beginning, all three faced a variety of obstacles, resistances, and questions from the players, management, and fans. Having a firm belief in their philosophies, these managers adopted the transformational (for an academic definition please see at the end) form of leadership.

The following piece will cover some of the most common terminologies used in Leadership literature with their academic definitions at the end. This article will also discuss the leadership lessons from the life events of these three football managers and how they changed the sport forever.

Total Football – Johan Cruyff

The 1970 FIFA World Cup, Mexico, was the first-ever FIFA World Cup to be telecasted on newly invented colour televisions. Through vivid colours, football started to become a more glamorous and entertaining sport for its television audience worldwide. Because of this development, the squads begin to think about playing an attractive style of football to serve the entertainment desires of the fans of their respective teams. The Netherlands was the first team to catch the eye of the world with their new form of playing football at the 1974 FIFA World Cup. The Dutch team cruised through the finals after defeating two South American heavyweights of the game at that time: Brazil and Argentina. Under the leadership of their captain and the reigning Ballon d’Or winner, Johan Cruyff, the team introduced a postmodernist (for an academic definition please see at the end) (new) style to play football coined as ‘Total Football.’

In Total Football, any outfield player of the team was allowed to take over the position of any other outfield player without changing the overall formation. It was a successful strategy against orthodox (and modernistic, for an academic definition please see at the end) man to man defence, which was the usual way of defending during those days. This attractive brand-new style of football came agonizingly close to winning the highest prize in the football world when the Dutch team took the one-nil lead in the opening minutes of the final. However, West Germany came back to win the match 2-1 at the end.

From a player to a manager

After retiring as a player, Cruyff got the opportunity to replicate his transformational leadership as FC Barcelona’s first team manager. He was recruited at the club on 4 May 1988 under the most controversial and difficult circumstances. The club had won one league title in the last fourteen years, and the whole first team was against the president. Six days before Cruyff’s appointment, one of the most unfortunate events happened. Twenty-one players and then head coach of the first team, Luis Aragones publically revolted against Josep Lluis Nunez, who was the president of FC Barcelona at that time.

Some severe changes were imminent, considering the context of the organization and the circumstances. To renew the squad, Cruyff sold fourteen players, and they were replaced with twelve new players. In the era of formations like 4-4-2 and 3-5-2, Cruyff was first to introduce 3-4-3. Moreover, the recruitment system at FC Barcelona was also revolutionized under Johan. Going against the general recruitment policy of the club, he signed various short players from the academy and other clubs who were technically excellent. A 1.70-meter tall midfielder, Eusebio was signed from Atletico Madrid while players like Guillermo Amor and Albert Ferrer were promoted from the Barcelona academy both less than 1.75 meters tall. Eventually, the three abovementioned players went on to represent the Catalan club for more than 200 occasions. To make his possession, passing, and movement-based ‘Total Football’ playing style successful, Cruyff invented new training drills. Rondo, which is one of the most famous football training exercises nowadays, was developed by Cruyff.

Comment to the tweet above – Johan Cruyff led FC Barcelona to their first-ever European Championship title in 1992 as a coach

The football culture

The influence of his transformational leadership was not only limited to the first team. He laid the foundation of a football culture (for an academic definition please see at the end) at FC Barcelona. As part of developing a football culture, La Masia, the modern FC Barcelona Academy, was established on Cruyff’s ideologies. He promoted talent ahead of physical attributes and eliminated the Prueba de la muneca (test of the wrist) at the Barca Academy. The Prueba de la muneca was conducted on all the academy players to check the height they will achieve ultimately. If it was found that the player is expected to grow below 1.80 meters, he was rejected from the academy[4].

Furthermore, he introduced fitness through football. Johan developed a unique short passing, possession, and retention of the ball through pressing based playing philosophy at FC Barcelona, which became characteristic from the grassroots level to all the way top to the first team. As a result of this culture, the club is regarded as one of the best in promoting academy players to the club’s first team. In the span of eight years as the head coach of Blaugrana (1988-1996), Cruyff helped the club to win eleven trophies, including the club’s first-ever European Cup in the year 1992. If Cruyff hadn’t amended the rules at the academy and developed a culture at FC Barcelona, the world would have never seen the players like Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi.

Comment to the tweet above – Cruyff – Innovator, Researcher, Visionary, Revolutionary, Risk-taker, and a Leader

Summary of leaders who changed the leadership forever – Johan Cruyff

To summarize, Cruyff provided the modern leaders of the world with four important lessons to become successful. Firstly, Innovation was at the heart of everything the Dutch prodigy implemented both as a player and as a coach. He was always open to new ideas. Today’s globally accepted playing philosophy, ‘Total Football’, the most common means to practice football, ‘Rondo’, and an amazing move to beat the defender, ‘Cruyff Turn’ were some of his most noticeable inventions.

Secondly, Johan not only played and managed the sport, but he also studied the sport like a meritorious scholar. During his entire lifetime, he constantly examined for the avenues of improvements in playing style and coaching methods. Once he concluded his research on a certain issue, he stood behind his research and philosophies. Cruyff’s persistent and patience with his researched methodologies (especially during testing phases), made him one of the most iconic players and managers in history.

Thirdly, Johan was never shy of exterminating bad practices and stereotypes of the sport. He abolished long-practised Prueba de la muneca (test of the wrist) at the Barca Academy. By doing so he advocated for equal opportunity to play irrespective of physical attributes. FC Barcelona reaped rewards of his good work by producing world-class players like Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi. Last but not the least, the three times Ballon d’Or winner taught us the importance of taking risks. He took the biggest risk when he agreed to become the gaffer of the Blaugrana at the time when the club was at the tip of its adversities and the rest is history. He personified the saying – the bigger the risk, the greater is the reward. Big risk coupled with his impeccable work ethics led Barcelona to unprecedented success during his eight-year reign as the manager.

Though the footballing world recognizes Cruyff as one of the greatest players and managers, the iconic Dutch deserves to be mentioned in Leadership education as an illustration as well.

Comment to the tweet above – The iconic Dutch deserves to be mentioned in Leadership education as an illustration

Leadership lessons from Johan Cruyff in bullet points

  • Innovation – always seek more efficient methods and keep yourself open to new ideas
  • Do your research and stick with your philosophy (especially during testing phases)
  • Never feel shy to go against the stereotype and exterminate bad practices
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks – the bigger the risk, the greater is the reward

Comment to the tweet above – Even the fans of FC Barcelona acknowledge Cruyff’s contribution to the club’s playing identity and success

This is a blog post written by author Shrey Upadhyay.

Next up, Le Professeur – Arsene Wenger

This was the first part of the new miniseries about leaders who changed the leadership forever. Stay tuned for the second part, where will introduce our next great leader from the sports world, Arsene Wenger.

Academic definitions of terms used

Transformational Leadership – An ideal style of leadership which promotes innovation. Transformational leadership can be defined as the set of five observable and learnable practices: challenge familiar organizational practices, inspire a shared vision among employees, enable employees to act in accordance with their vision, model the way for employees to perform, and encourage employees through recognition and celebration of success. In this type of leadership, a leader takes risks and initiates radical changes[5].

Postmodernism – A complex set of ideas that emerged in the later part of the twentieth century which promotes dynamics in roles, shifting of power, blurred boundaries among groups and individuals’ sensemaking, and horizontal interconnections rather than vertical hierarchies in an organization[6].

Modernism – A set of ideas that endorses specified roles, defined boundaries, vertical hierarchies, and centralization of power.

Culture – A set of values, beliefs, atmospheres, customs, and practices in the achievement of higher productivity and efficiency[7].

Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.


References used in this text

[1] https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/market-size/business-coaching-united-states/

[2] https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/hr-pipeline-4-reasons-to-invest-in-leadership-development/#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20Bersin%20research%20shows,development%20funds%20on%20senior%20leaders.&text=The%20Bersin%20report%20found%20that,level%20leaders%20are%20highly%20capable.

[3] Stogdill, R.M., 1950. Leadership, membership and organization. Psychological bulletin, 47(1), p.1.

[4] Murray.A (2019) How Johan Cruyff reinvented modern football at Barcelona [Online] FourFourTwo. Available from: https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/how-johan-cruyff-reinvented-modern-football-barcelona

[5] Bass, B.M., 1985. Leadership and performance beyond expectations. Collier Macmillan. Howell, J.M. and Higgins, C.A., 1990. Leadership behaviors, influence tactics, and career experiences of champions of technological innovation. The Leadership Quarterly, 1(4), pp.249-264.

[6] Stokes, P. (2016) ‘Chapter 3: Using critical approaches in managing people and organizations’ in Stokes, P., Moore, N., Smith, S., Rowland, C. and Scott, P (2016) Organizational Management. London. Kogan Page, 51-66.

[7] Stokes, P., 2011. Critical concepts in management and organization studies: Key terms and concepts. Macmillan International Higher Education.

For employers and job seekers in the sports industry

For employers and job seekers in the sports industry

The sports sector is big but as an employer and a job seeker, there are still some challenges to tackle. In this article, we are discovering and sharing some facts, challenges, numbers and solutions about the sports labour market and recruiting. This gives you a good overview of the sports labour market and what the common types of employment in sports are. You will also learn what challenges employers in the sports sector are facing but also some advice and strategies of how to deal with these challenges.

The current state of employability

No one has missed that the labour market has taken a big hit during 2020 because of the Covid-19 virus. And this has also harmed the sports industry. During several months of 2020 many sport teams and organizations haven’t been in full operations and most have had empty stadiums and courts, which also means less staff has been needed. And for most of us, this means that there are fewer job opportunities out there, however, this means that there are a lot of great skilled but unemployed people to hire. Obviously if supply exists, it doesn’t mean that the demand is in place. On the employer and hiring side, we also have to consider that the economy is not as strong as before. We have a new situation to adapt to. Let us have another look at the current state of employment in general.

Only in Europe and in the United States, 3 million people lost their job from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020

– OECD

From The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) they have reported that people (aged 20-64) who were employed but got laid off in the European Union increased with 2 million people. From 0.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, to 2.3 million in the first quarter of 2020. While in the United States, these numbers increased by 1 million during the same period, from 0.8 million in December 2019, to 1.8 million in March 2020. In the image below you can get a better overview of this big increase with persons absent from work due to temporary lay off.

The numbers to the left show the percentage of the working-age population (Persons aged 20-64 in the EU; persons aged 16-64 in the United States). Persons absent from work due to temporary layoffs are counted as ‘employed’ in the EU and as ‘unemployed’ in the US.
(4) last month of the quarter

The sports labour market in Europe is growing

Before the pandemic a 3-year European project, ESSA-Sport project was concluded in October 2019. A research aimed to create a debate within the sector on the key issues of skills and workforce development. The aim of the ESSA-Sport project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme, was to establish a European Sector Skills Alliance covering the full breadth of the sport and physical activity sector across the EU.

In order to get a good sense of the total employment in Europe and the total employment in sports, presented below are the numbers showing the total employment in the EU and the total sport employment in the EU.

TOTAL EMPLOYMENT IN THE EU and Total sport employment in the EU (persons aged between 15 to 64 years old) in 2018

Total employment was 223 843 000 people

Total sport employment was 1 765 728 people

– ESSA-Sport project

How many jobs do sports create?

Stated in the Position Paper, a joint call from the sports sector to the EU commission in order to get supported during Covid-19, it is mentioned that every 47th euro (€) is generated by the sport sector. It is also said that there are 5,67 million people involved in sport-related employment, which equals to 2,72 % of the total EU Employment (keep in mind that the numbers from ESSA are from 2018). To summarize this overview, this means that every 37th employee works in the sport sector. The sports sector is a big contributor to the European labour market.

The sport labour market is the total sport employment

If we would only examine the sport labour market we can see a big increase of employed people in sports since 2011, from 1 481 305 people employed in sports up to 1 765 728, which is an increase with 19,2 %. And the majority of these employments are employed workers (85,4 %) and only 257 796 people are self-employed (14,6 %). And not surprisingly 4 out 5 people working in sport has a full-time contract (80,8 %).

EU-28 sport labour market (=total sport employment)

2011 – 1 481 306 people working in sports

2018 – 1 765 728 people working in sports (an increase with 19,2 %)

– ESSA-Sport project
Total employment EU-28 – Type of employment

20 national coordinators and 5 European networks built this research and they also identified skills needs and future priorities for the sports sector, which we will pick out a few and go through. If you want the full report it can be found in a detailed European Report as well as National Reports.

Find the full report here: ESSA

Recruitment of sports employees

In the ESSA-project one of the focuses, we want to further refer to is the data about the recruitment of paid employees. During a 12 month period, 3042 responses were collected. Nearly half of them (49,6 %) did recruit during this period. We will now look into the difficulties to fill vacancies, what the top three hardest roles to fill are and difficulties when recruiting.

Difficulties to fill vacancies

Even though not all respondents did recruit in that past year, almost a third (27 %) experienced difficulties filling vacancies (one third replied that they didn’t know). When they were asked which role that was the hardest to fill there was one role that stood out, sport coaches (73 %) while the second and third hardest roles to fill were experienced by 1 out 4 employers, which is still quite a lot.

Top 3 hardest roles to fill

  1. 73 % Sport Coaches
  2. 27.4 % Clerical and office staff
  3. 23.9 % Operational staff

Even if a role is harder to fill than another these are not the only challenges in recruitment of sport employees. Employers also expressed their difficulties when recruiting, where the top three difficulties show challenges like low numbers of skilled applicants, unattractive job posts and low numbers of motivated applicants.

Top 3 difficulties when recruiting

  1. 45.6% Low number of applicants with the required skills
  2. 44.1% Unattractive terms and conditions offered for this post
  3. 38.7% Low numbers of applicants with required motivation and attitude

Challenges for the sport sector

There are five key areas when it comes to challenges in the sports labour market and these key areas have been asked and answered by 2930 respondents in the ESSA-report. The key areas are the following:

  1. Find people with right skills
  2. Providing upskilling opportunities
  3. Up to date training
  4. Close collaboration between universities and employers
  5. Inclusive workforce

What are the respondents’ experiences with these five key areas and what do we mean with challenges for the sports labour market?

  1. Well, about half (50,8 %) of the people experienced it difficult to find and recruit people with the right skills to work as paid staff.
  2. The majority (91,5 %) thinks it is important that staff have access to ongoing training to keep their skills up to date, but are lacking the implementation.
  3. 71,9 % answered that new training courses are required to meet the training needs of sport organizations
  4. Four out of five (79,9 %) said that universities/training providers should work more closely with sport organizations
  5. Most of the respondents (71,5 %) think that the workforce of paid staff and volunteers in the sport sector needs to be inclusive (reflecting gender, disability and minorities in society)

Note that all these numbers are prior to the pandemic of Covid-19. However, it is only one of a few reports that actually covers a big area in sports employability. With regard to the pandemic, it is not hard to estimate that numbers around employed people have decreased during 2020. But there are still great knowledge and insights from this report that is important to consider.

Build a recruiting strategy

According to the sports labour market, almost half (44,1 %) answered that the terms and conditions are bad, which tells us that there are challenges around the candidate experiences. Since this is an important part of the hiring process, we will provide you with some advice on how to build a recruiting strategy. A great hiring process involves both the hiring sports club and the job candidate. Helping your future employee with a good recruiting process will help you find and hire sports employees faster. Talent is four times more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback, according to a LinkedIn report.

There are several steps you could do to improve your candidate experience and find the best talent for your organization in the sports sector. We have written about three smart recruiting tips on how to become a smarter recruiter today. The first solution is called Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The second one towards a smarter recruiting is recruiting where your ideal job candidate is. Lastly, when you are hiring a role you have less knowledge about, talk with your network first.

Talent is 4x more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback.

LinkedIn

How you find great talents in the sports sector

2 out of the 3 top difficulties when hiring in sports covered the lack of skilled and motivated job candidates. These problems are part of how Sportidealisten came about. Finding sports jobs has been a big challenge as well as knowing where skilled and motivated top talents are. Sportidealisten was founded with the mission to connect future employees and employers in the sports industry and to provide impactful matches between hiring managers and job seekers in sports.

If you are a hiring manager we can’t stop talking about the importance to understand the job seekers. According to Glassdoor half of the job seekers prefer finding job opportunities on job sites, and this makes us proud to work as a niched job site for the sports sector.

51% of job seekers say they prefer finding job opportunities on online job sites. 45% hear about job openings from friends, while 35% go to a company’s site.

Glassdoor

Do you as an employer have a mission statement? If you don’t you might be missing out the top talents. The majority of job seekers will only apply for jobs that have a clear mission statement. And even if you don’t have it clear on your website, make sure to have it clear in your job posts. This is something Sportidealisten can help you with.

One solution to the lack of motivated job candidates is to include your organization’s mission statement in your job post because more than half of the job seekers find their motivation from an employer’s mission.

79% of job seekers will consider a company’s mission before applying. More than half — 66% — of employees find motivation in a company’s mission, and 64% attribute their company’s mission to the main reason they stay in their current jobs.

Glassdoor

Best hiring advice

Are you still not convinced of how to manage your hiring process? Let us then share what some of the employers we interviewed said about their best hiring advice.

Do the heavy work, build a job post that really match with what you are actually looking for.

Jessica Pettersson, CEO & Founder at Föreningskraft

I can only share my experience regarding tennis, and it is a rather small community, at least in Sweden. Everyone knows everyone. Just ask around and do not explicitly look for those with the best awards or achievements. Strive to get to know those who really love their work and are proud to work as, for example, a tennis coach.

Emil Holmgren – Club Office Manager at Växjö Tennissällskap (Växjö Tennis Club)

This is the sports labour market and how to hire

As a summary we have discovered the total employment and the total sports employment in more detail. Despite that the pandemic of Covid-19 has made a skilled workforce in sports unemployed, there has been a growth for employment in sports during the past 10 years with an increase of 19,2 %.

Sport is a big factor for the European economy. Every 47th euro (€) is generated by the sport sector and every 37th employee works in the sport sector and most of these people are full-time employed. However, almost a third (27 %) of the sports employers experience difficulties filling vacancies, especially Sport Coaches, Clerical and office staff and Operational staff. And most of the difficulties when recruiting, where low numbers of skilled applicants, unattractive job posts and low numbers of motivated applicants.

Building a recruiting strategy will help you solve the challenges of finding skilled and motivated applicants. Start with learning more about your future employee. But also understand that job seekers look after job sites and they get motivated if they know about an employer’s mission statement that you should add in a job post.

Do you have any good cases or advice you want to share with the sports sector, feel free to share with us.

If you need more advice or help recruiting skilled and motivated talents, we are happy to help you.

Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

Passion sports jobs guide

Every day we are experiencing people with a strong motivation to work with their dream job, which is mostly in the sports sector. But, please don’t just say that you love sports and think that you can work in the sports industry. You have to think deeper and identify your values. In this article, we will share why thinking about values is also thinking about your passion. But we will also be sharing three ways to express passion for working with sports and why people want to work in the sports industry.

A sustainable career starts with strong values

At Sportidealisten we believe that working with a passion makes you work in a sustainable way. If you don’t have a burning desire to wake up every morning in order to go to work, you probably don’t have a passion to that job. Starting with identifying what you feel happy about, what task you do when you are confident is key to finding your passion. Now, let us think one step further. How would you describe those working environments when you feel passionate? At Sportidealisten, we strongly believe in values like Transparency, Innovative Mindset, Open-Minded, Trust, Inspiration and Loyalty. Values will steer you towards a sustainable career because when you identify your work’s values with your own, you will feel more involved and part of something bigger. You and your colleagues will collaborate better than ever before.

We know how much it would mean to work with your passion, sports and we know the importance to support and work together. Our mission is to help you reach your own goal in the sports sector.

Why do people want to work with their passion, sports?

This is the second part of our new mini-series of learning more about why people have a passion for working in sports and what makes them tick. From a project that was developed from the Covid-19 outbreak, we started to gather likeminded people that align with Sportidealisten’s values and drive.

In this second article you will learn why:

  • passion in sports is all about raw emotions,
  • the greater impact sports can do is a passion and,
  • it is a culture that knows no boundaries, and that is passion

It is all about raw emotions

As it is a subject close to my heart, I could not resist explaining my emotions just in a paragraph. It is a bit long, I hope you will still go through it.

Working in the sports industry will give me an experience unparalleled to what I can get in any other sector. In sports, It’s all about raw emotions that are being marketed, be it through social media platforms or through traditional ways.

The hype around the build-up to a game or a sporting event is unmatched, so is the vibe during a game and post it. This provides brands to position themselves perfectly capturing all these emotions and reaching out to global audiences in a single shot. After all, any major sporting event grabs the eyeballs of the whole world in one frame, thus this space has no metric to evaluate its value in this data-driven age, and as Mastercard’s ads say, “it’s priceless”.

In the day and age when people consume content like water, it becomes the biggest KPI (Key Performance Indicators) amongst the rest. With the exponential growth of the use of social media platforms, the world has become a small place to live in. This proximity has helped brands, famous personalities, governments, and sporting entities to reach out to the world with their vision, strong political and social messages very quickly.

By making the use of the podium of any sporting event, which back in the days was although slow, but still was very effective because of the coverage it got and still gets. Also content around Stories of struggle or daily lifestyle of the athletes inspires people to be a better version of themselves, as Nike will put it “Just do it”.

Careful planning and implementing strategies around these emotions, struggles, and messages, help the brands associated with any sport to convert its target audience to its customers.

— Animesh

Animesh Kumar – Sport Management student

PS. He is looking for entry-level positions in Administration, Communications, Sales, Marketing, Manager, HR, Digital, Economy and Facility (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Animesh.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

THE GREATER IMPACT SPORTS CAN DO IS A PASSION OF MINE

Sport has been a passion of mine since I was three years old. It was always a way for me to express myself and be who I am without any judgment. Growing up surrounded by sport, I witnessed the impact that sport can have on society and people’s lives. When I first realized that feeling, I knew I wanted to work in sports and to use my passion to make a positive change in other people’s lives.

The campaigns Nike runs to address social issues and the strides in equality in sports have further ignited my passion to work in sports and hopefully have a positive impact.

— Emma

Emma Baker, A hard-working sport enthusiast, currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in International Sport Management, The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

PS. She is looking for opportunities in Communications, and Media (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Emma.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

A culture that knows no boundaries, and that is my passion

With the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzing most of the world, the importance of sports in any form has become obvious. Sports is not just sports, it is an important cornerstone of any functioning society. Sports are more than just physical activity and competition. It is a culture that knows no boundaries, it is emotions, achievements and great venues but it is also the fun and healthy spark in your everyday life. No matter the perspective, sports are for everyone and that is something that truly appeals to me.

— Andreas

Porträtt Härryda Kommun

Andreas Høgfeldt, Associations Developer, Härryda Municipality.

PS. He has interests and experiences in Administration, Coordinator roles, Developing roles, Manager roles, Marketing (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Andreas.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

Thank you, Animesh, Emma and Andreas for sharing your reasons why you have a passion for sports and why you want to work in the sports industry. These are three unique stories and people, and they are all three determined to share their passion and values in the sports industry.

It is really cool to hear how people from different places in the world are capturing and framing their passion for sports. As you can read, there are actually more than three ways to express and tell about a passion. Sports could be a good memory from an early age and it could be a complex thing that we all can relate to as an athlete, as fans or in business. But to summarize, three ways to express what a passion could be like working in sports from Animesh, Emma and Andreas:

  • passion in sports is all about raw emotions,
  • the greater impact sports can do is a passion and,
  • it is a culture that knows no boundaries, and that is passion
Sportidealisten Lediga Sport Management Jobb Idrottsvetare Lediga SportJobb Lediga IdrottsJobb Sportkarriär Jobba med sport Sportutbildning idrottsutbildning Sports Job Sport Jobs


If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

3 Smart Recruiting Tips – Find The Best Talent for Your Organization in the Sports Sector

3 Smart Recruiting Tips - Find The Best Talent for Your Organization in the Sports Sector

When you are recruiting, you want to find the right candidate and preferably within no time at all. Question is, are you a smart recruiter and do you know how you can save yourself and your sport organization even more time?

There are three tips you could do to become a smart recruiter and find the best talent for your organization in the sports sector. The secret to all three is thinking about the job seekers first, instead of creating the best looking sports job ad. If you can save the job seekers’ time, you will eventually save your own time. In this article, we will show you three smart recruiting tips on how to become a smarter recruiter. The first solution is called Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The second one towards a smarter recruiting is recruiting where your ideal job candidate is. Lastly, when you are hiring a role you have less knowledge about, talk with your network first.

With inspiration from Lever, we have written three tips with our perspective of what you could implement to your recruiting process in order to become a smart recruiter in the sports sector. Instead of the classic saying “customer first”, think about “job seekers first”.

The average cost of one bad hire is nearly $15,000; average cost of losing a good hire is nearly $30,000

CareerBuilder

Overview of employment in sports

Before sharing three good tips to become a smarter recruiter in sports we have to clarify and get a good sense of the sports sector and employment. You don’t want to make a bad recruiting process, you want to be smart. If you think it is hard to find great candidates you are not alone. From a European study (ESSC-SPORT 2014) about employment in sports, the results showed that:

  • 37 % have difficulties recruiting paid staff in sports.
  • however, 35 % report a growth tendency for their workforce in the next 2 years
  • 47 % have difficulties in engaging their unpaid staff/volunteers

Getting a good sense of the global sports employment is hard. But looking at the EUs sports employment could provide you a good overview. Compared to the total employment of all sectors in the EU, jobs in sport still account for relatively small shares but the contribution of sport has steadily grown. Between 2013 and 2018, sport contribution to total employment increased slightly in nearly all EU Member States, and, at the EU level, it rose from 0.7 % to 0.8 % (Eurostat).

Eurostat has disseminated statistics on sport and specifically employment in sport together with DG Education and Culture. In 2018, employment in sport represented 0.8 % of total EU employment, ranging from 0.1 % in Romania to 1.7 % in Sweden. For the majority of EU Member States, sport employment shares reached 1 % at maximum; in addition to Sweden, only in the United Kingdom, Finland, Ireland and Spain, did this share exceeded 1 %.

Image: Eurostat

Employment in sport represents more than 1.7 million people in the EU and is steadily rising

Eurostat

In 2018, 1.76 million people worked in the field of sport in the EU-28: more than half are men (55%), a percentage in line with total employment. People in the age group 15-29 make up 38 % of the total employed in sport, more than double the share in overall employment, while the 30-64 age group accounted for almost 60 % (20 % less than the share for the total employment). Around 46 % of persons employed in sport have a medium educational attainment level (ISCED levels 3-4), 38 % have a high level (ISCED 5-8) and 16 % have a low level (at most ISCED level 2); these percentages are close to the proportions observed for overall employment.

Almost half (46 %) of the employed people in sports have a medium educational attainment level

Eurostat

Now, let us show you three smart recruiting tips on how to become a smarter recruiter. The first solution is called Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

FAQ

No matter if a potential candidate visiting your sports job ad or just looking through your company profile you should be prepared that not all information is clear to everyone. There will always be questions from potential candidates. Most people will try to contact you either via email or calls in order to ask more about additional details around the sports job, the culture, etc. Maybe you have already experienced those calls about simple questions regarding a job ad, which you perhaps can give quick answers about, however, this will take up most of your time from your daily work.

So what do we mean with FAQ? You should write down a list of potential questions you might get and provide answers to those and then publish these on the sports job ad page or a link to it. This will help the potential candidates but also you by adding value to the recruiting process. Make sure not only to make a FAQ for your sports job ad but also think about one FAQ regarding working at your organization.

Another good section to have in one FAQ is potential questions for an interview, but also additional things prior to the interview, for example, how to get there, what to dress or how an interview looks like at your work. You can ask your colleagues or someone in your network to help go through potential questions a job seeker might raise. This will help you identify questions from people that haven’t created and already know what the vacant sports job is about. These tips will make a great impression on future colleagues and for your employer brand.

Employer branding, is simply how you market your company to desired job seekers. You can do this by showcasing your organization’s unique cultural differentiators, and then working to amplify them so you can position yourself as a top place to work.

Sarah Lybrand, Freelance Writer/Producer/Content Creator

With a FAQ section, you as a recruiter will not only reduce the number of phone calls, you will also save time to work on something else. You will also increase your employer branding and interests from job seekers by showing that you think about everything.

By helping your potential candidate, you will increase the likeability and the passion for that person to work for you.

Want to get help knowing where and how you find candidates? Become a smart recruiter, contact us and we can save your time and find the best talent for your organization in the sports sector.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

Recruit where your future candidate is

The next step towards a smarter recruiting is recruiting where your ideal job candidate is. When you have set up your ideal candidate persona, you should also know where this person exists, on social media channels, or via email or a phone call. But also knowing how to talk to them.

– Nearly 4 in 10 workers in sport employment are aged 15–29

– Over one-third of people employed in sport completed tertiary education

Eurostat

Once again, make sure to save time by saving the time of your potential candidate too. Are you looking for a person who is more used to a computer or a smartphone? Have you built your sports job ad or marketing plan with these behaviors in mind? If your website or sports job ad is designed to a desktop version and your ideal candidate persona only uses a smartphone or vice versa, you might lose out that person’s attention because of the wrong format.

The second aspect is if you are sharing and posting your sports job ads on social media channels if your ideal candidate is a daily and an experienced social media user. Sharing and posting your sports jobs where your future candidate is will be one of the differences between recruiting and smart recruiting.

Another aspect of this is your language. Is your language attractive to your ideal candidate? Do you use words that are more attractive to women or men? One service that is changing this problem is Textio, they help you find the right words by putting hiring and language data insights right where you need them.

Great job candidates walk away when you don’t speak their language

– Textio

Want to get help knowing where and how you find candidates? Become a smart recruiter, contact us and we can save your time and find the best talent for your organization in the sports sector.

How to hire someone smarter than you?

Last advice on how to become a smarter recruiter. When you are hiring a role you have less knowledge about, you should talk with your network. If you are the responsible person for the recruiting process you might not know what the right skills are within a certain role you are trying to recruit for. This applies to the interviewer too in the recruiting process. The responsible people need to make sure that you know what you write about or talk about.

No matter if you work with HR and recruiting in a local grassroots sports club or a bigger organization, you should reach out to your network with people who have a similar experience. Ask them questions about the role you are looking for. Make sure to get the core so you feel confident when interviewing people for the role that you have less experience in.

Want to get help knowing where and how you find candidates? Become a smart recruiter, contact us and we can save your time and find the best talent for your organization in the sports sector.

Three tips about how to become a smarter recruiter

When you are recruiting, you want to find the right candidate. But you also want to do this in no time. Question is, are you a smart recruiter and have already done the tips we have shared?

What steps could you take in order to become a smarter recruiter and also improve your employer branding?

The first thing is to think about the job seekers’ perspective. If you can save the job seekers’ time, you will eventually save your own time and this solution is called Frequently Asked Questions. The next step towards a smarter recruiting is recruiting where your ideal job candidate is. Lastly, when you are hiring a role you have less knowledge about, talk with your network in order to know what to look for and ask about.

Want to get help knowing where and how you find candidates? Become a smart recruiter, contact us and we can save your time and find the best talent for your organization in the sports sector.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

Why is passion important working in sport?

Work in sports passion

Do you want to work in the sports industry? Do you love sports? Don’t just say that you love sports and think that you can work in the sports industry. You have to think deeper and identify your values, which can get you closer to your dream job. In this article, we will share why passion is important in order to work in the sports industry and also share three reasons why people want to work in the sports industry and what their passion is.

Values are your toolbox to your passion

At Sportidealisten we believe that working with a passion makes you work in a sustainable way. With this, we mean that you want to work at that job forever and that you hopefully will not feel tired and forced to go to work. Working for a long time will be and feel better if it is something you are interested in. One great example to understand and identify your passion is to think about what values you align with. At Sportidealisten, we strongly believe in values like Transparency, Innovative Mindset, Open-Minded, Trust, Inspiration and Loyalty.

We know how much it would mean to work with your passion, sports and we know the importance to support and work together. Our mission is to help you reach your own goal in the sports sector.

Why do people want to work with their passion, sports?

This is the very first start of our new mini-series of learning more about why people have a passion for working in sports and what makes them tick. From a project that was developed from the Covid-19 outbreak, we started to gather likeminded people that align with Sportidealisten’s values and drive.

In this first article you will learn why:

  • giving help and joy is a passion
  • sharing the best benefits of sports is a passion and,
  • it is easier to work if you have a passion for the work

Gratification as a passion

Work in sports passion Shrey Upadhyay

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – sorry to repeat it again! However, this ‘overused’ quote by Steve Jobs explains the best why I want to get involved in the sports industry.

My biggest motivation to work in a sports organization is the gratification of my soul with my utmost passion. I always had a desire to live a fulfilling life comprising of fun, joy, thrill, drama, challenges, and love. I want to live in a place where I can share my views and thoughts freely. A place where the people have the same interests as mine. An office where staff discusses new ideas, the match that happened last night, a workspace that has more friends and fewer colleagues.

I have always loved sports because it brings people together irrespective of their nationality, language, ethnicity, color, and any other means of discrimination. It fills people with joy and provides them a reason to live. Most importantly, through sports one could achieve the penultimate human satisfaction by improving the lives of others and making them happy. Fortunately, I have found myself the “work” that I love. It is only a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. Till then, can you suggest me a more satisfying life?

— Shrey

Shrey Upadhyay, MSc Business Management in Sport

PS. He is looking for opportunities in Media, Marketing, and Business Development (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Shrey.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

Physical activity is a free tool to bring well-being

Work in sports passion Xiangyi Liu

My passion for sports came from a story in high school. Physical activities are, in general, not encouraged much at schools in China. Without regular sports activity, I remembered that even I couldn’t reach the national standard’s test for 800 m running.

I once became overweight and struggled to get the perfect body for years until I entered the sports and fitness industry. I started to know why people were passionate about sports and their stories. After some time I finally chose to pursue my Master’s degree in Sports Industry Management at Em-lyon Business School. For me, sports can be life-changing. I am proud to be part of the field of sports and how sports can get people engaged and bring well-being to society.

— Xiangyi

Xiangyi LIU, Master’s degree in Sports Industry Management, Em-lyon Business School

PS. She is looking for opportunities in areas like Administration, Communication, Coordinator roles, Management, Marketing, Sales and Support (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Xiangyi.

Get in toucH with Sportidealisten

From working on the pitch to around the pitch

Work in sports passion Sanchit Bhat

I have played football for my school and college at the national level and have represented them in various tournaments. I always wanted to become a footballer but couldn’t do it because of the limited resources in my country, India.

That was when I thought of pursuing a career in sports after my college graduation because then I could still continue to work in the field that I liked the most. I believe that if you are passionate about something then it becomes easy to follow that thing and you can also progress in that with a smile on your face.

And, since I was once part of a team myself I would like to be directly associated with the playing team of a club as I know I will understand it better and that it would bring me closer to what I wanted to pursue.

— Sanchit

Sanchit Bhat, MBA in sports management, Real Madrid Graduate School

PS. He is looking for opportunities in areas like Administration and Management roles (exclusively in the sports industry). Let us know if you want to connect with Sanchit.

Work in sports passion Sanchit Bhat

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3 reasons why passion is important for working in sport?

Thank you Shrey, Xiangy and Sanchit for sharing your reasons why you have a passion for sports and why you want to work in the sports industry. These are three unique stories and people and they are all three determined to share their passion and values in the sports industry.

Revenue-generating ideas for sports teams

Revenue sports teams

We had a great conversation with one of the innovators in the sports sector and we have already published one part of that discussion. Here is now the second part of that. In this second part, we will get great revenue-generating ideas for sports teams. We will learn how to involve and engage your stakeholders, how to become more creative as a grassroots sports club, and then advice for sports employers, and much more.

To go back to the first part of the interview, click on the button below.

Engage your stakeholders in order to make a project from good to great

There are so many things we could ask you about, but one of all the projects you have been involved with happened this spring 2020. You helped the floorball club, IBK Dalen, to make one of the greatest floorball players ever, Niklas Jihde to do a comeback. Can you please tell us more about how that all started and how and why you did it?

Everything started with the Diabetes gala 2019, where Niklas Jihde’s brother Peter, auctioned Niklas for one day. IBK Dalen won that bid. Their club director and coach actually paid with their own money. I, myself had already started to help this club with other events. As soon as this happened it became an obvious project to do something with. We set up a strategy on how to make most out of this opportunity, with one of the greatest floorball players ever being with this club for one day.

The set up became more or less a copy of the one I did with Scottie Pippen. Niklas Jihde held a talk, he met the youth teams and took part in some practices and played one game with the senior team.

So, what happened when Jihde actually came to IBK Dalen?

Well, there was this energy in the atmosphere. Since he is a big role model for the players, he seemed to be powering up the team. Sure, he hadn’t played a real game during his past 10 years, but the original plan was to have him at one game. But in the early plans, we didn’t even know what team Dalen was going to go against for this date. However, the aim was to at least have him starting the first minute of a game.

During that gameday, I myself was there and you should have seen the audience, the sponsors, they were very excited about this game. They played against IBK Höllviken and let Jihde start the game. After his minute he was on the bench until the end of the game when he played some more minutes. He managed to make an assist and IBK Dalen won the game with 12-6. However, he wasn’t only sitting on the bench throughout most of the game, he also took part in an activity during the brake, where he and old legends of the club had a penalty shout out.

Looking back at this project, what are your reflections and lessons learned?

Well, you could notice from the players that they were thrilled and leveled up one level as the club director told me. I was also told that the players created this “Yes Sir” mentality when Jihde was around. Furthermore, we got a lot of money from this project, where we could give away a large amount to an orphanage in Umea, called The house of the heroes (it is a temporary home for families with children that has a long-term disease). In the end, the club made some revenue, they got good publicity and we could also give away money to an orphanage.

Watch the assist by Niklas Jidhe from the game here. From Expressen TV.

How can a local grassroots sports club get creative and increase their revenue?

You have been part of the world of sports for a long time, and you know how challenging it is for sports clubs to survive. Not only the challenge to make the economy work, but also to find new revenue streams. Can you perhaps give us another advice like the one with Niklas Jihde, how a small local club can become creative in their work with different revenue streams?

Take for example the football club, IFK Sundsvall that I am helping. This year is their 125th anniversary and they are playing in the fourth division. And considering these difficult times we got today with Covid-19, you have to not only think about the club, but you also need to be passionate about the club. There are for sure a lot of local entrepreneurs that would like to support the local club. As a club it is important to be there for everyone, open to both the kids as well as to the senior people. You have to think about how to reach out but in a smart way and think about all ages. For example, what about the senior people, how can we reach them? And how can we find a role for them in the club? Try to find collaborations with the local grocery stores, the coffee place, etc. And don’t be afraid to reach out and bring in old legendary players and icons from the sports club or from the area around. You have to ask and build collaborations.

Solidarity is important, now more than ever. A lot of people would like to support especially during times like this. I believe we all gotten time to think through what is happening and what will happen from now on. Let us all use this situation in a smart way. Reach out to those local entrepreneurs and dare to ask the question of how you all can help each other!

Live by your values

Think about the sports movement in Sweden, the more your local club can show and live by values, the better for everyone. Communication and engagement will become much better. Show that your club can take care of both the old ones but also the youth and show that the club is open to everyone, a club where everyone is welcome. I mean, even the small local club could open up their cafeteria and allow the older people in the area hanging out there (obviously after the Covid-19 situation). But you could also ask and allow the youth players to hang around the first team’s practices or games. This will send a message that the club can work as a meeting place for everyone.

How to communicate in grassroots sports

Those are some good advice about generating more revenue for sports teams. The question now is, how can those who are reading this communicate and reach out like you are mentioning? A lot of sports clubs barely have any time at all and therefore one challenge is to know where to start.

Start with reaching out to your network, to your social media followers, and via your club’s website. Try to reach out to the kids, the youth, parents, and grandparents, etc. Invite them to come to your sports facility and have a coffee break at the club. Either whenever during the day or during practices.

Then start with creating a marketing plan! For a Division 5 club it is enough to write down activities like “coffee break during practices”, meanwhile bigger clubs can run activities like we have seen during this pandemic, selling tickets to a game that never happened. And if you belong to a club in the middle of these two scenarios, you might be thinking about running a social media campaign with your sponsors. At a sports club you are all working with improving and staying in a good health, therefore show some good workouts and allow your sponsors to show those at their social media channels. The sponsors will be happy and proud to be a sponsor to you and you can get that good word of mouth out to potential members and fans.

Sports communication grassroots
Photo by Richard Boyle on Unsplash

The employer in sports

All sports clubs have a board to support. How can the club’s offices involve and also suggests their board about these different and creative plans?

Yes, it is the board that usually is the employer at sports clubs. But nonetheless, it is important that a board can give some space and freedom to the office. Don’t let the office only do those administrative tasks, also give them some space to be creative. Let hem think and plan new initiatives and plans like sponsor activities that can provide new revenues to the club.

In cases like small local clubs, they might need to get together with other sports clubs in the neighborhood. Try to create a collaborative and common project that everyone could gain from and potentially you could also fundraise from bigger companies to invest in this collaborative project. I mean, who doesn’t want to support a healthier future and brand your company as a strong community member?

Three advice on how to be productive working in sports

Lastly some additional advice to sports clubs in order to generate more revenue. What are your three most important advice to create time and space for development projects that can bring in new revenue streams?

1. Give the club office oxygen and allow them to think and make new projects.

2. Take a look from another perspective. Don’t think as we have always done. For me, I tried new ways of thinking and doing. I got Scottie Pippen from the US to Sweden, we sold doping tests and we got a motorsport athlete to the stadium. Try to think differently, dare to be creative. Selling that sponsor sign is good, but there are other ways too.

3. Try to look for opportunities.

Several revenue-generating ideas for sports teams

Thank you so much Anders. We highly appreciate this. A lot of great experiences that you have shared with us. To wrap up here is a summarized list of several great revenue-generating ideas for sports teams that Anders have shared:

  • Bring over famous people to the stadium and bringing sponsors together to make it happen. And don’t be afraid to reach out and bring in old legendary players and icons from the sports club or from the area around. You have to ask and build collaborations.
  • Think about how to reach out but in a smart way and think about all ages. Try to find collaborations with the local grocery stores, the coffee place, etc. Reach out to those local entrepreneurs and dare to ask the question of how you all can help each other!
  • The small local club could open up their cafeteria and allow the older people in the area hanging out there (obviously after the Covid-19 situation).
  • Ask and allow the youth players to hang around the first team’s practices or games. This will send a message that the club can work as a meeting place for everyone.
  • Try to reach out to the kids, the youth, parents, and grandparents, etc. Invite them to come to your sports facility and have a coffee break at the club. Either whenever during the day or during practices. Start with reaching out to your network, to your social media followers, and via your club’s website.
  • Sell tickets to a game that never happened.
  • Run a social media campaign with your sponsors.
  • Create a collaborative and common project that everyone could gain from and fundraise from bigger companies to invest in this collaborative project.

This is the end of part 2 of the interview with Anders. Do you want to go back to part 1? Click in the button below to get to part 1 – How to be innovative in a sports club.

How to be innovative in a sports club

Sports Entrepreneur Basketball Interview

Imagine if we told you that if you become a youth coach as 12 years old that you one day could be a club director in a top division sports club? Now lets us tell you that this is not an imagination, this is a true story and we are happy to have a chance to tell you more about this in this interview. We have met Anders Jansson who found a passion for the leadership role and developed himself as a good coach but also a creative thinker and an entrepreneur. Through his passion for basketball, he made sure that you can grow a team and the club with new revenue streams. We will talk about all of these experiences and how he managed to bring one of the world’s best basketball players to Sweden. Lastly, Anders will give some tips on how to find your passion and working in sports.

Meet the sports industry from the inside

Anders Jansson interview intervju sportentreprenör entrepreneur

Anders Jansson

Consult – Savoy Consulting

Former Club director – Sundsvall Dragons

Basketball coach level 3

EXPERIENCES as a youth coach CAN GET YOU the dream job in SPORTS

Thank you Anders for taking your time, sharing your experiences and lessons learned from your work in the sports industry. Let us start by letting you introduce yourself to us.

My name is Anders Jansson and at the moment when we are talking, I am 57 years old. As of today, I am running my own consultancy firm, Savoj Consulting. Now you might be thinking, “what is he doing when he runs his own consultancy”? Well, I am working in several areas in the sports industry. A few of those areas I am involved with are sales, events, marketing, branding and coaching.

Before my consultancy career I was the Club Director at the basketball club Sundsvall Dragons (we reached 10 semifinals and won 2 Swedish Championships and Finnish/Swedish Champions). Additionally, to this I have been awarded “the best marketer of the year” in Sundsvall, as well as been awarded “The Dragon of the year” twice (an award that is given to a person that has made a great contribution for the city of Sundsvall. Last but not least, I was one of the initiators of the local sports gala in the district of Medelpad.

Oh wow! Sounds like we have a lot to talk about. Let us start with one thing I know the readers want to know. How is it to work in sports? Furthermore, the question we all want to get an answer from:

Why did you take the step to work in sports?

I started to play basketball and football at the age of 9 years old, and I remember that I thought basketball was the most fun sport. Only three years later I became a youth coach in basketball. This gave me added value to further look into the coaching and leader role. I got myself educated into the different levels of coaching in basketball, I made it to level 3. And in between all of this I slowly grew my passion and joy of coaching people and to have the opportunity to teach the game and then also winning games.

However, that was just the beginning, my bigger involvement and actual work in sports came later in my life. At the age of 31, a job request as the club director at one of the top division teams in basketball in Sweden came from nowhere. I remember that I was thinking something along the lines “that sounds interesting, but I might try this for a few years”. But, slowly during these “few” years, I developed new values within my leadership style, and those “few” years turned into many years as you might understand from the achievements I mentioned during my introduction. My new values were not only winning as much as possible. I started to look into the club with a broader perspective. I wanted to develop one thing after another, if the team could do good, then the whole organization could do better outside of the court too. This was also the moment when the entrepreneur inside of me came into the picture. I started to notice that I could do more in sports than only coaching.

It is easy to think that your plans will always play out as they were planned, but this is very rare in sports. New tasks and opportunities have taken my plans into new directions. I have had to adapt to new situations, which taught me to be as ready as possible and open for changes. You can probably recognize this from an entrepreneur’s lifestyle.

Dare to be an entrepreneur when working in sports

Interesting, please explain how you mean with an entrepreneur’s lifestyle?

For me, an entrepreneur needs to take risks and try to think differently than others. From my own experiences, I started to think differently and one situation like this happened when we brought Scottie Pippen to Sweden and Sundsvall Dragon. I traveled to the United States of America and met Pippen. We tried to figure out how he could be able to get over to Sweden and play with the Dragons.

If you are not aware of Scottie Pippen, he is one of the greatest basketball players ever. He played together with Michael Jordan at Chicago Bulls (one way to understand his greatness is to watch the Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance from Netflix). 2008 was the year we did it. During 2008 Scottie Pippen came over to Sundsvall and while he was here, he visited the youth teams, he met with sponsors and talked about how businesses and sponsorships are being done in the US. This wasn’t the only thing he did, Pippen also met the municipality and talked about his social engagements in the states. And of course, he played a game in the league with us. We won again Akropol with 102-74 And Scottie Pippen made 21 points, All of these activities provided great value to all of our stakeholders. And all of this gave us an extra boost to do new similar innovative activities again.


Scottie Pippen Highlights – Sundsvall Dragons


Added value for win win win

To give you another example, we also brought over one of the world’s best F1 drivers, Mika Häkkinen (also called The Flying Finn) and of course his car to the stadium in Sundsvall. Sure, there is no connection with basketball like the one with Pippen, but a lot of people showed up and listened to his talk he did. This activity was also built to give our sponsors some added values in a similar way as the one with Scottie Pippen.

So why was this idea with Häkkinen a good one?

Well, we had heard that he did this show in Finland where it was something special and then we started to look into the possibilities to host that show over in Sweden. Once again, the entrepreneurial spirit made me take that chance and ask him and his team.


The Flying Finn, Mika Häkkinen


Finding the dream job with your passion

As you have told us, you love basketball, how come you fell in love with the sport? What makes you want to keep working in the game?

The biggest carrot (as we say in Sweden, which means an inner drive) is the love for the game, but also to improving the club I work with, which means create new revenue streams and figuring out how to increase a club’s revenue. To get back to my experience, this is what I did with bringing over famous people to the stadium and bringing sponsors together to make it happen.

Please explain how you mean with love?

The love is the game basketball, the split vision and the knowledge and tactics in basketball, which are excellent. I mean, you can’t kick the ball and you only have 8 seconds to do something with the ball, so you really need to take action all the time. You can’t stand still too long. It is a game where things always happen.

Three important skills to become a good sport manager

What are three important skills according to you that are needed in order to get into the sports world as a good leader/manager?

Heart: Love to the sport, in my case basketball.

Passion: A drive to go forward, you have to have that passion from your inner drive to be able to do something.

Entrepreneurship: Find everything you can to sell. We made it successful to sell everything from doping tests to motorsport and of course the basketball event with Scottie Pippen. You have to dare to take your idea into businesses.

How to be more creative in the local grassroots sports club?

Since Anders is very generous with his time he has more experiences to share and therefore we actually have more in this interview. He has more knowledge to share about grassroots sports and how he made one of the greatest in floorball to do a comeback. But in order to make sure you can take it all in we will post the second part of this interview in one of the upcoming posts. Be patient and stay safe. Keep an eye out for the next one.


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