Over the last twenty years, the sports industry has been having a growing impact on the world economy by investing in public infrastructure, mobilising resources and creating new professions and jobs. Today, sport is a real market that generates billions of revenue per year. Making a career in sports is a dream for many people but only a few ever get to experience it. New jobs and specialists emerge worldwide in an organized and structured niche industry.
The open questions arising from this information lead me to survey the market back in 2012 as I was willing to create a new concept in order to fulfil the needs: what are the different trades of the sports business industry? What is the market? How to be involved?
With the feedback collected from talking to the top leaders and staff of the major International Federations, sports agencies and organisations involved in the sports business, I came up with the concept of creating a new type of platform that would put together the major actors of the sports industry :
- first, what I call the “leaders of today”, who comprise all persons active in the various sectors of the sports industry, opinion leaders in their field of action and trendsetters;
- secondly, the “leaders of tomorrow”, the high potential young professionals with little or no experience in sports yet, but willing to pursue a career in this field. These are typically the students with Masters in Sports Management at universities all around the world;
- lastly, the “professional athletes”: this category comprises any former or active professional athlete willing to work in the sports industry and looking at making a meaningful career transition.
Having identified the three major categories of people gravitating into the sports business industry, the first milestones of the WISE concept were set. WISE (standing for Work In Sports Exhibition) is the first ever International Convention for Careers in Sports. It will be held in Lausanne, the Olympic capital, on May 7-8, 2014.
Being faced daily with these kinds of interactions in my business as Managing Director of SINERGI Sports Consulting, a management consulting firm advising sports organisations and commercial entities, among others, in the area of Recruitment, I realised that this activity was ever increasing.
Every day I receive CVs and phone calls from sports professionals wanting to enter the sports industry and asking for career advice. By creating WISE, my vision was to foster career management by offering a 360° sharing platform to all professionals of the sports industry and to companies interested in entering this competitive market as well.
I first talked to leading personalities of the sport’s world, such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who has its own “Athletes Career Programme” for a few years now and they were very positive about the concept. They decided to give their support to WISE.
Based on the initial survey, this international convention’s main purpose is therefore to present the various sport’s professions, their market evolution, trends and related educational systems. Peers from different industries will be invited to share knowledge, exchange ideas, broaden networks, strengthen relationships and create new business and career opportunities.
All major stakeholders in the sports industry will be involved: schools and universities, recruitment agencies, national Olympic committees, national and international federations, foundations, commercial entities, public authorities, agencies, etc.
Giancarlo Sergi is the Exhibition Director of WISE – Work In Sports Exhibition – the first ever International Convention for Careers in Sports that will be held in Lausanne on May, 7-8, 2014. WISE’s website is www.wiselausanne.com and Giancarlo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.