Our friends at CareerMap have produced a blog on potential career pathways into the Rugby Industry.

When it comes to rugby, there is often the common perception of players tackling one another, scrumming down and the ball crossing the try line. While this isn’t necessarily incorrect, there is much more to rugby than what meets the eye.

Talent isn’t only found on the pitch - it might be the star players which are making the headlines but they aren’t the only people needed to make a rugby team work. If you’re a rugby fanatic and want to pursue a career in rugby then there are plenty of opportunities behind the scenes for you to explore. These include:

Marketing

Marketing is crucial to every organisation and it’s no different in rugby. Marketing in rugby aims to build brand awareness and develop a relationship with the team fans. It can also be used to increase sales, strengthen your brand and show how serious you are about the game.

It used to be you would follow your parents club, they’d follow their parents club and so on, however, the rise of technology means this isn’t always the case. Clubs today are now expected to engage with supporters in the online world to secure their following. Marketing is also essential for commercial stability and innovation, from advertising your teams next match to keeping an eye out on the competition. There’s so much a marketing team in rugby is needed for!

Hospitality and Stewards

From being the host in hospitality seating to manning the pre-match pie stands and showing the public to their allocated seat as a steward, there’s so much for you to do. Hospitality and stewards at rugby clubs will be at the heart of the supporters buzz on match days. You’ll be right at the centre of the hustle and bustle, from serving a die hard fan who has attended every game since the age of 4 to the young child going to their first ever match with one of their parents.

Working in hospitality could see you in a front of house position, chef or managing the doors as a steward. If you’re a people person with a passion for rugby then this could be right up your street.

Accounting

Accountants are needed in rugby just like they are in any other organisation. As an accountant in rugby you’ll have a huge role to play, you could be working in:

Tax, Audit or Payroll

Working as a tax accountant means ensuring your teams taxes are filed, VAT returns and end of year accounts are all up to date, while complying to tax regulations at all times.

Payroll accountants in rugby are responsible for managing pay as you earn (PAYE), you will analyse salaries and ensure everyone is paid on time and also manage bonuses if earnt.

Auditors are responsible for identifying errors and resolving these before regulators analyse them. In essence, they are responsible for ensuring everyone else's work is correct.

Rugby teams will also need cost accountants which are responsible for minimising waste, increasing profits and decreasing costs. Merchandise accountants are also important to a rugby team, you might sell merchandise online or at rugby stadiums, so you will need to manage the stock and price of merchandise.

Business Operations

Business operations is another career route which provides the opportunity to break into the rugby workforce. Choose a career in business and you could be finding companies to target and sell sponsorship to, selling to local, regional or national organisations who could potentially sponsor the rugby team you’re working for. This will involve reviewing companies, research and networking.

A career in this sector could also see you building relationships with corporate sponsors and ensuring contract agreements are implemented. You could be working closely with the PR team to ensure the press are running stories about your team in a positive light. Other responsibilities include coordinating radio, TV, community programmes, promotions, publications and events.

Working in business operations could see you working in ticket sales. In this department, you’ll be coordinating membership schemes, dispatches, season ticket renewals and customer service/sales calls.

Whatever area of business you work within, you will be guaranteed to be in a fast paced and exciting environment.

Medical Staff

Medical staff in rugby look after the players short term and long term health. A medical team is typically employed by the rugby club to assist with illnesses, injuries and diet plans. Working in a medical team in rugby will see you advising players on supplement use, therapy and nutrition. You could be working in one of the following areas:

Physiotherapist

As a rugby physiotherapist, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating physical conditions and injuries. You’ll help aid the players recovery and prevent injuries from occurring in future.

Sport Massage Therapist

As a sport massage therapist, you will condition the players muscles before a rugby match and help their bodies to recuperate after the match to avoid injuries.

Nutritionist

Nutritionists provide advice to rugby players on diets to support optimal performance. They create dietary strategies for the team which will promote health, wellbeing, recovery and performance. Nutritionists also analyse each player's physical characteristics and analyse their dietary requirements. This is called a body composition assessment.

Psychologist

Sport psychologists in rugby help players to remain motivated, build their confidence, resilience and overall mental health well-being. They help rugby players to deal with their stresses and frustrations when faced with injuries. A rugby player's performance on match day is made up of tactical, physical, technical and mental.

Podiatrist

Podiatrists help rugby players with various procedures from simple toenail cutting to treatments for sporting injuries impacting feet, ankles and lower limbs. They work with players to prevent, diagnose and heal injuries.

Team Doctor

A team doctor is the first response to on pitch injuries. They will assess, treat, if possible, and advise on the best actions to follow. They may advise the player to be substituted or to continue playing. The team medic always has their players safety at the forefront of their mind when making a decision.

Coaching

As a rugby coach, you’ll be responsible for supporting your team and driving them forward during the challenging and the good times. Whether your team has just suffered defeat or are celebrating a win - you’ll be at the heart of it! You’ll make sure you get the best from your team and help them to grow in their career.

Helping players to develop and give high performances is crucial to a team and it’s the responsibility of the coach to motivate them. Your roles will be interchangeable, from teaching players to organising the training schedule, managing starting lineups, substitutes and leading your team to success.

In a nutshell, you’ll keep the team spirit alive!

Sports Journalism

Although you won’t be employed directly by a rugby team as a sport journalist, you’ll still have opportunities for passion in your profession. Sports journalism means engaging with rugby teams and reporting news and events. You could be working in television broadcasting, online, print or across all of them!

Depending on which area you choose to work in, your tasks may vary. From capturing the perfect try as a photojournalist to promoting upcoming events, sharing player statistics, post match analysis, pre match conferences, interviews with players plus much more. A career in sports journalism offers an extensive range of opportunities which assures diversity.

Referee

Referees are responsible for overseeing matches. They enforce rules, stop play for TMO reviews, start and end matches, inspect equipment (rugby ball and goal posts) prior to the match starting, assess penalties, freekicks, red and yellow cards, warnings, line outs and scrums. Safety adherence is a major aspect of rugby and rules and regulations must be followed.

Television Match Official

Television Match Officials (TMO) assist rugby referees in their decision making. It provides support to the referee to help decide outcomes of incidents, infringements and whether the ball is grounded for a try. Using multiple camera systems, the TMO can view different angles of the match and feed information to the on pitch referee via an earpiece, enabling them to make an informed decision.

Although it’s often the players making the headline in rugby, there is much work which is needed behind the scenes to make a rugby club tick. If you’re passionate about rugby then combine this with your profession - there’s plenty of opportunities out there!

About the author:

Simon Bell, an ex Sedbergian rugby player himself, is the founder and director of Careermap, an online careers resource for students, graduates, career advisers, lecturers and teachers. Careermap provides career support and live vacancies covering a range of industries and sectors.

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