Major: Sports Communication

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The Super Bowl, the World Cup, the U.S. Open. Start with a major in sports communication and you could find yourself where the action is, covering or promoting big-time sports events. It's not all glamour, though. You might pay your dues covering high school sports for the local paper.

Keep in mind that sports reporting today is about much more than covering games and profiling athletes. Some investigators dig deep into steroid use, racism, and other tough topics.

Students of sports communication, also called sports media and sports journalism, prepare for careers as sports journalists or public relations professionals specializing in sports.

Did You Know?

Many technical innovations in broadcasting, such as the instant replay and slow motion, began in the sports arena.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Practice play-by-play announcing
  • Learn the finer points of press conferences
  • Pick up strategies for representing a team in the face of negative publicity
  • Follow the writing rules of Associated Press style
  • Operate broadcasting equipment to produce field assignments
  • Study the history, economics, psychology, and cultural significance of sport
  • Attend lots of sporting events
  • Write, write, and write some more
  • Work on the school newspaper, radio station, or TV station

It Helps To Be...

Willing to work hard at improving your written and oral communication skills. Of course, being a huge sports fan doesn't hurt, either.

College Checklist

  • Will you have the chance to choose a specialty, such as broadcasting, print journalism, or public relations?
  • Which department or school offers the major? If it's offered by the journalism school, your requirements will likely be different than if it's offered by the kinesiology department.
  • How many courses in sports communication does the program offer?
  • What opportunities will you have for hands-on experience?
  • What student-run news media does the school support?
  • Does the school offer sports you have an interest in?

Whether you're trying to land a job or trying to get information from a source, you need to be persistent. I think it was persistence, above everything else, that helped me achieve my goals.” -- Chris Collins, Lead Sports Anchor, New England Cable News

Course Spotlight

Put on your game face: in a sports reporting course, you'll learn by doing. That means covering your school's sports teams and writing "game stories." You'll also try your hand at columns, features, and, possibly, in-depth investigative reporting. Whatever you turn your pen to, you'll hone key skills like interviewing and note-taking.

Expect an intense, professional atmosphere. You'll scramble to meet deadlines while living up to strict newsroom standards. In fact, some teachers won't accept late assignments at all. They also tend to be sticklers for accuracy and good spelling, just like editors. When not writing, you'll read and analyze different types of professional sportswriting, listen to guest speakers, and discuss topics like journalistic ethics.