It is no secret that the country is in recession. It is also no secret that the country is in economic crisis. It’s actually so well known that both presidential candidates have admitted it, and voters will decide who they think can solve the problem best. It is not an ideal situation for the country. The situation has had a negative effect on the current labor market. What is unknown is whether the current economic situation will affect jobs in the sports world, especially the National Basketball Association.
A good way to understand job opportunities in the NBA is to look at the actual number of jobs for NBA teams. In a Newsok.com article in August 2008, a breakdown of available NBA jobs was presented. As Mike Baldwin’s article reports:
-Basketball operations (Jobs 20 to 25 employees)
-Sales (Jobs 12-20)
-Marketing (Jobs 10-12)
-Broadcast (Jobs 6-10)
– Customer relations, services continued (Jobs 4-8)
– Retention of season tickets (jobs 3 to 5)
-Ticket operations (Jobs 3-4)
-Merchandising (Jobs 4-7)
-Events and entertainment (Jobs 6-10)
-Community relations (Jobs 4-6)
-Public relations (jobs 3-5)
-Business development (Jobs 6-10)
-Commercial operations (Jobs 2-5)
-Information technology (jobs 2-4)
-Human resources (Jobs 2-3)
-Jobs in finance (3-5)
As Baldwin’s articles show, there are around 90-140 front office jobs for each team. That’s a very, very good number and should be a good thing for job seekers to hear. The large number of positions in each front office allows plenty of opportunities for entry-level job applicants.
While the sheer number of jobs for each front office is a good thing, another recent article points to some bad news about NBA jobs. League commissioner David Stern reports that nearly 80 or 9 percent of jobs will be cut. As he puts it, “we made the decision a few months ago that the economy was going to be a little wobbly, so we started to tighten our belts.” He added, “I guess within a week or so we’ll have a modest drop in subscriptions … We think our revenue will go up, but I can’t say for sure whether we’re going to be on the rise or on the downside because it’s so simple, because sports tickets are very disposable income. So we’re not going to see a huge impact, but dare I say we will see some impact. “
It’s clear that Stern accepts that the economic situation is affecting jobs in the league, but overall he’s not worried about it affecting the league in the long run. My advice to job seekers is pretty much the same. The current job market is affected, but given the large number of jobs (90-140) for each team (x 30 teams), a large number (2700-4200) of vacancies are still available in the league. The only curveball I could see thrown into the mix would be a lack of improvement in the economic situation over the next four years of presidency. This, in turn, could have a long-term negative impact on the league.