Learn About Being a Sports Information Director
Sports information directors (SIDs) document and publicize the accomplishments of athletes and teams for the school or league they represent. SIDs typically work as a liaison between the school or league and the local or national media.
Like many sports careers, there are few “typical days” for SIDs, who may spend a morning editing a future media guide, an afternoon welcoming media for a team day, and an evening tracking statistics in the press box during a game.
If you’re a sports junkie who enjoys the idea of working closely with a team, coaches, and athletic department as well as the media that cover the teams, sports information positions could prove rewarding.
There is no off-season for college SIDs. They compile statistics for each sport at a school, collect information on each athlete, put together media guides for each sport, and write press releases for the sports program. They also update information on school websites.
SIDs typically track official statistics for each sport at a school. They then issue this information to various media outlets, the league or conference, and eventually compile the information in media guides. They can use these statistics to assist the media on stories or emerging trends.
With many teams and athletes at colleges, SIDs collect information from each player to provide biographical information for media outlets, media guides, and rosters.
By staying on top of trends, SIDs can issue press releases that may help sports reporters or editors with story ideas. When a team receives media coverage, it can help create more interest in the community and at the school.
SIDs also accommodate media representatives who cover the various teams by issuing press credentials, supplying in-game statistics, and assisting in coordinating interviews and press conferences. Before a season, they organize media days to publicize their teams and allow media access to coaches and players.
SIDs also can put together information on the school to provide to recruits.
There also are sports information positions available with leagues, Olympic sports, auto racing, horse racing, pro sports teams, and other opportunities.
Typically schools use students to assist in their sports information departments, an excellent way to get a foot in the door, gain experience, and gain contacts.
SIDs or assistant SIDs typically attain at least a bachelor’s degree with majors in journalism, communications, marketing, public relations, or related fields.
It is important to develop an understanding--and preferably an appreciation--of a variety of sports. While sports like football and basketball may receive the most media attention at a school, sports information departments track every sport at a school.
As seasons cross over, sports information directors can face long hours in their variety of responsibilities. On the other hand, the many different responsibilities appeal to some. Sports information professionals get an inside look at the teams they cover, access that many find enjoyable.
The attraction of working in a sports career typically motivates SIDs. They enjoy their jobs, although they typically don’t get rich in their work. And sports information director role can lead to other responsibilities in a college athletics department.
A SID position can also open doors to transition into professional sports, where a similar role is in public relations. Oakland A's PR Director Bob Rose is an example of a professional moving from college sports to Major League Baseball.