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Mar 6 / King Kaufman

ESPN’s Kristi Dosh on how to get the gig

Kristi DoshESPN sports business reporter Kristi Dosh has written a blog post describing how she got to that gig, and while it’s a great read, you’re not going to like it if you’re looking for shortcuts to the top.

Drawing on her experience, Dosh writes:

In virtually every presentation I give to students I give these three guidelines for breaking into sports:

1. Be willing to start at the bottom.

2. Be willing to work for free.

3. Be willing to work harder than everyone else.

Unless you’re a professional athlete who can parlay that experience into a sports career, I recommend the three steps above. It’s what I did.

Dosh, who founded The Business of College Sports website and now writes ESPN’s Sports Business Blog, details her road to the Worldwide Leader, which included law school, blogging, internships and unpaid radio appearances. You can learn from her mistakes, including only applying for an internship with one MLB team rather than casting a wider net, and her successes, such as being aggressive with who you send emails to.

“You’d be surprised where that can get you,” a publicist co-worker tells her at one point.

Dosh writes that, before she got to ESPN in October 2011, she had made about $5,000 in five years working in sports. “I didn’t make a living,” she writes. “I made a little spending money off a hobby.”

But she kept grinding and it paid off. Dosh’s personal Sports Biz Miss site offers other career and networking advice, and you can become one of her 11,000-plus Twitter followers at @sportsbizmiss.

  • Michael Schottey

    This flies in the face of Rick Reilly’s (now famous) advice to “never work for free.” Even though Reilly did so himself as an up-and-comer. Whether it’s blogging, interning or simply freelancing, everyone has to put ideas and content out there to prove they’re worth being paid. Great story here and great advice!

  • Ken Kraetzer

    Yes, know the feeling of this being a hobby. You do get to meet and interact with some really neat people. Key is to build relationships, a body of work, and your own brand. Not a lot (any) of money in this, until you reach the top. I see this in the radio reporting I do as well, fewer paid jobs on the media side, lots of volunteer work accepted. The growth is certainly working for the schools, teams, and companies sending out a constant stream of stories in both written and video forms. Not a good trend for the media to be an effective watchdog on teams or businesses they cover.