Careers advice

Where to find sports jobs in NZ

These jobs will get you close to the action.

Last updated: 24 January 2024

Aotearoa is a sports-mad nation. From the All Blacks to the Silver Ferns to community sports clubs every weekend, we can’t get enough of the stuff.

So, what if you want to turn your passion into a profession? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of sports jobs that don’t require the rigorous training schedules, and bit of luck that it takes to become an athlete. You can immerse yourself thoroughly in the world of sports through a variety of different roles, getting you close to the action while earning at the same time.

8 sports jobs available in NZ

1. Sports marketers

There’s a whole industry around marketing athletes and sports teams, providing plenty of roles in this space. Fancy making content to promote your favourite stars (and potentially interviewing them), hyping up tournaments or coordinating advertising deals with media companies? Sports marketing encompasses all of these duties and so much more.

These roles often provide you with plenty of access to major sporting events, sports stars and merchandise (and who doesn’t love a bit of free sports swag?), as well as building transferable skills to take you in other directions in the future.

2. Sports journalism

Another sports job that gets you close to the centre of it all is sports journalism. If you’ve got the knowledge of the game(s) to provide insightful analyses, and the communication skills to put this across in an engaging way, sports journalism could be the avenue for you.

As well as specialist sports publications and platforms (digital, print and broadcast), all of our large news organisations like RNZ, Stuff and NZ Herald have sports sections, as well as smaller regional news organisations.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious sporting events, and, if you rise to the top of the profession, this might include following our national teams overseas as they take on the best in the world.

Sports journalism can get you unmatched access to sports starts and prestigious events.

3. Sports facilities management and staff

Nationally and internationally famous sports grounds like Forsyth Barr and Eden Park require a lot of looking after to stay match fit. Whole teams of greenkeepers are employed in some of these larger venues, often with a head turf manager overseeing their work, to ensure the grass is pitch perfect (see what we did there?).

And then there are all of the other facilities that make up a world class sports ground – security, food and drink outlets, merchandising and ticket officers. Many of these folks get a ringside seat to big games, and some of these roles don’t require much or any experience, making them a great first step into the world of sports jobs.

4. Physiotherapists and nutritionists

The world of sports science can be both interesting, lucrative and exciting, if you’re a sports nut!

Physiotherapists help players and athletes deal with the physical toll that professional sport can take on the body. Again, you’ll likely need to work your way up from physiotherapy in hospitals or private clinics before making your way into the world of sport, but this is a great incentive to keep growing your skills.

Nutrition is also vitally important for sports stars to stay on top of their game. So, if you’ve got what it takes to advise athletes on the nutrition regime required to optimise their performance, sports nutrition could be the path for you.

5. Sports psychologists

Society is much more aware of the importance of looking after our mental wellbeing than it used to be, and this is also true in professional sport.

Sports psychologists use their training to help professional athletes deal with the pressures that come from pursuing these careers, helping them to be their best when they take to the field. This is super important in a profession where people experience massive highs and lows, all in the public spotlight, so you’d play a vital role in keeping them grounded and helping them focus on what’s important..

6. Sports agents and managers

These movers and shakers serve as crucial liaisons between athletes and various entities, negotiating contracts, endorsements, and other deals. They handle the business aspect of an athlete's career, aiming to secure the best opportunities and financial returns for them which is crucial when their time at the top is limited.

7. Sports analytics and data science

With the rise of technology, data analysts and scientists have become an integral resource for sports teams. They collect and analyse data to provide insights into player performance, strategy optimization, and decision-making for coaches and organisations.

Have a head for numbers? Sports analytics is only growing as a sector.

8. Sports equipment managers

Ensuring that athletes have the right gear is essential. Equipment managers handle the procurement, maintenance, and distribution of sports equipment, ensuring athletes have what they need to perform at their peak.

9. Sports teachers

Last, but definitely not least, are sports teachers. For every Dame Valerie Adams, Beauden Barrett or Stephen Fleming, there was a (or, more likely, several) sports teachers and coaches instructing, encouraging and advising them back in the early days.

Sure, you might not be mixing with professional athletes on a daily basis, as you might with some of the other sports jobs listed earlier, but you’ll be the one who gets to watch young sports players grow and develop. And, who knows, if they make it big, there might be a free season ticket in it with your name on it!

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Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.