Sports Publicists


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Sports publicists are the voice of the athlete or team they represent, so being an effective communicator is essential. Take classes in English and journalism to hone writing skills, and take speech classes to learn how to compose ideas and thoughts and convey them to an audience. Also take other college preparatory classes, such as math, science, and foreign language. Since sports publicists deal with the public, a general knowledge of history, sociology, psychology, and current events will be especially important.

Postsecondary Training

Most publicists working in the sports industry are college graduates with degrees in public relations, marketing, communications, journalism, or sports administration. A college degree is essential to success as a publicist. 

Other Education or Training

The Public Relations Society of America offers continuing education (CE) classes, webinars, seminars, and workshops on crisis communications strategy, public relations writing, digital media, social media, and other topics. The International Association of Business Communicators and College Sports Information Directors of America also provide CE resources. Contact these organizations for more information. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) offers voluntary certification through the Universal Accreditation Board to public relations specialists. It also offers the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations to public relations student through a partnership program with colleges and universities throughout the U.S. While the PRSA certifications are not sports-related, they will help show prospective employers that you possess a high level of knowledge and experience. Candidates who pass a written and oral examination are designated as accredited in public relations. Voluntary accreditation is also offered by the International Association of Business Communicators to those who meet the education and work experience requirements and pass a written exam.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any experience one can obtain in the field of sports public relations (internships, volunteer opportunities, a part-time job, etc.) will be useful for aspiring publicists. 

Successful sports publicists are outgoing and able to get along with many different types of people. Participate in sports or be a team manager in high school or college so that you become familiar with the lifestyle of an athlete and you can relate to it. Strong organizational skills and the ability to work well under stress are also required, particularly when dealing with big-name clients.