The Big Ten Conference is seeking candidates for Director, Communications. This position leads communications and media relations efforts across the organization. The Director is responsible for leading and supervising media operations at designated Conference events, including media days, championships, and tournaments to enhance the local and national profile of the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions. This position is also responsible for serving as sports communications liaison for multiple conference-sponsored sports.
Essential Functions
  • Engage with local and national print, radio, and broadcast media to proactively generate coverage
  • Manage relationships with key communications and production personnel at conference broadcast partners
  • Research and draft press releases, other media materials, and briefing notes
  • Oversee media operations at designated Conference events, including championships, tournaments, media days, and other events as necessary
  • Serve as primary and/or secondary media and university contact for assigned sport(s)
  • Develop and execute communications plans and initiatives in collaboration with senior team members
  • Provide support and strategy for the Conference’s strategic and crisis communications efforts in conjunction with senior leadership
  • Collaborate with communications professionals and spots communications directors from all member institutions
  • Collaborate with communications and sports administration departments to select student-athlete weekly, monthly, and/or yearly awards
  • Serve as project leader on key conference initiatives and campaigns
  • Foster a culture of inclusion to support a diverse environment
This job description is not an exhaustive list of all functions that the employee may be required to perform, and the employee may be required to perform additional functions and other duties as assigned.
Skills and Competencies
  • Proactive Media Outreach: Ability to maximize new and established relationships with key journalists to generate news coverage about the conference, its member institutions, student-athletes, and key initiatives
  • Writing: Proficiency for creating clean and crisp written communications that are well researched and align with conference messaging
  • Communications Analytics: Keen familiarity with earned media measurement, monitoring and reporting tools and practices and comfortable with utilizing data and analytics to ascertain the effectiveness of the conference
  • Rapid Response: Highly skilled at fielding and responding to media inquiries in a timely fashion
  • College Athletics: Deep experience in communications and media relations in college athletics 
  • Decision Making: Recognizes, analyzes, and solves problems across projects and in complex situations
  • Planning and Organizing: Develop plans for department by identifying activities that will result in overall improvement
  • Communication: Adapts communication content, style, and tone to suit the target audience
Requirements and Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, marketing, media or related field is required
  • 6+ years of experience in athletics communications, media operations, public relations, or related field is required
  • Problem-solving, critical thinking, and time management skills
  • Journalistic writing skills
  • Experience in media relations and crisis management
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and relevant communications-related software
  • Demonstrated knowledge of intercollegiate athletics administration
  • Ability to maintain punctual attendance and timely correspondence
  • Commitment to travel, work evenings, weekends, and non-traditional hours
Interested candidates are invited to apply for this position on the Big Ten Conference careers website by April 14, 2022. This position can be based in either Rosemont, IL or New York, NY. The Conference requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Big Ten Conference is a proud equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to equal employment opportunities regardless of age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, marital status or civil partnership/union status, veteran status, citizenship, pregnancy, genetic information, physical or mental disability, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
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