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ESPN, NBA among 2019's best employers in sports, according to employees

Thomas Barrabi

Industry mainstays like ESPN and startups like athlete social media firm Opendorse were among the organizations identified by workers as the best employers in sports, according to research compiled by Front Office Sports and Yrdstck.

Employees at more than 500 companies were asked to rate their employers according to various criteria, such as opportunities for advancement, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, in-office perks and pay. A 10-part questionnaire asked respondents to rank each category on a scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”

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Fifty companies were named to the final list. In terms of major entities, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Basketball Association were included among the year’s best employers in sports.

“By opening up a survey opportunity without a paid or submitted application, we were able to get the true feeling of those actually doing the work in the trenches for their respective organizations,” Front Office Sports said. “That is also why you will see a list that includes companies that haven’t traditionally been winners of other industry awards.”

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Individual sports franchise honorees included the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and MLB’s Oakland A’s. From the media sector, ESPN and upstart streaming platform DAZN made the list.

Other noteworthy selections included the sports e-commerce platform Fanatics, marketing and representation firm Octagon and Twitter Sports.

The survey results included responses from more than 2,500 active employees within the sports industry. The questionnaire was administered from Sept. 4 through Oct. 18.

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