Making Cheerleading Your Business

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Most people generally associate cheerleading as being a high school pastime.  Some elite athletes move on to pursue membership with collegiate cheer teams.  But is there “cheer life” after college?  So many men and women miss the excitement of hitting the field (or floor) to perform as a cheerleader once they graduate.  Would it be too far fetched to say that you could have your cake and eat it too? You can still pursue a career AND also stay involved with cheerleading!  Below are a few ways to continue cheerleading after high school or college and turn cheerleading into a full-time career.

Cheerleading is an industry

Not only is cheerleading a sport, but it is also a big industry.  When I say big I’m talking well over $300 million in revenue big! Just like the automotive, financial, and medical industries, cheerleading is viable and shows steady growth within the next few years.  With any industry, there are professions specific to that industry and others that can assist in how the industry conducts business.  Lawyers, physicians, and accountants can all find work within the cheerleading industry because all these services are needed.  If you love cheer, but also want to help athletes with their diets, a career as a sports nutritionist (specializing in cheer athletes) might be a great niche for you! As the industry expands there will always be a demand for creative business professionals to help move the industry forward.

Open a Gym

Becoming an entrepreneur and owning your own business is a huge step and requires a lot of sacrifice, but if it involved something you were passionate about then is it really work? Many former competitive and collegiate cheerleaders open gyms as a way of connecting with their passion.  Gyms are great because they are the training grounds for upcoming talent.  As a gym owner, you would be responsible for making all important decisions regarding coaching staff, gym policies, purchasing gym equipment, and setting tuition that is fair but still allows you to pay your expenses and make a profit. Gyms are also exciting because they are the home base for competition teams. You could also rent space to high school/recreational teams who want to use the space.  Offering drop-in community classes for anyone interested in getting a great workout is also a great idea.

Sell A Product or Provide A Service

With a growing industry comes the demand for specialized products and services. cheerleading competitions are a haven for products and services catered just for cheerleaders.  Custom uniforms, bows, duffle bags, flexibility equipment, and photography are some of the things regularly sold at competitions.  Specializing in any of these products allows you to sell directly to your customer while eliminating expensive research to find where they are (because we all know that cheerleaders want cheer stuff and parents spend money at cheer competitions!)  In addition, many former cheerleaders provide choreography or music mixing services to cheer teams.  This is great if you love the creative aspects of the sport.

Start a Competition or Convention

Another overlooked career field is to start a competition or convention.  Competitions require a lot of planning but bring in a lot of revenue.  In addition to charging teams registration fees, competitions also charge merchandise vendors a fee to sell their products.  One thing to make sure is that your conventions/competitions are very well planned.  It’s necessary to have an on duty emergency paramedic, DJ, photographer/videographer, and reputable judges.  It’s also a great idea to start slowly with one competition before having competitions in several cities.  If you are smart, you will have a unique competition that will set yours apart from other companies.

Professional NFL Cheerleader or NBA Dancer

You will have no other feeling than performing in front of a huge crowd.  Even as a coach, gym owner, sports nutritionist, or cheer entrepreneur you don’t experience the same rush like actually performing.  Many women pursue a career in the NFL or NBA because they want the team camaraderie and love performing for 50,000 plus fans.  Definitely not for the faint of heart, this highly visible profession requires a level of perfectionism and professionalism unmatched in the cheerleading industry. Professionals at this level are getting paid to perform and represent multi-million dollar organizations.  With that said, companies are very selective on who they ask to join these teams because they want to present the best possible image nationally and internationally for their brands.

In this exciting time where there is so much talk and emphasis on loving life and doing what you love, it is important to analyze your strengths and decide how you might use them to create a life you love.  All of us have gifts, talents, and passions, so it does make sense to pursue those things that we are obsessed with.  The key is having a clear plan of action and a creative outlook on what you want and how you will get it.  We live in a society where professions such as physicians, attorneys, and hedge fund managers are highly respected and compensated generously for their efforts. Cheerleading is no different, and with each generation, we will build an industry that is highly respected as well.

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Kristin Dungee

Kristin Dungee is a professional dancer, coach, and choreographer with over 20 years of professional dance, cheerleading, and entertainment industry experience. Kristin is a highly sought after director and choreographer specializing in talent development and training. In addition, she has a BS in Marketing from Florida State University and is currently a NFL Cheerleader as well as a Cheer/Dance Consultant for Game Day Cute.

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