Culture Is King: Takeaways from Six Happy Workplaces

Culture Is King: Takeaways from Six Happy Workplaces

Karyn Mullins

You may have already researched and found your favorite role among the CareerCast Jobs Rated Report 2017. Or, perhaps you learned how to stand out to earn one the toughest jobs to fill this year. However, you might not yet know what employer in the sports industry best suits you. 

The world of sports is home to some of the most socially-responsible, culturally-oriented companies. It comes as no surprise that people who work in sports are considered among the most passionate professionals in the world. Their love for sports drives their dedication in contributing value to a fun, dynamic industry.

Here's a look at six amazing sports organizations found on Glassdoor's 2018 Best Places to Work list:


Fun Facts:

  • Awards: Best Places to Work: 2018 (#49), 2017 (#5)

  • 97% of Employees Recommend

  • 100% Approve of CEO

  • 4.9 Stars

Launched in 2009, SeatGeek is one of the leading aggregators of sports, concert, and theatre tickets. What sets them apart from the bigger-named ticket marketplace resources?

For one, they deliver a simple user experience through desktop and mobile, and they offer a 'Deal Score,' a system that analyzes listings and rates the best bargains. However, the main differentiator is their culture.

Their employees are incredibly happy, and when you look at their culture, it's not hard to imagine why. First of all, their benefits are amazing. Employees enjoy free annual passes for Citibike, which cuts down on commute costs. They also get weekly catered team lunches, unlimited sick days, meditation benefits, and monthly allowances for tickets.

They all live by their company values. As the team grows in size, they stay true to their tech startup spirit. They are also incredibly detail-oriented, humble, and analytical.


Fun Facts:

  • Awards: Best Places to Work: 2018 (#6), 2017 (#38)

    • Highest Rated CEOs: 2016 (#47)

    • Best Places to Interview: 2017 (#44)

  • 85% of Employees Recommend

  • 87% Approve of CEO

  • 4.1 Stars

Since its founding in 1998, lululemon has grown exponentially. It started as a design and yoga studio in Vancouver before growing into one of the most popular international athletic apparel companies in the world.

If you want to work in sports and enjoy the retail scene, this is one of the best employers to consider. They value "self-empowerment, positive inner-development, and living a life of possibility."

Social responsibility is also a major focus for the organization. They aim to advance social and environmental standards across the supply chain and use their 'Here to Be' program to support the yoga service community.

Blizzard Entertainment

Fun Facts:

  • Awards: Best Places to Work: 2018 (#28)

  • 86% of Employees Recommend

  • 99% Approve of CEO

  • 4.3 Stars

What started as a game port creator in 1991 is now one of the biggest video game developers and publishers in the world. Blizzard offers some of the most popular games, including Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch.

Their current mission is simple: "Dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences ...ever." They accomplish this by building a culture around eight core values:

  • Gameplay first - The gamer's experience is top priority.

  • Commit to quality - Seek honest feedback to make things great.

  • Play nice; play fair - Respect and integrity is mandatory in all interactions.

  • Embrace our inner geek - Unique enthusiasm shapes their creative culture.

  • Every voice matters - Speak your truth, and accept criticism as an opportunity for great ideas.

  • Think globally - Grow and support all gamers from all different cultural backgrounds.

  • Lead responsibly - Ethical decision making and professionalism are top priorities.

  • Learn and grow - Each individual is responsible for gaining knowledge.

They offer several opportunities in different departments, ranging from art/animation and consumer products to global insights and community development.


Fun Facts:

  • Awards: Best Places to Work: 2018 (#53), 2016 (#47), 2015 (#25), 2014 (#29), 2012 (#35), 2011(#47), 2009 (#22)

    • Highest Rated CEOs: 2017 (#52), 2016 (#29), 2015 (#2)

    • Best Places to Interview: 2017 (#34)

  • 81% of Employees Recommend

  • 92% Approve of CEO

  • 3.9 Stars

Everyone knows the swoosh when they see it. Since it was founded in 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike has transformed the world of sports footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services.

They are now the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, following an ambitious mission: "Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world."

This focus on empowerment extends to their employees, who actively participate in this "culture of invention." Employees enjoy amazing benefits, like discounts, access to fitness centers, professional development coaching, and relocation packages.

Electronic Arts

Fun Facts:

  • Awards: Best Places to Work: 2018 (#56)

  • 82% of Employees Recommend

  • 92% Approve of CEO

  • 3.9 Stars

This is another great place to work in sports for those who are interested in one of fastest growing areas of the industry -- esports. Since its founding in 1982, Electronic Arts has been a leading voice in the video game industry.

They're currently the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization. Some of their most well-known titles include Mass Effect, Need for Speed, The Sims, and Madden NFL.

Their culture shares six core values: creativity, pioneering, passion, determination, teamwork, and learning. Employees who embody these values thrive and contribute to EA's mission of delivering excellent gaming experiences.

What's more, leadership emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion. They provide an employee training program to teach about unconscious biases and inclusive language.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

Fun Facts:

  • Awards: Best Places to Work: 2018 (#61), 2016 (#45), 2013 (#21), 2012 (#8), 2011 (#40)

    • Highest Rated CEOs: 2017 (#86)

    • Best Places to Interview: 2017 (#93)

  • 81% of Employees Recommend

  • 89% Approve of CEO

  • 3.9 Stars

REI is a consumers' cooperative that sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing. They also offer services, like outdoor educational courses. Founded 80 years ago, REI now operates over 150 stores in 36 states.

This is another great option for those who want to work in sports retail. Their culture is founded on shared values, including balance. Employees enjoy a great work-life balance thanks to 'Yay Days' -- an extra paid day off during the year to encourage them to explore the outdoors.

The organization also offers discounts, tuition reimbursement, sabbaticals, adoption assistance, and professional development classes. This is the perfect place to work for outdoor enthusiasts.


Building an awesome sports career starts with a supportive employer. Once you identify your biggest sports passion, such as outdoor recreation, esports, or yoga, find a company you want to grow with.

Karyn Mullins is the President of JobsInSports, the one place with all the tools, statistics, and information needed to connect job seekers with employers for sports employment openings at all levels. Follow JobsInSports on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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