Sports Direct International plc

Sports Direct International plc

We can sum up our vision in four major points, they are as follows:

  • At number one we strive to offer the best value for our customers, whilst also offering the best quality. We are also willing to expand beyond the horizon and become not only one of the biggest companies in the country, but one of the largest companies within Europe.
  • Talented candidates who offer extraordinary effort will be valued greatly within the company to help achieve this vision.
  • We are the number one sports retailer in the UK and we want to not only keep it this way but become the number one sports retailer in Europe as well.
  • We have already started our expansion and with this comes the need for innovative employee’s willing to join one of the most successful companies in the history of the UK.

The Group’s UK stores (other than Field & Trek) supply a wide range of competitively priced sports and leisure equipment, clothing, footwear and accessories. We stock third-party brands including adidas, Nike, Reebok and Puma. We stock Group-owned brands including Dunlop, Slazenger and Lonsdale, and we also stock licensed-in brands.

The Group has retail interests outside the UK and has a flexible approach to entry into new markets. These interests include wholly owned retail outlets (trading as Sports Direct), joint ventures with other retailers (such as in Heatons stores in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) and stores within another retailer’s store.

As part of the accelerated growth programme in our European subsidiary, in FY13 we opened 19 new stores in Europe and entered into four new countries. As of 28 April 2013, International Retail operated from a total retail sales space of c. 1.1m sq. ft. In conjunction with the acquisition announced in Austria and the Baltic region, we are now active in 19 countries across Europe.

The head office is based in the old mining town of Shirebrook, Derbyshire near Mansfield. This is where you will be based on your graduate placement. It is based on the old site of the Shirebrook Colliery on a new business park. Located only 10 mins from the M1, the business park is surrounded by beautiful scenery including vast woodland areas. A large proportion of employees live within the local area of Mansfield and some driving for half an hour from Nottingham and Sheffield. Graduates will be offered letting agencies near Mansfield and Shirebrook so travel will not be a problem. With access to the train station which is on the Robin Hood line, along with bus services from Mansfield.

The local area offers lots of outdoor activities with the peak district, Sherwood Forest and the Derbyshire dales all within a short car drive. Furthermore the area is extremely cheap for a large proportion of things, such as cheap drinks, houses and food. If you go into Mansfield, there are a large range of shops you would expect any large town to have, with Nottingham and Sheffield providing and much larger variety of shopping facilities.

Case Studies

  • Name: Tom


I would urge anyone to apply for the Talent Bank Scheme as you can get an insight into how a leading retailer works and gain an understanding of your own capabilities. There may be times where you feel the work is a bit daunting, but everyone is in the same boat. You will have the constant support and resources to improve and give yourself a great opportunity of a career in marketing. You can only improve by doing the scheme, so go for it and enjoy!

I am now writing content, mainly blogs and copy, for the website and its affiliates. I also create and publish press releases every week that are tailored towards selling products with a current news story in mind. I am involved in weekly meetings and play a part by talking about my role and discussing new ideas. My role demands I be flexible and ready to create a varied range of content at a moments notice, in various formats, and for a range of different sites. I have learned different styles of professional writing and the importance of working quickly.

  • Name: Natalia


I would definitely recommend this graduate internship as it has seen me gain understanding in a new area of work and improve upon my knowledge of retail, resulting in full time employment just a few months after finishing at university – definitely an achievement to be proud of.

Where am i now..

Since the end of the Talentbank experience it has been an exciting and interesting time learning about the new area that I work in. Now I am involved in making sure that our customers have the best experience possible when they visit our websites and what they expect to see is there. This encompasses ensuring that products are in the right categories and writing category copy for an entire website. The category copy consists of targeting keywords that customers search for that has a direct effect on our search engine rankings making us as a company easier to find. This job is rewarding as you can see tangible results as well as knowing you are directly effecting a customers user experience.

Training & Profiles

Recruitment Process

  • Online ability tests – These will test your ability in key areas such as numeracy and verbal reasoning and are usually known as physcometric tests. They are an ideal way to test your performance and behaviour. The key in these tests is to work quickly and accurately.
  • Assessment centre – There will be capability based interviews, group exercises and analysis exercise. These will test you for a wide range of skills and see how you would cope within a workplace environment. Analysis exercises are used to assess your analytical skills and commercial awareness whilst also helping to assess how you would tackle problems within the workplace. For the group exercises , imagination and teamwork will be key. You could be asked to come up with inspiring ideas or help tackle problems. It could possibly help you if you do some extra research on the company. In the interviews, you shall be asked a series of questions. Answer the question not what you would like to answer and remember be confident and enthusiastic. This process will judge your personality and major capabilities.

Skills Needed

  • Analytical capabilities – At this company, when we face a problem, we must analyse the problem and figure out the most efficient and logical way to counteract it.
  • Being able to make changes – Adaptability is a great asset and showing that you have this will greatly encourage us to pick you over other candidates. Being able to complete tasks that may not be in your comfort zone will be required and as long as you give your best effort and give your best shot we would be happy as a company
  • Being able to interact within a team –Being able to work with a team and control a team is a huge attribute and having that influence will help you complete tasks efficiently and effectively.
  • Committed to the company – We expect any applicant to be committed to the company, realising that full effort is required.
  • Having a sense of personal drive and integrity - You must also carry a sense of pride. We look for people who will take pride in their work and take pride in supporting their colleagues. We are a tight knit bunch at Sports Direct and help is always around to anyone who needs it.
  • Business Analyst at Sports Direct International plc

    When I originally applied for the job, I had to fill out general questions on their site about experiences and so on, then they got in touch with me to complete online tests. These were 2 tests which lasted approximately 20 minutes each. These were

What will make my application stand out from the rest?
We look for the best candidates to have a passion for business along with them being driven and motivated to not only get yourself to succeed, but to drive others to succeed as well. Positions of responsibility you’ve previously had will be a great starting point in your application. As the leading sports retailer we will want to know about your passion for the company and why you will want to work for us, we want to see your passion!
What should I bring to the assessment?
We will send you all the required details in the an e-mail you will receive to let you know you have made it into the assessment centre.
What is the application process?
The application stages are as follows (in order) : online application, online psychometric ability testing, assessment centre analysis and interviews.
What if I haven’t achieved a 2:1 or don’t have enough UCAS points?
We offer a range of opportunities on our careers website that will be suited for you.
Where are you based?
We are based in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.
What will happen when the programme finishes?
Our Graduate placements offer the chance for permanent job opportunities for the best performers.
Can I apply for more than one programme?
No, only one application is allowed per candidate.
Can I defer my application?
We are unable to accept deferred applications.
Will you accept CV’s instead of online application?
All applicants are required to attach their CV when applying as well as completing the online application.
Can I choose other places within the company to work?
It will depend how well you have performed on the placement.
Would I be able to have feedback on my online application?
Unfortunately, due to the vast number of applications received, we are unable to give feedback on the online applications. We are able to give feedback within the assessment centre however.
Do I need to provide proof of all my qualifications?
Yes you will need to provide proof of your qualifications.
Will Sports Direct help me get a work permit?
No, unfortunately we are unable to help with work permits.
Is there a uniform?
There is no uniform within Head office, the dress is smart casual. However, in store we do require a uniform to be worn.
Are there any other jobs available?
Yes, please check our careers webpage.
Is the graduate placement only available to graduates?
Yes it is.
Do I need certain degrees to apply?
No we accept degrees from all disciplines as long as you have a 2:1. For IT programmes, we would like an analytical or IT based degree as preferred choices.
I currently work for sports direct, are there any quick passes I can get through to go further along the application process?
We are an equal opportunities employer so all applicants need to follow the same process.
If successful, will Sports Direct pay for me to relocate?
No we shall not, but we will help you with letting agencies and provide you information on our buzzing social scene! You will feel at home as soon as you start work!