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I know that squash is overcoming golf as the #1 in some hubs on the east coast (esp. nyc), but what else is on the list? How do the traditional ones of golf / tennis / basketball currently rank? What are some hobbies/sports that are growing in popularity for networking? Cycling? MMA?

From quora -Which is the best sport for networking in the business world? -it mentions the growth of cycling for networking in the business world, had no idea.

Cycling is continuing to grow in popularity. Like golf because of the time commitment and expense required to take part in the activity it tends to self-select among folks who are at least somewhat affluent and have some control over their schedules. They also tend to be a pretty driven bunch, which is good or bad depending on how fit you are. :)

Also, how does it vary by location? (ie how big is squash on the west coast? do bankers in Toronto go curling together? do VC's in CA go surfing together?)

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Comments (55)

  • Bowser's picture

    Golf is the absolute no-brainer. Golf outings are by far the most common networking hobby in finance. Outings are very common between sell-side, buy-side, and company management. If you can't play at a passable level it could even hurt your career advancement.

  • oreos's picture

    Skiing, no doubt!

    But to get the job and into the industry, I would say joining a gym / club of some sort in a finance area.

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

  • Whgm45's picture

    Basketball and golf are the basics, the rest are just gravy.

  • In reply to Bowser
    AndyLouis's picture

    Bowser:
    Golf is the absolute no-brainer. Golf outings are by far the most common networking hobby in finance. Outings are very common between sell-side, buy-side, and company management. If you can't play at a passable level it could even hurt your career advancement.

    Yeah I know a few friends that have paid a lot of $ on golf instruction to get up to that "passable" level. One friend in particular said his boss told him if promoted it would be "necessary" for him to play golf with clients (and that he better be up-to-par (excuse the pun) by the time this promotion came around)
  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    Kickball...not kidding.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • pacman007's picture

    The shit we are willing to do to get ahead haha.

    "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

  • In reply to happypantsmcgee
    Mr. Hansen's picture

    happypantsmcgee:
    Kickball...not kidding.

    Dodgeball as well.
  • Jimage's picture

    Started a thread on the same topic about half a year ago: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/best-network...

    I still think squash is the best networking sport. Quick games mean it's easier to find time to play and you have more potential partners. Games are also intense, potentially attracting more type-A people. Unlike golf and tennis, it can be easily played year-round. Finally, squash courts are available in almost all private city clubs.

    Something that's really gaining in popularity is triathlon training/races. Well-suited for competitive people, especially as they age.

  • HighlyLeveraged's picture

    Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

  • Studiofan's picture

    Next year I will play college golf for a target school, will this be a plus when it comes to i-banking interviews since golf outings are so prevalent?

  • In reply to HighlyLeveraged
    oreos's picture

    HighlyLeveraged:
    Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

    I suppose a lot of dorks do go into IB.

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

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  • ConanDBull's picture

    Womanizing

    "Know what to do, know how to do it, and do it hard." - Juan Castillo

    If you are in the Toronto Area join my group "Toronto Prospective Monkeys"
    http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/group/toronto-prosp...

  • In reply to HighlyLeveraged
    Jimage's picture

    HighlyLeveraged:
    Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

    Former fencer here. Competed nationally and in college, and never met a single influential person while doing it, at least not in North America. Europe may be a different situation, but no matter where you are remember that it is a VERY small community of people.

  • TimothyBryce's picture

    Brazilian jiu jitsu

  • CuriousCharacter's picture

    Don't be a geek, pick something you like. I got my first internship at a hedge fund by sparring at my thai boxing gym.

    I would've came across as an asshole if I had tried cycling just to network.

  • In reply to TimothyBryce
    Abdel's picture

    TimothyBryce:
    Brazilian jiu jitsu

    I remember reading an article about it.

  • Neighbor's picture

    Squash? Fencing? No sir, not for me. Those sound as boring as f**k. I'll stick with golf, basketball, and traditional tennis.

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

  • melvvvar's picture

    musical instruments are good. skin flutes especially.

  • Mortimer Duke's picture

    The reason golf > squash is because the pace allows for a lot of bullshitting and chit chat. Over a round of golf you will get to know whether or not you like someone. Same principle as interviewing someone and asking yourself, "Would I enjoy grabbing a beer with this guy?" Furthermore, Country Clubs are the ultimate status symbols.The draw for every exclusive CC in the world is the golf course, not the squash courts. Get a guy on Winged Foot, Liberty National or Shinnecock and the business is yours. Take him to Augusta and you can bang his wife.

    There are some pretty exclusive gun clubs in NYC. An obvious niche, but if you roll up with a nice piece you will have everyone's attention.

  • In reply to CuriousCharacter
    melvvvar's picture

    evilbyaccident:
    Don't be a geek, pick something you like. I got my first internship at a hedge fund by sparring at my thai boxing gym.

    I would've came across as an asshole if I had tried cycling just to network.

    very true. do what you love. i was an NCAA All-American in competitive tickling. missed several state titles by a hair. literally.

  • In reply to melvvvar
    BankingWaffle's picture

    melvvvar:
    musical instruments are good. skin flutes especially.

    Too real.

    Cheers.

  • blastoise's picture
  • In reply to AndyLouis
    HighlyLeveraged's picture

    AndyLouis:
    HighlyLeveraged:
    Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

    Cool didn't know, specifically which cities? or all over?

    London, France, Germany

  • In reply to Jimage
    HighlyLeveraged's picture

    Jimage:
    HighlyLeveraged:
    Not idea in the US, but fencing is a good one in Europe (i.e. expensive, trendy sport)

    Former fencer here. Competed nationally and in college, and never met a single influential person while doing it, at least not in North America. Europe may be a different situation, but no matter where you are remember that it is a VERY small community of people.

    I think its a European thing. Lots of bankers and hedge fund people doing this, especially in "gentlemen" private clubs

  • In reply to Studiofan
    AndyLouis's picture

    Studiofan:
    Next year I will play college golf for a target school, will this be a plus when it comes to i-banking interviews since golf outings are so prevalent?

    any varsity sport is a great add to a resume for extra currics, golf I would imagine is even better (though your boss may hit you up for free lessons)
  • unslain's picture

    One of my roommates got offered a job by some guy he played blackjack with all night, but I doubt that is common. For myself Golf has been the most helpful.

    "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

  • Abdel's picture

    What about badminton?

  • kingtut's picture

    Golf dominates any networking sport. Your conversations on the course can be as lighthearted or serious as you want them to be. You get to drink, cruise around the course in carts, and ogle the hot undergrad cart girls. Every respectable golfer in the country enjoys talking about their game, country club, golf clubs, swing issues, etc... golf almost makes it too easy to net work. In my last interview I probably spent 45 minutes with one of the firm's MDs just shooting the shit about the local golf scene.

  • Cardinal's picture

    I've only played golf a handful of times and i usually just focus on getting as hammered as possible on the course. How should i actually go about learning to play. Pay for lessons i assume???

    Also kickball is awesome i play in a spring and summer league. All the younger staff play and it is a blast.

  • Studiofan's picture

    To get better at golf, your first step would be to get a solid group of guys that you enjoy playing with. It is really hard to get better if you have nobody to compete against/motivate you especially if you are a type A. Next I would get some lessons at a local course of driving range. After you have developed solid fundamentals go out and buy a nice set of clubs. I recommend doing some research because a good set of clubs can cot upwards of 2 grand, but can be a fraction of that if you buy used/last years models. Keep in mind avid golfers can talk your ear off about the newest clubs so it is good to know a little bit about clubs if you plan on networking on the course.

    Lastly I would start to hit the course regularly interspersed with visits to the driving range. Keep in mind it is a gradual process and most golfers will never break 100. If after 5 years you can hold a handicap under 10 consider yourself lucky.

  • Rhino85's picture

    What is "yachting"?

  • melvvvar's picture

    ^ it is like powerboating without the motor or the extra chromosome.

  • monkeyc's picture

    I'd differentiate between sports where you merely need to be decent and sports where you need to be pretty good to see benefits. Basketball, golf and skiing fall in the first category, racquet sports and sailing in the second. I've heard very mixed and strong opinions on pro gambling (poker/bridge). Most other stuff you do it for yourself and networking benefits are secondary.

  • DJ LIBOR's picture

    I used to box with him occasionally at the Harvard Club

  • illiniPride's picture

    Drinking can be a sport

    Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

  • Batrick Pateman's picture

    cycling is getting huge.....this is the next thing on an international basis...

    who the fuck plays basebawl in europe ?

  • skechers's picture

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  • makeyourownluck's picture

    its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

  • IamObama's picture
  • oracle's picture

    Clever got me this far
    Then tricky got me in
    Eye on what i'm after
    I don't need another friend
    Smile and drop the cliche
    'Till you think I'm listening
    I take just what I came for
    Then I'm out the door again

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