Communications Alum Turns Dreams into Reality of Working in Pro Soccer

Niko Dinoulis ’19 took his passion for soccer and skills from his time at Widener and turned them into a career working the Philadelphia Union.  

Niko Dinoulis wears a blue suit and poses in front of the union stadium overlooking a bridge and river
Niko Dinoulis
Class of 2019
Undergraduate
|
Communication Studies
  • College of Arts & Sciences
Career: Coordinator of Communications and PR

Niko Dinoulis had always aspired to work in sports, specifically soccer. A lifelong fan of the sport and huge Philadelphia Union fan since the club’s inaugural match in 2010, he was able to achieve this dream starting with Widener.

Niko chose Widener after his cousins shared their positive experiences at the university, and he learned more about Widener’s ability to set students up for success.

During his senior year, the communications graduate landed an internship with the Union that blossomed into a career. 

Gameday magic

Niko currently works as coordinator of communications and PR at the Philadelphia Union. In this role he is responsible for drafting club press releases, facilitating interviews for first and second teams, assisting with press conferences, and much more.
 

“My favorite part of working with the Union revolves around game days. The atmosphere and excitement surrounding each match are unparalleled experiences,’ Niko said.
 

Union matches are full of energy from the players on the pitch to fans in the stands.
 

“There’s indescribable joy in watching history being made, whether it’s the team/players breaking records or achieving 7-0 victories. It’s moments like these that truly capture the heart of why I’m passionate about my role at the Union,” he said.
 

Prepared for the big leagues

Niko’s time at Widener gave him the tools he needed to reach his lifelong goal of working in sports. After shadowing a member of the Union communications staff and landing an internship with the team in 2019, Niko went on to join the staff full time.
 

“My time at Widener was filled with hands-on experiences that were helpful in shaping my professional journey,” said Niko. “From participating in internships to engaging in practical projects in my field of study, I gained real-world skills that have proven to be valuable in my career development.”
 

Niko also found ways to be involved on and off campus as well, playing club soccer at Widener and working in the community with Chester Upland Youth Soccer for their Soccer for Success program which promotes physical activity, community engagement, mentorship, and safe spaces for local youth while they are learning and playing the sport.
 

Niko credits Timothy Scepansky, assistant teaching professor of communications, for having an impact on him personally and professionally, even into his career now. 
 

“His support, dedication, and willingness to help were constantly evident. Even beyond the classroom our relationship as endured, and I continue to value his mentorship and guidance, which have played a significant role in shaping my path to where I am today,” Niko shared. 
 

Inspiring others to aim for their goals

While Widener and the Union did not officially become partners until 2023, the proximity of the two institutions as well as the shared interest in community engagement existed long before the multi-year agreement was signed.
 

“It’s fulfilling to reflect on my journey as someone who has experienced both sides of the partnership between Widener University and the Philadelphia Union,” said Niko.
 

To students looking to follow their dreams of working in professional sports like he did, Niko emphasizes the importance of putting yourself out there to pursue your goals.  
 

“My advice to current students aspiring to work with a professional sports team would be to seize every opportunity to gain experience and make connections.” He continued, “I started as an intern in 2019, and even after my internship concluded, I remained persistent by continuing to volunteer. Consistency, dedication, and a willingness to learn are key traits that can open doors to fulfilling careers in the world of professional sports.”
 

Career: Coordinator of Communications and PR

You May Also Like

Shaylyn Westmoreland smiles for a photo at an industry research conference.

A 4+1 Student’s Journey from Campus Leader to Industry Researcher

Shaylyn Westmoreland
Class of 2023 and 2024

"I chose this project not only because it’s fascinating to use AI, I’ve never worked with it before, but also I have family members that are impacted by MS. I want to be able to do research and help when it comes to providing research to the field."

Lauren Thomas presents her research poster.

The Business of Nurse Leadership

Lauren Thomas
Class of 2024

"You're able to focus on both nursing leadership and take classes in the School of Business to learn about important business aspects."