Dave Torromeo of New Canaan and Walter Recher of Carmel, N.Y., are true sports fans.

The co-founders of Rye Brook, N.Y.-based Diamond Sports Education Group LLC have, for the past year, held seminars throughout the area to help others land jobs in the sports industry.

"We saw a great niche for young people and those interested in a career change," said Torromeo, who began the business four years ago with Recher after they worked together as professors of sports business management at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. "We'd work with them to polish their assets and get them contacts in the industry."

Torromeo and Recher, who held seminars over the summer at the University of Connecticut's Stamford campus, the University of Bridgeport and the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, in September launched the Diamond Sports Perfect Pitch program, in which college students pitched ideas on increasing attendance at Marist College's Dutchess Stadium.

"We're looking to launch this with Major League Baseball in 2010," said Recher, a former Stamford resident.

Diamond Sports, whose next seminar is Dec. 10 at the Grand Prix New York race track in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., plans to schedule educational events at UConn-Stamford, Bobby Valentine Sports Academy in Stamford and other colleges and universities.

The firm also is working with the Bridgeport Bluefish on getting students paid internships and has partnered with Marsar Sports & Entertainment LLC to launch Diamond Sports New Media career services at its headquarters, which has a recording studio for posting pitches on its Web site.

"The sports industry is a large, growing field that has experienced less layoffs and more interest in the global market, which is now estimated at as high as $400 billion," Recher said.

Nearly 250 U.S. colleges offer degrees in sports management, including 219 bachelor's degree programs, 140 master's degree programs and 23 doctoral programs, according to the North American Society for Sports Management in Slippery Rock, Pa.

The industry, which encompasses local YMCA events and the National Football League's Super Bowl, is the fifth-largest industry in the United States, said the society's president, George Cunningham, who also is a professor of sport management at Texas A&M University.

"We're talking billions of dollars," he said. "It's a large industry and will continue to be so because I don't think people's time spent in leisure activity will decrease," he said.

Diamond Sports, which plans to open an office in the Stamford area, is working on creating internships with area sports marketing firms such as Velocity Sports, Gridiron Capital, Octagon and World Wrestling Entertainment, Torromeo said.

"While people refer to the New York metro area as the media and financial capital of the world, it's also clearly the sports capital of the world," he said.