This past summer I did an internship with the Gateway Grizzlies, an independent baseball team in Sauget, IL. I found the internship online through TeamWork which is a website that posts internship and job opportunities within the sports industry. I spent the summer as their Corporate Marketing Intern. The team was small due to the size of the organization, but everyone had a teamwork mentality. Although the hours were long and the schedule was unconventional, I was grateful for this opportunity to work in such a unique and fun atmosphere being a part of something I am passionate about. Even just spending a summer working in sports was worth it and something I would recommend to anyone interested.
Throughout the summer my duties and responsibilities included representing over one hundred corporate and family clients, writing proposals, and writing proof of performances for these clients. One major thing I learned on the corporate side was that when I was tasked with approaching different prospective corporate clients, not every sponsorship package is going to fit their specific needs or wants. I found that it is best to be familiar with the specific type of company and their size when proposing possible sponsorship opportunities through the Gateway Grizzlies. I would continually practice vertical marketing for the variety of theme nights throughout the season by initiating sales processes through leads and cold calling potential clients. I would also help in the box office operations including will-call, online ticketing, pre-sale orders, walk-up windows, and handling all other inquiries. During games I would run our twelve party suites to ensure that our clients were taken care of during each game. My two favorite nights of the year were St. Louis Browns night and Squints night. On St. Louis Browns night, we were able to have a St. Louis Browns historian at the game as well as a former Browns player who was the last player in the team’s history to record a hit and RBI for the franchise. On Squints night we were able to have the actor Squints from the movie The Sandlot at the game. On this night I was able to help run the VIP meet and greet session. I also got the opportunity to create my own theme night which was Jurassic Park. I successfully got a sponsor for the night who helped us do a drawstring bag giveaway.
As I am almost a quarter of the way through my senior year and currently looking for a full time position I am still using Teamwork Online to search for job opportunities in the sporting industry. My supervisors from Gateway are still available for me to reach out to if I have any questions or references. While at Gateway and being in the corporate sales role I learned how to effectively network, not only for personal connections but also for Gateway. Being a representative and one of the faces of the organization to the community, I learned helping small businesses through our organization is something many companies are interested in and the best way to do this is being personable and genuine.