It’s the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium, and every member of the grounds crew is at a dead sprint in efforts to pull the tarp across the field. A spectacle only second to witnessing Aaron Judge’s 30th home run, we watch as a sponsorship by Glad is revealed in the center of the giant plastic covering. The tarp now serves two purposes: (1) protecting the diamond from the sudden downpour and (2) brand exposure. Our group exchanges admiration of the clever placement, and my mind starts spiraling around the conception, negotiation, and activation of this idea. I catch myself and think, “So this is what it’s like to no longer think like a fan, but as a professional.”
“One look around the room during our Mid-Summer Gathering confirmed what I already knew to be true: people in this industry care about each other. While it may be hot and muggy outside, I feel the most warmth knowing I’m surrounded by people who refuse to let me fail.”
With each passing programming event, my classmates and I are being finely whittled from college students to business men and women. Today, it was courtesy of “The Yankee Way,” as we had the opportunity to pick the brains of five diverse Yankee professionals. Topics covered included ticket sales, social media, guest experience, and work ethic. In what has been four weeks of MSBA 2017, I have yet to leave a session uninspired. Today was no different.
The evening transitioned from strategy discussion to chicken strip consumption as our Mentors joined us for the game. I watched faces light up as combos of Mentors and Mentees swapped Fourth of July stories, work updates, and genuine interest in each other’s well being. As I enjoyed a beautiful evening of baseball with my own Mentors (Evan Sahr of Paige Hospitality Group, Kelly Krautheim of Momentum Worldwide, and Scott Baum of NFL On Location Experiences), my gratitude for these established professionals’ willingness to take me under their wing soared like a pop fly.
Moving to New York from a state whose slogan is “Nebraska Nice,” my friends and family were apprehensive I would find people here who care about me the way they do. Due to my chronic optimism, I never had any doubts. One look around the room during our Mid-Summer Gathering confirmed what I already knew to be true: people in this industry care about each other. While it may be hot and muggy outside, I feel the most warmth knowing I’m surrounded by people who refuse to let me fail.