By Andrew Hunter
Knightly News Sports Reporter
Knightly News Reporter
PHILADELPHIA — The Knightly News Media Club represented Central Penn College at the final Philadelphia Phillies #CollegeSeries event of the season, on April 25.
According to the Phillies website, the event, entitled “The Business of Sports Media, Marketing and Partnerships Night,” allowed students “to go behind the scenes in the business of baseball with Phillies sports media, communications and marketing executives, and special guests — as well as receive career advice — at this exclusive #CollegeSeries pregame event at Citizens Bank Park.”
As the event began, students networked with members of the Phillies front office, and spoke with them about a variety of topics, including how to get a job in sports, what students could do during college to build their resume and what opportunities they should consider at their colleges.
In addition to networking with front-office members, students had the chance to meet with two Phillies all-time greats, Milt Thompson and Mickey Morandini. Thompson and Morandini were members of the 1993 National League Champion Philadelphia team, while Thompson was also a coach on the legendary 2008 Phillies World Champion team. As part of this meeting, students were able to get photos taken with the 2022 National League Champion trophy, and 1980 and 2008 World Series trophies.
After networking, the group participated in a moderated panel session that featured the following speakers:
- Ruben Amaro, Jr., on-air analyst, Phillies Broadcast Team
- John Brazer, director of marketing relationships, the Phillies (moderator)
- Carol Dooling, vice president, brand and strategic marketing, Telemundo62, NBC10 and NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Kevin Gregg, vice president, baseball communications, the Phillies
- Michael Harris, vice president, marketing and new media, the Phillies
- Jeffrey Halikman, senior producer, Phillies Baseball for NBC Sports Philadelphia
To begin the session, Brazer, the moderator, offered common questions students ask, such as “How did you get involved with working in sports?” and “How do the off-season and in-season schedules differ?” Each panel member answered.
The focus of this event was interplay between the team and the communication team for the organization. When discussing this interaction, Amaro said, “Our communication team are our eyes and ears in the community. The PR department is crucial to the success of our team and the relationship we have with our fans.”
In talking about how the communication team interacts with members of the team, Gregg explained, “We spend so much time with the athletes and the coaching staff. We spend more time with our co-workers (including the players) than we do with our families because the number of hours required to work in baseball is enormous.”
After the panel session, which lasted about an hour, Knightly News members took in the game, where the Phillies played the Seattle Mariners, which the Mariners won 5-3.
After the event, the authors of this story provided personal reflection about what the event meant to them.
I grew up watching and playing sports, so meeting the players and the people behind the team was an experience that I will not forget. As a child, you see the athletes on the field but typically do not recognize the number of people it takes behind the scenes. One of the most memorable statements for me was made by Carol Dooling, vice president of brand and strategic marketing for NBC Sports Philadelphia. Dooling stated in the question-and-answer portion of the #CollegeSeries that “the only constant is change.” I found this to be informative and encouraging because while many changes may occur in our lives, whether they are planned or not, we must face them. Change can also cause positive growth in who we are as an individual. As students, we are faced with possible changes in our majors or minors, or changes in our work or family situations.
A few of the panelists also stated how the change for them was recognizing that they may not play professional sports, but that they found a way to still be around the game. I related to this because I played softball for about 10 years and I did not wish to play anymore, but I could not figure out how to still be in the same environment. At the end of the day, I valued the time I got to spend with each panelist, player and others in attendance, and, of course, the day spent at the baseball field was a good day, too.
In my time at the Phillies #CollegeSeries, I learned about the importance of being persistent. Meaning, if you want a job (or anything in general) badly enough, you will find a way to find the right people and contact them, so they know your name and that you are serious about the job. A story that stuck with me (and something that I thought about the whole night) was the story about a young man showing up at the front desk trying to get a job with the Phillies. And even though front office members noted that it was a bit unorthodox, the move paid off. In the end, being persistent will get you places in sports.
The overall experience of the Phillies #CollegeSeries was truly memorable. When we walked into the room with all the people from the Phillies organization, I felt it was going to be hard to talk to people because these individuals are working for a billion-dollar organization. However, it was the opposite. It was easier to talk to people because they had an interest in helping us out with career advice. It was a great opportunity and experience that I will remember for a very long time.
Future #CollegeSeries events
After a three-year hiatus from the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, this event was the final one of the 2022-23 school year. Other topics in the spring sessions included “Stadium Security & Operations Night,” “Business Analytics Night” and “Women in Sports Business Night.” Additional #CollegeSeries events will resume in August and continue for four additional events in September. For more information, visit https://www.mlb.com/phillies/tickets/specials/college-series.
Breski is president of The Knightly News.
Media-club co-adviser Professor Paul Miller contributed some reporting to this story.
Comment? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.