Leah Beutler is a senior at UW-Whitewater, graduating this December. She is a double-major in Spanish and Direct & Interactive Marketing. She spent part of her summer as a Marketing Intern with the Madison Mallards.
The Madison Mallards are an unaffiliated collegiate baseball team. My first day, I was unsure of what to expect. First, we had intern orientation which lasted about 15 minutes. We all sat on the Budweiser Rooftop at the Mallards stadium and filled out paperwork while going through brief introductions. Immediately after orientation, we broke out into groups based on our internship titles: marketing, operations, hospitality, etc.
As a marketing intern, I am primarily responsible for community involvement and game day promotions. There are many aspects of each required task. Community involvement includes events such as parades and mascot appearances. I am responsible for showing up on time, interacting with customers, and being vocal about the Mallards upcoming events and games, encouraging community members to come to games. I am also responsible for the Culver’s Bat Kid which entitles me to call people who sign up at Culver’s and schedule a day for the Culver’s Bat Kid winner and his/her family to attend a Mallard’s game. They receive tickets to the game, fun prizes, and a meet and greet with the players before the game.
Game day promotions include 90-second games and activities during each inning break for each home game. We are responsible for making sure all participants, which are usually children, are safe and having fun. If something goes wrong, we are required to think on our feet and solve the issue as we think our boss would.
On game days, the marketing team is running around like headless chickens. We must prepare all of the promotional items for the evening. For example, if there is a bobble head give-away, bringing them all to the front; gathering paint for our Hallman Lindsay paint promotion; even wrapping heads of iceberg lettuce for “Iceberg awareness night.”
Additionally, we are responsible for gathering prize wheel prizes and making sure the prize wheels work and the signs are in good condition. Once gates open, we are responsible for finding people to participate in the on field promotions each night. Sometimes this is very easy and sometimes it is nearly impossible and we almost have to beg people, but the spots always get filled! Promotions require us to pay attention to the game and when there are three outs, we have to be ready to sprint on the field and start our promotion because our 90 seconds is ticking down. Community involvement and game day promotions are the majority of the marketing experience we get as a Mallards intern; however we put in a lot more work than just ‘marketing stuff’ on game days.
The 3rd base gate, where we run out for promotions.
One thing I have learned already from this internship is that jobs in sports are extremely demanding, beyond what I believed. On game days, we arrive at the ballpark at 9 am and depending on the game, we usually don’t leave until around 10:30 pm. Prior to opening day, we worked several days from 9 am until 10 pm repainting chipped wood, organizing storage sheds, hanging signage, and running errands, amongst other things. It is usually six days a week and if we have games all weekend, there are no days off. I found that working for a sports team may not be my exact dream job after all, however a sports related job is still an option for me.
As I continue my summer, I don’t plan on staying at the Madison Mallards. I don’t think I am being challenged enough in certain areas and I think the best option for me is to explore what other options are out there. I am only a few months away (optimistically speaking) from graduation, and I am interested in spending my summer gaining different types of marketing knowledge. The experience at the Mallards was unique and I am glad I did it because I learned what really goes on behind the scenes and that working for a professional sports team is not my dream job after all.