2010Sep 30

Intern Experience: Marketing the Toronto Blue Jays

By Sean Carroll, SPAD 4th Year Student

Imagine you could work for favourite sports team for a summer.  Now think about spending that same time period in Canada’s biggest city.  Well, that is exactly what I did this summer.  I was fortunate enough to get an internship with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Marketing Department.  It was definitely an unbelievable experience that I will never forget.

On any given day I would take on various tasks that were both routine and interesting, as anyone in my position would want to soak up as much knowledge as possible, regardless of the assignment.  I would start my day off typically between 8am and 9am and check my email to see if there was anything that needed my immediate attention.  At some point early in the day I would receive information from my boss with regards to the previous day and input that data into reports.  Nearly every Monday, the Marketing Department would meet at 10am to discuss the upcoming home games, various promotions and updates on marketing strategies that could assist the Organization down the line.  After daily reports were complete, I would look through various newspapers to collect paid and promotional ads for the team and file them accordingly.  Now, obviously these seem like regular intern responsibilities, but some of the coolest things that I was able to encounter happened at different points throughout the summer.

I definitely learned a ton during my time with the Jays and on a regular basis I was able to help out with the advertising side of things where I was given the opportunity to produce Creative Requests.  I would write up everything that we needed to have in an ad and send it to our Graphic Designers to create it.  It took a few attempts to get the hang of it, but eventually caught on and really had a good time doing them.  Another responsibility that I had was to look after the distribution of the team’s pocket schedules.  Requests for pocket schedules occurred sporadically throughout the summer and were shipped immediately.  The best part of shipping the pocket schedules is that I dropped them off in an office that displays the Blue Jays World Series Trophies and the American League Championship Trophies from ’92 & ’93, as well as, the team’s Certificate as an Official Member of the American League issued by Major League Baseball.  Frequently throughout the summer many Blue Jays alumni would come through the office, including Roberto Alomar who was in numerous times for various events.  One of the coolest things this summer was during the second day of the ’10 First-Year Player Draft.  I was just walking down the hall and Alex Anthopolis (Blue Jays GM) was on the phone working hard with many of his scouts surrounding him, discussing the team’s current position in the Draft.  It’s not everyday that you get to go by a Major League GM as the Draft is taking place and see the goings on.  It was pretty awesome for sure.

As an intern I was exposed to many opportunities that, had I not been in that position I would not have been able to take part in.  I was given the responsibility to look after the Bills In Toronto Series Twitter account for the three weeks leading up to and the week following the Colts vs. Bills pre-season game @ Rogers Centre.  I had no previous experience with this avenue of Social Media, but as with everything else as an intern with the Jays, you learn quickly.  With a baseball background of sorts, I was offered the opportunity to assist with the Jays Amateur Baseball Clinics as an Instructor toward the end of the summer.  How could I turn that down?  Honestly.  I also had a chance to volunteer with the Jays Care Foundation for the Blue Jays Annual Gala, Golf Tournament, Habitat For Humanity project, Rookie League Instruction and assisted with a Batting Practice with a young player and Adam Lind.

Overall, the summer of ’10 with the Blue Jays was simply put, unreal.  I had a great time, learned a lot and best of all met many awesome people.  It did not hurt the fact that I had a chance to watch every game if I chose to and share some tickets with my friends.  Without a doubt this internship will help me in ways I have yet to realize.  I cannot wait for my next job in sports and I owe a lot of gratitude to my boss and the Blue Jays Organization for making this an experience of a lifetime.  How could you not have a great time working for your favourite sports team.

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