2013Oct 9

@LU_SPAD Internship Profile: Scott Rodgers – North Bay Battalion

Fourth year SPADNorth Bay Battalion student, Scott Rodgers, is currently an intern with the recently relocated Ontario Hockey League (OHL) franchise, the North Bay Battalion. After 11 seasons without an OHL team (The North Bay Centennials relocated to Saginaw in 2002), the former Brampton Battalion have relocated to North Bay for the 2013-2014 season. Scott, whose hometown happens to be North Bay, has had the unique opportunity to intern with his hometown team and help with the relocation and revitalization of an OHL franchise in North Bay. He has graciously taken time out of his busy schedule to discuss his fall internship with us.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your internship. What is your official title, duties and responsibilities in working for the North Bay Battalion?

SR: Most of the franchises in the Canadian major junior ice hockey industry employ less than twenty employees in their front offices, and therefore are oftentimes not departmentalized. Thus, interning with the North Bay Battalion involves a wide variety of tasks. Due to renovations being completed in the Battalion arena, Memorial Gardens, the team began their season with 9 games on the road leading up to the home opener on October 11. In the months leading up to the home opener, interning involved much corporate partner development, ticket sales, and public relations amid the relocation from Brampton. However, once October 11th rolls around and the subsequent 33 other home games to follow, interning will involve more event management and the array of responsibilities associated with the hockey operations side of the Battalion organization.

Q: How enjoyable has the experience been with the Battalion so far? What is it like to work with an OHL Hockey team?

SR: Interning with the North Bay Battalion has been a great experience thus far. The Battalion are the only organization in the OHL to be experiencing a relocation to another market for the 2013-14 campaign. Therefore, from an intern perspective, “baptism under fire” serves as an appropriate metaphor. The workload involved in a franchise relocation is very significant, and I would not be able to get this firsthand experience with any of the 19 other teams in the OHL. Being able to contribute meaningfully to an organization with an already extremely hard-working and highly motivated front office staff has been very unique to experience, and I am really enjoying my tenure so far.

Q: What has the relocation of the Battalion done to the city of North Bay? How has having an OHL team back in North Bay revitalized the city?

SR: I was born in Sudbury in 1991, so in my youth I was always a Wolves fan. My family moved to North Bay in the summer of 2001, which ultimately turned out to be the North Bay Centennials final season. I will never forget the day the announcement of the Cents relocation was made – I was taking the bus home from school, and over the radio it was announced that the team was sold to a group of American investors who eventually relocated the team to Saginaw, Michigan, becoming the Saginaw Spirit. This had a pretty devastating aftermath on the North Bay community. The amount of community spirit encompassing an OHL team is massive, especially in Northern Ontario, and the city of North Bay has been trying to fill this void for 11 years. So as you can imagine, this community spirit has been completely revitalized, which is truly amazing to experience.

Q: What has been your favorite moment of you internship up to this point?

Promoting our PInk in the Rink Night on October 17

Rodgers in the “Sarge” Uniform

SR: Although I’ve had several great experiences thus far, my favourite moment was when I was the Battalion mascot, Sarge, during the Project Scramble Golf Classic on September 13. The tournament took place at Osprey Links Golf Club, and it included several high-profile organizations and members of the North Bay community. It was a pretty cold day, but because I was in the mascot outfit I was the warmest guy on the links! 

Q: What are some of the big opportunities that you are looking forward to over the course of the next few months on this internship?

SR: Ultimately, I am really looking forward to further witnessing the community rally around the Battalion organization. The renovations to the arena look amazing, which include new seating, corporate boxes, as well as a videoboard, and I think the community will be really impressed come opening night on October 11. Moreover, the team has a plethora of talent and are really looking to excel in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. I am really looking forward to the home games against Northern Ontario rival Sudbury Wolves, who also have a great team, which is something the community hasn’t been a part of since the Cents left in 2002. Furthermore, being able to reconnect with former high school teachers and other members of the community I’ve lost touch with during home games is something I am also really excited about.

Q: What are your goals following the completion of this internship and after you graduate this coming spring?

 

SR: I would really like to continue making the most of this second internship experience, and upon graduating I believe I would like to either continue schooling or begin a career in the sports industry. Internships are what really make the SPAD program very unique, as it bridges together the valuable knowledge SPAD students learn in the classroom with a professional and real world setting. Interning with an OHL franchise specifically can really allow students to expand their knowledge, as the work involves all of the concepts learned in the 4 years of the SPAD program. 

We would like to thank Scott for taking the time to give us an inside look at this unique opportunity and internship. We wish both Scott and the Battalion organization good luck with the continual revitalization of the franchise and the upcoming season.

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