2010Oct 14

SPAD Internship: CFL’s Hamilton Ticats

Jessica Taylor's Internship Story

By Jessica Taylor, 4th Year SPAD Student and Brent Hurley, 3rd Year SPAD Student

TIGERS…EAT ‘EM RAW!!

The Canadian Football League (CFL) has been in existence since the 1860’s. The Hamilton Football Club was formed in the later years of that decade. Therefore, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats franchise has been involved in the CFL for a total of 151 years. This summer for my internship, I got the opportunity to be a part of that rich Hamilton history by working with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in their Marketing Department, an opportunity that will not be forgotten.

On a typical day, I would enter the office usually between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning. From there, I would normally check my e-mail first thing in case there was anything pressing that had to get done immediately. On occasion I would be asked to scan the Hamilton Spectator, a local newspaper, for news stories pertaining to the Tiger-Cats and save them to the system accordingly. Although this may not seem as the most interesting job, I was more aware of the happenings within the organization.

Due to the fact I was involved in the marketing department that allowed me to attend internal game day meetings with other staff members involved with game day. Near the beginning of the summer it was more preparation work to ensure each element of the first few home games were properly looked at. During these meetings I learned at lot in terms of how much preparation and work needs to be done ahead of time before a game. The organization for the games actually begins sometime in March or April and the preseason games don’t happen until June.

Typical Day in the Office for a Tiger Cats intern!

Included in the game preparation, I was in charge of getting prizes for the pre game party in the platinum area on home games and for the away game parties that were held at Jack Astor’s. In addition to getting prizes for the away game parties, I was also given the responsibility of helping run the event on the away game dates. This involved setting up TigerTown signs, ensuring there were ballots for the prizes to be won, and ensuring there was a prize drawn at the end of each quarter.

Once the season started to get rolling, we would have a staff meeting every Monday morning, usually around 9:15, to update every one on how each department was doing and any specific events happening in the near future. There would also be an external game day meeting each Tuesday before a game day. This meeting involved the city, police, security, parking, and so on. I realized there are many parties involved in making a game run smoothly. Also, depending on the theme of the game, certain precautions need to be taken. In terms of prepping for the game, new items may need to be ordered and purchased to fulfill the game day theme atmosphere.

One of the more interesting aspects of the position was that players would come into the office and occasionally they would interact with you personally. I got to help out football operations by organizing and putting together their offensive and defensive play books as well. Some days there may not be much to do but you just need to ask around and show initiative. Just because there may not be much to do in marketing that day, doesn’t mean other departments such as, corporate partnership or community relations don’t need a hand. This was a great way to get to know everyone around the office and make a good impression.

Another entity that made this internship more intriguing, especially this summer, was the Pan Am Games stadium debate. It was really interesting to be directly involved with one of the parties that are crucially involved with this situation. The debate escalated when the Tiger-Cats owner, Bob Young, pulled out of the stadium indicating he did not want to be a part of the new stadium. This raised the issue of the Tiger-Cats potentially leaving Hamilton and moving to a different city. We held an information session for the citizens of Hamilton to voice the Tiger-Cats opinion on the stadium and it’s location. I assisted with organizing this event as well.

Overall, this experience taught me a lot and gave me a new perspective on the inner workings of a sports organization. It gave me a chance to meet many new people and expand my network. Having the opportunity to be able to experience the incredible atmosphere of a Ticats game was amazing. I now have a new view on sports events and am very grateful for all this new knowledge I have gained during my time with the Tiger-Cats.

Field Level View - Awesome!!

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