Over the 2018 summer I was able to be an intern for the Columbus Crew FC soccer team. Walking into the internship, I knew almost nothing about how professional sports actually work on the inside as well as knew almost nothing about soccer. I knew that I would have many challenges ahead of me. Lucky for me, I had a great team that I was working with and they helped me grow and succeed. I am extremely grateful to the Columbus Crew organization for the opportunity and to STEP for allowing me to work with a professional organization that is established so that I can make a decision on if I want to work in sports in the future.
While the fans are the number one priority, lots of companies are paying mass amounts of money so that the fans are seeing and interacting with their products as they make their way to their seats. The biggest responsibility that my team had was making sure that everything is laid out correctly when the fans arrive so that the fans have an aesthetically pleasing view that also encompasses the marketing of the companies that are paying the Crew to get their material in the stadium. Facilitating fan experience from the second that they enter into the stadium was our number one goal. This means planning where the mascot will be at all times, what will be occurring on the field during breaks, fan giveaways, halftime promotions, and end of game promotions. Soccer was very unique because in America there is a smaller fan base and not every game is sold out. This means that if one fan has a bad experience it is much more costly than a fan having a bad experience at a Yankees game.
Because it is a sporting industry everything has very hard deadlines. The game will start whether you finished your project by the end of the week or not. Working in a face pace environment can be stressful or exciting depending on the type of person that you are. The last thing that this internship provided me was professional experience. Working in an area that does not require you to be in a suit at all times does not mean that you can stop being professional. I learned that there are different ways to get your message across to different groups of people. I recommend everyone to work for an industry that they feel truly passionate about and see if they enjoy what it is like. A lot of people will never get to test a job before they enter it and that is why I am grateful to STEP for facilitating this amazing opportunity.