Sports Industry Insight: New York Knicks (The Madison Square Garden Company)

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March 14, 2017 by texasbbacareerservices

becca blog photoBecca Genecov
Major: Public Relations, The University of Texas at Austin
Grad Year: 2015
Employer: The Madison Square Garden Company
Job Title: Fan Development Coordinator, New York Knicks

Please tell us about your career path and how you found your way into the sports industry.
When I was a senior in high school, I found myself as the manager of the varsity basketball team when I needed one more sports credit to graduate. Not only did I enjoy managing a team that my friends are on, but I noticed that I liked promoting the basketball team; sort of acting as their marketer and communications assistant in a way. Then, sophomore year at UT presented me with an opportunity to work for the UT Men’s Basketball Team as a Communications Assistant. I remembered how much I loved what I did in high school and decided to give it a shot. This was the best decision I ever made because it instilled in me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life: Sports Marketing and Communications.

I knew this was going to be a hard field to break into, so I did as many internships as I could when I left UT Basketball after a year and a half. I needed to build my skill set whether it was in sports or not. I proceeded to work for an event company, PR firm and The American Airlines Center in Dallas as a marketing intern after graduation. 4 months went by and I felt like I had applied to every job in the country. I wanted to be in sports and it seemed that there really was not a job for me anywhere. I had been interviewing for the New York Mets in Queens, and finally heard back from them after 3 months of waiting. I had been hired as a Marketing Associate. This was a dream come true for me, but not a walk in the park. I worked every baseball home game (81 games), worked almost every weekend for 6 months straight and commuted an hour each way every single day. I stayed with the Mets for a year and have recently started working for the New York Knicks as their Fan Development Coordinator. Madison Square Garden is a place I had dreamed about working for since my UT Bball days. I had meetings with execs here begging them to hire me as an intern my senior year of college, only to find myself unsuccessful. My time at the Mets led me here, as well as keeping in touch with everyone I had met. I can proudly say I am living out my dream and it was a long road, but I am finally here.

What is something cool/exciting/unique about your industry?
No day is ever the same. The cool thing is, when you are just starting out in this industry (for me it was baseball), you get to be apart of everything. Every department, every event, etc. One day I would be helping a player with his fantasy football draft and the next I was overseeing Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato at a game and making sure they had what they needed. These were some of the more glamorous days that I experienced, but you never know what will get thrown at you. Seeing how things are done from behind the scenes in professional sports, if you like the team side of things, is unbelievable. Especially when you have been in the audience your whole life. Every day is different and it is unlike any other industry. Yes I had a desk, but I was never sitting behind it all day. That is the beauty of the sports industry: you never know what the day will bring.

Please share current industry/department trends.
In this industry, anything pop culture related is trending in the sports world. For example, once Carpool Karaoke was released by James Corden, almost every sports team was doing their own version of it. Any thing technological as well. Apps, videos and more and more social media marketing is a huge trend. At the Mets, my department was in charge of the Ballpark App that you can use in every MLB ballpark in the country. We created marketing efforts and hired staff JUST for this app so we could get people to check in to our ballpark. At the Knicks, I am in charge of building an app for the Knicks’ junior and youth membership: Jr. Knicks. This app will allow kids to get on their/parents’ phones and know everything there is to know about the Knicks, play games, create their own user generated content and more. Technology is everything in this industry and I am seeing first hand that the younger generations are joining us.

Why do you like working in this industry?
As I said before, I love how I do something different everyday. Even when I was an intern at AAC. Another thing I like is how much of a team you become with your coworkers. You work for a team, but you become a team. Everyone has the same goal in sports and that is to create a positive and strong image for your brand/team and have it be successful no matter the success of the team itself. Another goal is for the fans to have a good experience and leave your event, game, etc. with a positive perception of your brand. Working together with people who have worked just as hard as you have to get where you are is one of the most fulfilling things. Coming up with different ways to market and present your brand to an audience with a strong group of people is one of my favorite things about this industry.

Advice for students who want to work in this industry.
Do whatever you can to get where you want to be. Internships, volunteering, networking, following up, offering to do something for another department: these are all things that will make you excel in this industry. You have to work twice as hard to be in this industry, because the truth is everyone wants to be. These things will set you apart. You are going to have to start at the bottom in sports and that is just the way it is. But with a positive attitude, a helping hand and DRIVE (the most important) you will be rewarded with what you want in the end. It takes hard work and courage to be in this industry and anyone who is willing to make it happen will see a result!

Attend the Sports Panel on March 24 and meet Becca! Seats limited; register today!

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