Joe Long

 

Year of Graduation: 2013

Major(s): Economics

Current Position: Minnesota Twins Baseball Club, Season Ticket Sales & Service Executive

 

Please give a brief description of your current position. My role with the Minnesota Twins is to service current Season Ticket Holders (STHs) with the goal of renewing and increasing revenue on each account year over year.  I currently work with approximately 900 STHs varying from corporations to individuals and families.

What path did you follow to arrive at your current job? Going into my senior year, I had various career interests ranging from banking and trading to sports and entertainment.  With only 5 credits and a season of baseball remaining for my 2nd semester of senior year, I decided to apply for a few internships in the Twins Cities including a couple with the Twins. I was fortunate to have been selected for one of these internships and traveled back and forth from Collegeville to the cities during my last semester.  Towards the end of my internship they offered me a position with the New Business Development department. After a year of generating new revenue through sales of Season Tickets, Groups and Suites, I was offered a position focused solely on Season Ticket Holder retention.

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career? Breaking into the sports industry can be difficult and frustrating.  I would suggest applying to as many internship and entry-level positions as possible.  Before the interview process, reach out to people within that specific organization.  (Almost every organization lists Front Office contacts on their website.)  Current sport professionals faced the same difficultly and will be as helpful as possible. Last and probably most important, get a well-rounded education.  Luckily, this is exactly what you will receive with a degree from CSB/SJU, but I would not specify a degree to sports management alone.

What skills are important in your field? During the off-season I am actively (re)selling my clients on our product.  This time period requires time-management, creativity, ambition, competitiveness, and willingness to learn on the job. During the season I am focused on servicing my accounts.  I need to be pro-active in making sure the experience at Target Field is positive, however, many times I need to react to problems.  This requires the ability to find quick and adequate solutions to problems, empathy, as well as strong communication and people skills.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career? This is an answer that any Bennie or Johnnie could answer differently-through our diverse campuses and well-rounded educations there are too many positive experiences to choose from.  However, the number one experience that prepared me for my career was playing on the SJU Baseball Team.  The balancing act between our academic and athletic schedules was the perfect mixture to learn responsibility, respect for others, and many other lifelong skills.

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job comes during the season when we are able to treat Season Ticket Holders with various benefits and experiences.  Many of these benefits are once in a lifetime opportunities.  Seeing the look on someone's face when they meet their favorite player or get to take batting practice at Target Field is truly rewarding.

(Fall 2016)