By: Meaghan McCloskey, @Meaghan_Mc3
When I graduated from the University of Idaho in 2013, I already had two internships in sports under my belt and had a third lined up for the summer. In 2014, I held a seasonal, full-time position with the Seattle Mariners in their sales department. I thought I had the whole “work in sports” thing figured out and would have no problem finding a full-time job. I could not have been more wrong. While job searching when my position ended with the Mariners, I saw a posting for a Promotions Assistant (promotions team member) with 710 ESPN Seattle, the flagship station of the Mariners and Seahawks. I was tempted to apply but didn’t because it was part-time.
Flash forward a few months and the Promotions Assistant job was posted again. I still didn’t have that full-time gig, so I decided to apply. The next day I received a phone call asking me to come in for an interview. A couple weeks later, I was hired. Little did I know, it was about to be the most beneficial position I could’ve gotten. I’ve since been hired on full-time as the Promotions Administrative Assistant and do work with on-air contesting and promotions, but I never would have gotten to where I am without applying for the promotions team. Here are five benefits of working for a radio station’s promotions team.
1. It’s not just sports: In addition to the sports station, I also worked for one of Seattle’s news radio stations and a conservative talk radio station. Promotions assistants work for the parent company, so you work events for all stations they own (three in my case). This expanded my horizons to see how events outside of sports are run and gave me the chance to meet professionals in other industries.
2. You get to see a different side of the sports industry: The behind-the-scenes of radio is incredibly intricate, and there are a lot of moving parts. There’s so much that goes into airing a radio show and even more that goes into airing a sports game. You get to see first-hand how sports teams work with their radio partners in terms of promotions, broadcasts, advertising, and appearances. Being able to see these partnerships in action has shown me how both sides work together to achieve each brand’s goals.
3. You get to go to really cool events: The best part of being on a promotions team was all the events I went to, including Seahawks Training Camp and live broadcasts before Mariners and Seahawks games. I got to watch the luncheon for Jamie Moyer’s Mariners Hall of Fame Induction while we set up for a broadcast that same day at Safeco Field. One of my first events was a live broadcast from Chambers Bay, where the 2015 U.S. Open was. Your “office” is always changing, and you’re constantly moving around, which makes each shift exciting and different.
4. I got to work with front office members of all three big sports teams: Because 710 ESPN and KIRO Radio are the homes of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders, we’re at almost every home game (sport dependent). We worked with front office members on where to set up our booth or broadcast desk and talked about any rules they had. In my current role, I work even more with front office members going over giveaways and prizes for on-air contesting.
5. I expanded my network and kept up with previous connections: Everyone knows how important it is to meet people in the industry and keep in touch with them. Being on a promotions team is a good “first step” for meeting people in the industry. Whether it’s front office members, on-air hosts, or co-workers in the sales department, you meet a lot of people who can help you take those “next steps.”
I highly recommend being on a promotions team while looking for a full-time position or if you’re a college student. I’ve learned that it’s better to have something part-time than periods of unemployment. The hours are flexible, the people are awesome, and it expands your horizons. It can be challenging at times, the hours aren’t always ideal (think being at work at 3:30am or leaving at 11:30pm), and there can be lots of heavy lifting. But in the end, it is what you make of it. I hope anyone who wants to work in sports that joins a promotions team grabs the opportunity by the horns.