Sports society hears value of persistence during MLB visit

Members of the Business of Sports Society visit Major League Baseball headquarters in New York.

By Constantine Z. Demopoulos, GABELLI, BS ’15

Not all the lessons of baseball are learned on the field, a group of Fordham University students discovered during a recent visit to Major League Baseball headquarters in New York City.

The Business of Sports Society at Fordham got the opportunity through the efforts of Michael Sansarran, GABELLI, BS ’13, a co-founder of the society and now the coordinator of on-field operations for MLB. While there, the students heard from a number of speakers who stressed everything from selling oneself in interviews to the values of perseverance and dedication.

Paul Mifsud, vice president and deputy general counsel of labor relations, said that there are many benefits to working in the sports industry, but that sports business remains a highly competitive environment. He said it was difficult to move up in the industry sometimes because once people are in good jobs, they generally do not like to leave.

Jacqueline Parkes, chief marketing officer and the first female CMO of a major sports league, discussed the planning and execution of marketing campaigns, but she also gave advice to the Fordham students on how to get hired.

“You’re selling yourself, and energy sells,” she said, advising students to be ready to share in interviews how they would add value to a potential employer.

And what do you do once you have that job?

John McHale Jr., executive vice president of administration and chief information officer, said that persistence, dedication and a positive spirit are essential to getting through tough times and moving on to bigger and better roles.

Students felt they gained valuable insight into sports administration from their visit.

Carey O’Neill, GABELLI, BS ’16, said she heard she learned “the importance of community and sustainability to MLB and how it affects future projects.”

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