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Millions of people watched this fall as the Kansas City Royals won the World Series for the first time in 30 years. For one recent Maryville University graduate, that baseball championship game was particularly meaningful. Cameron Fagundes, ’15, began working in sales for the Royals just three days after graduating with a BS from Maryville’s Rawlings Sport Business Management program in the John E. Simon School of Business.
“It’s an intense feeling when your team is in the playoffs, and then the World Series,” Fagundes says. “It was a fun, unique experience.”
Front-office staffers like Fagundes may not suit up and play ball, but they’re a valuable part of any professional team. In fact, they typically earn championship rings along with the players. “If I got one, it would be the cherry on top of a great experience,” he says. As a sales rep, Fagundes’ job is to keep the stands and suites filled with fans and make sure promotions go off without a hitch.
By the time Fagundes started his job last May, he already had a deep understanding of how sports teams operate. He completed internships with St. Louis Sports Commission, St. Louis Football Club, St. Louis Cardinals, Integrated Sports Marketing, and ESPN Radio, and worked as a game day assistant with the St. Louis Rams.
“What people who watch the game don’t realize is everything that goes on behind the scenes before the first pitch is thrown,” he says.
By the time Fagundes started his job last May, he already had a deep understanding of how sports teams operate. Instructors in his hands-on degree program included executives from the St. Louis Cardinals and Rawlings. He completed internships with St. Louis Sports Commission, St. Louis Football Club, St. Louis Cardinals, Integrated Sports Marketing, and ESPN Radio. He also held a part-time job as a game day assistant with the St. Louis Rams for two seasons.
“The internships were a stepping stone for me to learn how the business runs and to gain the core skills that I would need in this industry,” Fagundes says. “They also helped me with networking. Sports is a very, very small world where people know each other. The networking was very important to me.”
In fact, Fagundes landed his job with the Royals thanks to his polished networking skills. The winter before graduating, he attended a baseball conference in his hometown of San Diego, Calif., where he met his future boss. The baseball executive was so impressed by Fagundes and his resume that he encouraged him to apply in the spring and hired him just three days after receiving his application.
The sales job is a valuable stepping stone in what Fagundes hopes will be a long career in sports. He says he may stay in sales for a while, but hopes to someday move into marketing and promotions with the Royals, or perhaps a team in San Diego.
“It’s not really about a particular team because wherever I go, I’ll support the team,” he says. “It’s about having a job I enjoy and being around people who are fun to work with. Most of all, I love interacting with the fans.”
If you have dreams of following in Cameron’s footsteps, click here to learn more about our Rawlings Sport Business Management program.