As part of a coveted Rawlings internship, four Maryville University students are on the road this summer as grassroots marketers, visiting a variety of sporting events across America. The students are seniors in the Rawlings Sport Business Management program.
“I’ve been involved in sports since I could walk,” says Noah Campbell. “My dream has always been to work in sports, and this internship gets me really close to living that dream.”
Campbell, John Noble, Heath Schatz and Josh Parrish, are traveling as brand ambassadors of Rawlings. They are working with several Rawlings teams to demonstrate, market and sell products at some of the most well-known sporting events in the country. Stops include the Women’s Collegiate Softball World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the Men’s Collegiate Baseball World Series in Omaha, Nebraska; and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.
My dream has always been to work in sports, and this internship gets me really close to living that dream. ~ Noah Campbell, senior
They also will travel to baseball tournaments hosted by Perfect Game USA in Fort Myers, Florida, where elite youth baseball players, ages 7 to 18, compete every summer. More than 100 games are played every four days, attracting college coaches and major and minor league scouts across the country.
“This internship is a good stepping stone,” says Mark Kraemer, director of sports marketing and licensing at Rawlings, who worked as an intern for the company 14 years ago. “I’m proof it can be done.”
Kraemer says Rawlings looks for employees who are considered “cream of the crop” people who have passion and drive. They hit the jackpot this year finding two top-notch students and then doubling that number when they got to meet all the candidates, he says.
“This internship is exciting, but it’s not an easy job,” Kraemer says. “These students maintain logs and their success is measured by customer service, sales and how well they know our products.”
Heath Schatz, who also completed an internship with Abstrakt Marketing Group of St Louis last year, has previous experience traveling to those youth baseball tournaments; he was an All-State baseball player in high school.
“Once I graduate, I hope to find a fulltime position in corporate sponsorship, marketing or social media marketing,” says Schatz. “This Rawlings internship will definitely boost my resume.”
Jason Williams, EdD, assistant dean for the Simon School of Business and director of the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program, says the internship equips the students with a critical tool.
“Grassroots marketing is one of the best ways to sell a product like a baseball glove,” he says. “You’re at one of these baseball tournaments in Florida surrounded by hundreds of fans and their parents. As a Rawlings ambassador you hand a glove to one of the players. They can touch and feel that glove, get to experience working with it, show it to their dads. It’s better than any billboard.”
John Noble has played baseball since he was young enough to remember. He knows the game and can rattle off the size and use of every glove needed to play the game and what an owner can expect from it. He is excited to represent a product he has used for many years.
“I remember being one of those kids at the baseball tournaments looking at all the new gloves and wishing I had one,” he says. “This whole experience is just awesome.”