My name is Kristen Hoffman and I am the newest intern on the AdSport Team. The world of sports at the beginning of the summer was in shambles, with what seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. These clearly are nowhere near the conditions to be starting off a career in sports but for me, it was all about perspective.
Being an intern in such uncertainty allows me to gain insight I never would have gotten to experience in any other / normal global climate. From meaningful conversations to going through numerous possible scenarios with Andy and Gary, it is comforting to know that every step of the way is a learning curve for everyone, not just me as the new intern.
If you asked me my opinion on this stall of sports at the start of the summer, my answer would have been similar to those of any basic sports fan: “I just want them to start playing again.” But if jumping into the world of sports business has taught me anything, playing games is not just getting players and coaches onto a field or court; the sports experience is much more complex than that. It is media partnerships, sponsorships, concession stand operations, labor relations, etc. all put together to form one cohesive event.
Because of the inability of players to put on these large scale productions from home, the sports world has consequently been put on hold. As an incoming junior, this summer is crucial for internships. Many of my colleagues have found themselves working in the finance and marketing industries, earning internships at firms in the greater Phoenix area. While my internship is filled with “What ifs?” and hypotheticals, their internships remained virtually the same with only a small shift to fewer in person hours and more Zoom calls from the comfort of their apartments. Many businesses like these have the capability to continue with life as usual, whereas in the world of sports, when all games stop everything slows down.
Though my internship is much different than expected, I am very thankful to still have the opportunity to learn this summer. Many of my sports business peers have found themselves out of an internship entirely, as the team they had chosen to work with no longer had the capacity to take on new team members. One example would be one of my closest friends and roommates; with a data analysis internship with an east coast NFL team all ready to go, she received an email at the end of May letting her know there was no longer any need for her to come out for the next two months. Heartbroken, she returned to her home in San Diego unemployed for the summer. Everyone I had talked to was beyond disappointed to not gain the same level of experience in working through a global pandemic, which made me even more thankful for the opportunity to be an intern in the strangest time in sports.
It is fascinating to experience a never before seen / probably will never see again type of business world. It is not exactly what I had planned for the summer, but I wouldn’t wish to have it any other way.