This blog was contributed by Vincent Yancigay, a student in my Baseball and Statistics class.
Within the past week, Mike Abramson from the New Britain Rock Cats visited our Baseball and Statistics class here at Quinnipiac.
The New Britain Rock Cats are the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Mr. Abramson is the Vice President of Corporate Partnerships & Marketing for the Rock Cats. This is Mike’s eighth season in Minor League Baseball and his second as Vice President of Marketing & Partnerships. Mike’s current job entails taking care of marketing for the Rock Cats, which are the most-attended sports team in Connecticut. I found it interesting that Mike originally worked as a journalist for NPR before switching to marketing.
Before working for the Rock Cats, Mike spent time with the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A team for the Boston Red Sox. Some of his fond memories included when his wife asked one of the Red Sox players to get her tickets from the box office because the player looked like a young worker. Mike also had the honor of picking up some of the Red Sox players from their homes or even waking up one of them. This all happened before Mike came to the Rock Cats.
Working in sports is one of the things I thought I wanted to do. Mike said that the work days are long and many times he comes home so late he does not see his children because they are already sleeping. These are some of the difficulties in this profession but it seemed like he liked his job. However, he did not like extra-inning games. After hearing all of these negatives, I still want to pursue a career in sports.
Even though the Rock Cats is not a prime time Major League Baseball team like the Red Sox or the Yankees, it is possible some of these players can develop into great players. Some past Rock Cats players, who developed into special MLB players, are Torii Hunter, David Ortiz, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer. The Yankee new sensation Yangervis Solarte played for the Rock Cats in 2010 and 2011. After Mike finished his presentation, he invited the class to a game and even offered to bring us around on the field and show us more of the behind the scenes areas in the Rock Cats stadium.
Mike told us some great stories. One of the stories I really enjoyed is called the marriage proposal rejection hoax. This promotion involved creating a YouTube video of a failed marriage proposal during a Rock Cats baseball game. The team titled the video “Girl Says No to Marriage Proposal at Rock Cats Baseball Game.” Mike said he got the idea for the promotion after watching a public proposal. My people talked about what would happen if the answer were NO, and how that might affect a crowd, and those viewing it after on video. We worked with two of our employees on the skit and executed a digital strategy to set the video on a viral path; we could not be more pleased with the outcome.”
Mike told us the video was viewed close to a million times on YouTube and was covered by network TV news, ESPN, and major newspapers. Mike later apologized if the stunt offended anyone. However, the promotion achieved its goal of increasing the attendance at Rock Cat games.
Mike’s presentation was entertaining and informative. It opened our eyes to various career opportunities in sports, informing us of the negatives and positives of these careers.