Tampa Bay Rays Internship Day 4

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Credit: Cole Wyman

Well, today got off to a really bad start when I did not wake up until 9:20, 20 minutes after the time I try to get there by. However, the Rays are very flexible with hours as full-time employees manage their own time at the stadium so my late arrival went unnoticed as several people were walking in the doors after me. Since I’m only with marketing for a week, I really don’t have any specific responsibilities so even when I arrived there wasn’t anything for me to do.

After about half an hour of sitting at my desk with the happy birthday sign still hanging up, I was able to find myself some work going through fan mail. This seems like a very unentertaining job, but despite my excitement that people would send in funny complaints that I would either trash or bring to higher-ups, It ended up being extremely laborious and unentertaining. Almost all of the mail was just people claiming to be big fans and literally straight up asking for autographs, baseballs, jerseys, and other valuables. In response, we send back small fan packs featuring pocket schedules, kid tattoos, and pictures of the mascot Raymond (that were in fact signed by the man himself). I was really looking forward to some angry fan who thought that they need to trade someone but instead ended up stuffing fan packs with cheap items and addressing it to people who couldn’t even legibly write their address.

After lunch where the VP for marketing and communications took me and a few others to a really good smokehouse walking distance from the stadium, I was scheduled to meet with the creative design crew. The Tampa Bay Rays are one of few teams to design everything they make in house. They have a huge graphic design team that makes everything from jumbotron animations to “No alcohol after the 7th inning” signs including things like massive advertisements¬†around the stadiums, social media graphics, and bobblehead boxes. There are three steps in the process of creating one. First there is a request made, usually someone in house, for example, the social media people would like a graphic comparing Tyler Glasnow (a young pitcher) to Nolan Ryan (one of the best to ever pitch). Then this request goes to two women who handle everything about the graphic, getting it approved if there are alterations to the Rays branding (Which I did learn is very strict), clearing up the material it is to be printed on, seeing when it needs to be done by, etc. For in house requests it is usually a very easy process. After this, it gets sent up to the actual graphic design crew to make the graphic. Today I only met with the people in the middle as the graphic designers left a little early.

After this, I went over and worked with the girl who runs most of the marketing and promotions for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, a USL (soccer) team that is owned and run by the Rays organization. After going through the website and the twitter feed with her, I was tasked with looking through other teams’ twitter feeds to find good ideas for twitter graphics and account strategies. I spent the next hour or two scrolling through countless USL MLB NFL and NBA twitter accounts to find cool ideas for graphics such as pre-game weather forecasts and post-game victory GIFs. I also found the more successful well-known Twitter accounts used humor as a means to gain following. For example, the Cleveland Indians made me laugh a few times while scrolling which made me follow them. Once I felt I compiled enough information I packed up my things and left for the day.