In early October, Mrs. Salisbury’s business students traveled to MetLife Stadium to participate in “Sports Business Day”, where schools from surrounding states gather to learn the ins and outs of running an NFL team such as the New York Jets.
For the past four years, Mrs. Salisbury has brought students on this trip with the goal of allowing student to “see how they can combine their love of sports into a career. I also think it’s important for students to see how topics we explore in class, turn into careers as well. Students enrolled in Marketing, Advertising & Sales, and Social Media Marketing attended.
Their first stop was an impressive room riddled with woodwork, fireplaces, and leather seats – the Commissioner’s Club. While getting to sit in MetLife’s “most exclusive club,” students were told what that club is like on game days: filled with 280 people, all of whom have paid a whopping $1 million for a year’s pass into the club. Complimentary buffet and drink are supplied and you can enjoy the cozy luxury of the club or walk to the seats right outside the suites which overlook the 50-yard line.
The next stop was what is known as “The Green Room.” This room is strictly utilized for Jets fans, alumni, workers, etc. and will never be transitioned for any other games or events like most rooms. In here, the students listened to the Jets head of marketing decribe her job and then take questions. She said she took charge of coordinating promotions as well as sponsorships for the team and stadium.
After this, the students moved to a a less exclusive dining and seating area, where they heard form the director of ticket sales. He explained that his job consists of not only selling tickets, but predicting ticket sales to come; he explained that he uses coding to guess what the following rounds of sales will be like based on team statistics.
After this, the students had the opportunity to see the stadium’s locker rooms for both the Jets and the road team. In the visiting team’s locker room, the director of team operations spoke about the details of his job. He referred to himself as “jack of all trades” saying he “takes care of everything off the field so they players can take care of everything on the field.” A large portion of his job however consists of the complicated process of transporting 185 members of players and staff all around the nation, taking care of everything from planes to busses to hotels.
Student also heard from the senior director of fan commerce at the stadium, who said he makes sure sure everyone has a good time at the stadium, and if someone has a bad experience at the stadium, his department is who takes care of it.
Centenary University, who sponsors Jets Students Business Day, had alumni from the university speak about the benefits of why it is such a good school for marketing, and broadcast.
After this, the students heard from a man who took care of advertisements and sponsorships within the stadium. What resonated for them was his personal story: he grew up in West Virginia destined for the coal mines, a perilous job, but his mother worked cleaning houses to afford to send him to college where he thrived and landed an internship with the Jets, where he worked his way up. Now he controls almost all the sponsorships coming through the stadium with name brands such as Toyota, bringing the stadium $70 million a year in sponsorships.
Last, but not least, the students heard from the man who says he has the “most fun job,”, the director of marketing and fan engagement. He makes partnerships with celebrities in order to promote the brand, and get fans excited for what is to come. He also helps planning parties and events such as the seasonal House Party the Jets host around Super Bowl season. This year, a big part of his job involved getting the word out about the Jets’ newly desgined uniforms, and getting fans excited for it.
Professional sports is a highly competitive business on and off the field, and there is an enormous number of people helping the Jets to be, well – the Jets!
Who knew how much more there was behind the Jets than simply football. And hey, maybe VHS’s visit brought the Jets some luck – they finally won their first game of 2019 this past Sunday.
This story first appeared in the Verona High School newspaper The Fairviewer and is reprinted here with the permission of its author.