07/22/2012 4:35 AM
By TAYLOR JOHNSON
Emily Hoskins first heard about possible internships with the Kansas City T-Bones from a college friend, who mentioned the position would be perfect for Hoskins since she had long since expressed a desire to work in sports. In the summer of 2010, Hoskins became a promotions intern for the T-Bones.
“I was one of 15 and had a blast and worked my butt off all summer long. I’m a very hard worker and I was hoping that it was going to show through.” she said. “Then toward the end of the season I approached [T-Bones general manager] Chris Browne and told him I loved it here and if any positions opened up I’d be very interested and I would love to become part of the organization.”
Although there weren’t any positions open at the time for Hoskins, she kept in touch with Browne after the season, mentioning again that she was interested in a full-time position. A week later, Browne called Hoskins in for a meeting. Browne told her that her former boss had moved on to another job and he thought Hoskins was perfect for the job. Hoskins accepted.
“At the time, I was job searching just like every other kid who had just graduated from college and I love sports. I was extremely honored that out of 15 of us they wanted me,” Hoskins said. “It’s been a dream since day one to work in sports. I’m just so lucky. I can’t believe where I am.”
Hoskins, who attended Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., graduated with a degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations and marketing and with a minor in marketing. She now uses her background to brainstorm, organize and execute all of the promotions and advertising for the T-Bones.
During the season, Hoskins is always moving. She runs all of the in-game promotions, as well as pre-game and in-between inning events. Hoskins is also in charge of booking national anthem singers, first pitches and in-game entertainment. Oh, and ordering the giveaways for the season.
On the morning of every home game, Hoskins organizes the daily promotions and events. This includes multiple lists and spreadsheets to keep everything clear for herself, her 12 interns and the PA announcer. She also writes the game script that’s read over the PA system during each game. Hoskins coordinates with the sales representatives to create a daily list of sponsors and how often they’ve paid for their PA spots or video advertisements.
“I have a separate script for our announcer to read for special promotions that are just a few nights long and that changes every day too,” Hoskins said. “Then if I know it’s going to be a packed night, I have another separate sheet that we’ll assign sections or rows for in-game promotions so we know they’ll actually be people in those seats or sections.”
Each day these lists and promotions have to be updated depending on the attendance of the game, sponsors and any special events during the pre-game show. Apart from the multiple game scripts that have to be written, once the gates open, Hoskins has a whole new set of responsibilities. Each of the competitions during the game need to have contestants, and each of those contestants must be signed up before the game even begins.
Luckily, Hoskins has 12 interns to help her with the in-game duties, including working the promotions during the game. Now that’s further into the season, Hoskins has handed over some of her responsibilities to her interns.
“Basically, myself and my interns and the ticket interns are running the show,” Hoskins said. “In the beginning of the season, I micromanaged the interns — I had to. I wouldn’t have been able to breathe easily if I hadn’t. I basically ran the microphone to every single promotion that we had.”
Along with her interns, Hoskins works to develop the team’s theme nights. This year’s have included Star Wars and Christmas in July. Even these simple events add more to Hoskins workload.
“It depends on the theme of the night, some nights we have a lot of stuff to decorate around the ballpark but some theme nights are easy like Star Wars night where I just have all those crazy characters walking around, and that’s enough,” Hoskins said.
Aside from just the set up, organization and implementation of different events, Hoskins helps develop the idea of each promotion with the salesperson who worked to get the account.
“Promotions are something that are mostly decided in the off season. It’s part myself and whoever is selling the corporate account. It’ll be something he’ll come to me and pitch an idea to me,” Hoskins said. "Sometimes, sponsors will actually come to us with what they want. Sometimes we’ll see another team doing something and we’ll borrow the idea because if it works for them, it’s a great possibility it’ll work for us.”
After two years of working as the director of promotions and a year as an intern in the promotions department, Hoskins has seen her fill of promotions that work and those that flop in the allotted 90 seconds.
“One that I dearly miss is the sumo-wrestling contest we used to have; no one picked it up this year, but I’m hoping someone will next year,” Hoskins said. “We used to have one with giant stuffed fish that you had to reel in over the field wall. The line always got stuck or broke, it was funny because they had giant fish, but it never went smoothly.”
Despite her love for the job, Hoskins realizes the drawbacks of working long hours.
“The hours are probably the hardest part of the job,” Hoskins said. “When the team is in town, I’ll put in a hundred plus hours a week and especially toward the end of the season.”
Even with all the work she does during the season, Hoskins has other responsibilities during the off-season. It’s then that Hoskins and the sales team puts together a plan for the next season.
“I like to think of myself as an event planner,” she said, “because that’s what a lot of it is in the off-season.”
Even with having to plan the next season’s promotions, events and scheduling special appearances (like next month’s appearance by Saved by the Bell’s Mr. Belding), Hoskins is also part of the sales team in the off-season.
“It’s a lot of work, but since we are such a small front office I do get help. Browne is actually a huge part of the planning process, and so he does a big chunk of it,” Hoskins said of the work in the off-season.
Don’t expect Hoskins to stay busy with just what she’s doing now. She has plans to include herself in more of the T-Bones marketing strategies in the near future.
“In this position, I’d like to work more with our marketing. We do have an advertising agency and I’d like to get a better understanding of how we’re getting our name out there,” Hoskins said. “I’d like to talk to them and see what we can do, not necessarily better, but just to get a better idea overall.”
Even with all her work and time committed to the job, Hoskins still loves what she does.
“Driving to work at a ballpark is definitely part of the best part of working here, but there’s a big second part — the people I work with,” Hoskins said. “I love the people here. They’re all just great at what they do and it makes it so much easier to work here. We work so well as a team; we all work so well together. Everyone is always at the top of their game.”