S3 (Sports Sponsorship & Sales) Internships: A Step toward Success

Article excerpt

Internships may not be the most glamorous stepping stone on the path to a successful career. However, university students are encouraged to intern with companies to avoid the "deer in the headlights" effect when entering the business world. These Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) students have learned the value of hard work while gaining the bonus of experience in marketing internships.

GENERAL MOTORS

R * WORKS

Test Drive: General Motors

Scott Frase, a Longview senior, knows the importance of landing an internship. Frase spent the summer in Irving, Texas, working for GM R*Works. The agency handles sponsorships, promotions and events for the General Motors organization.

Although the internship was paid, lodging and living expenses were left to the student to handle.

"It was definitely an adventure," Frase said. "I lived in an extended stay motel for three months. I didn't have an office at work, but I did have my own cubicle with a window view."

Frase didn't exactly have top executive status, but he did obtain experience dealing with clients on a daily basis.

"If there was a meeting, I went with them," he said. "The guys in the office really got me involved."

Frase said his main project was helping coordinate Chevy's "Freedom of Texas 4th of July Celebration." The city of Houston was responsible for the event; however, GM was the title sponsor.

"It was a street festival event where they offered test drives, t-shirt giveaways and musical entertainment from Clint Black and LeAnn Rhimes," he said. "Our goal was to generate potential client interest."

Frase said he still stays in touch with his coworkers at the organization and learned the strengths and weaknesses required in the selling of sponsorships.

"The best part of sales and sponsorships is that it's a dynamic industry," he said. "One day I might sell space at a stadium, which is something you don't think about being for sale. It's all about creating value."

"The best part of sales and sponsorships is that it's a dynamic industry,"

Capital Opportunity: State Farm Insurance

Last summer Ashley Stewart experienced life in Austin, Texas, through an internship program at State Farm Insurance. A Houston native, this senior got some insight into her future career.

"As a State Farm marketing department intern, I was given the opportunity to work with another Baylor student from the S3 program," she said. "Our main project for the summer was to evaluate the current and proposed sports sponsorships for the Texas region for State Farm."

Stewart's responsibilities included researching high school, college and professional sports teams as well as rodeos to gain prospective sponsorships for the insurance company. She determined whether the sponsorship would serve as a profitable investment and gain positive public exposure for State Farm.

"We had to begin with researching statistics on the teams such as number of people in attendance, demographics of the fans and how often fans were at multiple games," she said. "From there we could determine whether or not the sponsorship was worth the money State Farm was spending."

Although Stewart conducted research through paperwork, she was not silent in her efforts.

"I was also given the opportunity to tell the company my opinion in keeping a deal, or when I found one of no value to the company's goals," she said. "It offered me a better look at the sports sponsorship world, and I was able to experience this on the corporate side. …