Delaware Sports Blitz is excited to announce a new series we will be doing called Behind the Sports.
The Behind the Sports series is looking at men and women who prepare athletes for their best on and off the court ( SIDs, AD, educators, trainers and etc.). The series will also be looking at different careers in the sports field from media, operating an arena, tickets sales, public relations and etc.
This week we will be featuring the Wilmington Blue Rocks Director of Community Affairs, Kevin Linton. As the Director of Community Affairs, Linton is responsible for creating Rocks school programs and coordinates the team’s efforts with non-profit organizations to create awareness through auctions, raffles, and ticket voucher donations. Linton has served as Rocks Director of Community Affairs since 2011, but has been in the organization serving in different roles such as Assistant Director of the Media Relations, group sales executive and Director of Promotions. Linton also serves as the director for Blue Rocks Baseball Camps and Junior Blue Rocks programs. Last but not least, Linton also serves as one of the primary staff liaisons to Rocks players and coaches. Linton’s passion for sports and his hard work ethic shines through with all the duties he carries to make the Blue Rocks shine in the community.
Name the job and a brief summary of what it entails?
Linton: I am the Director of Community Affairs with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. I have served in this role since the 2011 season. I am responsible for creating and implementing our school programs, such as our “Rocky’s Reading Challenge,” and “Outstanding Student” program. As well, I coordinate our efforts with non-profit organizations to create awareness through auctions, raffles, and ticket voucher donations. Additionally, I serve as the director for our Blue Rocks Baseball Camps and our Junior Blue Rocks program. I also serve as one of the primary staff liaisons to our players and coaches.
How long have you been in this area of work?
Linton: I have worked with the Blue Rocks since the 2001 season. I have served in different roles while I have been here. From 2001-2003, I served as the assistant director of the media relations, 2004-2007 as a group sales executive, from 2007-2010 as the director of promotions, and in January 2011 I was appointed to my current role.
What interested you to get in this area of work?
Linton: I always had an interest in sports as a child. I realized early on that I was not an athlete. So I found other ways to break into the sports that I loved. During my time at Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, PA, I served as a student manager for the basketball, baseball and football teams. After graduation, I enrolled at the University of Delaware, and worked to earn an opportunity to serve as a manager/statistician for Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hannah in the sport of baseball. From there, I went on to attain two year-long seasonal internships – one with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in marketing, and another in media relations with the University of Delaware.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Linton: I love coming to the ballpark every day. The pace of job can be fun, and it can be challenging too. There are so many people I have the opportunity to meet and interact with, whether they are business owners and their employees, who are marketing partners and season seat members, or our players and coaches who are from all parts of the world. Additionally, we have a very special group of individuals on our front office staff and game day staff.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Linton: The challenges are few but there are some. When I was first starting out, the salary was not as great as what other jobs could present college graduates. But with hard work and determination, I was able to overcome those early challenges to be content in everything that I do today. As well, the hours can be very grueling at times (often playing 6-7 days straight), but finishing a home stand and seeing all of the smiling faces of our fans makes it all worth it.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this job or field?
Linton: Be prepared to work hard and work many hours. Working in sports is very rewarding and a lot of fun. It takes a lot of determination and some luck to land in a career-starting job in sports. Never give up on your dreams and use your personal network to make the right connections to secure your initial interview and eventually your job in sports. Once you are on the inside in the sports world, think long and hard before you decide to leave a job that you love.