Behind The Scenes: Professional Hockey


Behind The Scenes: Professional Hockey

Experience Information

Employer: Grand Rapids Griffins
Job Title: Game Operations Assistant
Major: Sports Management
Received Credit: Yes
Paid: Yes
Abroad: No

Description of the Organization

The Grand Rapids Griffins are the primary American Hockey League Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. The Griffins Business Operations team is housed at Van Andel Arena and is led by their President, Tim Gortsema. The Business Operations team is comprised of the ticket sales department, social media, game presentation, marketing, customer relations, and group sales. Both the Hockey & Business Operations have personnel that's been with the team since their inaugural season. The directors and managers breed success and becomes to their assistants and interns. Speaking of interns, the Griffins Business Operations staff employees more than 15 interns each year allowing for personal and professional growth.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

My position includes many responsibilities. I performed office hours during the week and work 12+ hour days on game nights. I was responsible for managing the promotional energy crew of 14 people. I acted as a liaison between the Director of Game Operations and outside entertainment personnel. I carried out all aspects of game presentation including game day documents, on-ice entertainment, national anthem coordination, pre-game player entrance, video creation, and coordinated afternoon hockey games. In addition, I planned, coordinated, and supervised an entire theme night through guidance from my supervisor and video production team.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

I learned how working in live sports entertainment allows for an extreme amount of professional growth. My passion for this industry has strengthen to wear I'm now itching to get in this line of profession as soon as possible. I've learned how to problem solve and think on my feet on a timely matter. I've gained experience in communicating front of large crowds and in meetings full of high ranking professionals. I've learned how to express my opinions in a respectful manner. I've learned Adobe Creative Cloud, specifically Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Media Encoder. I've learned how to write game scripts to include activities, promotions, sales pieces, and other entertainment. I've learned organizational skills and how to prioritize. I've learned how to manage people.

Favorite Part of the Experience

My favorite part of this experience was coming into to work at a large scale venue like Van Andel Arena. Nothing was better than walking into the arena and seeing the ice, the stands, the scoreboard, the Zambonis. Nothing beat being behind the scenes. I worked with a tremendous colleagues both interns and full staff that I know I'll be in contact with for years to come.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

It fueled my passion for live sports entertainment, especially within professional hockey. Through this position, I've learned exactly what I want to do with my life and where I want to be.

View All