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York College Sport Management grad gets to call Madison Square Garden his office

April 20, 2016
Joe Monte
Joe Monte, Class of 2011, poses for a picture with legendary basketball coach Bob Knight

Joe Monte is living his boyhood dreams.

When he ran across the basketball court in high school, the cheers of family and friends on the sidelines couldn’t stand in comparison to the roar of the crowd that he hears now at Madison Square Garden.

Monte, a 2011 graduate of York College of Pennsylvania’s Sport Management program, feels the pulse of that crowd each time he goes to work.

Working toward his dream

Although Monte no longer plays the sport that made him want to pursue a career in Sport Management, his passion for the game, working in partnerships with many large companies, and the customer experience is just as exciting, he says.

Hospitality, Recreation and Leisure Administration and Sport Management degrees at York College ‌Now an account manager in the marketing partnerships department at Madison Square Gardens, Monte manages accounts such as Coca-Cola, Lexus, Northwell Health and Brand Jordan. His job is to handle all contractual elements which includes oversight of branding, marketing new platforms and initiatives, and hosting VIP experiences for MSG’s top partners.

But perhaps the most exciting aspect of his job is his chance to meet the pros. Monte has been introduced to former and current players of the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty and works with them on a weekly basis.

With more than 400 events on the MSG calendar each year, he’s had the chance to see even more celebrities mingle around him.

The coolest person he’s met? Monte would have to say tennis superstar Serena Williams.

“How many people can say they met such a dominant athlete and the No. 1 tennis player in the world,” he says.

How he got there

While touring college campuses in search of his collegiate home, Monte felt lost. Many of them seemed too big, and he felt small.

When he stepped onto the campus at York College, something felt right, he says. It was the perfect fit to keep him close enough to his home in New Jersey while giving him the opportunities to focus on his career in Sport Management.

The work he did in and outside of the classroom at York College has set him up to stand courtside at Madison Square Garden – and not feel small at all.

His first introduction to The Garden was in 2010 during a spring break job fair. That summer, he worked in a marketing partnership and the following year he completed his Capstone Experience there – this time in the sales and account management department.

When Monte graduated in 2011, The Garden took a pass at Monte but ultimately gave a job to someone else, he says.

“My heart was still set on working there,” Monte says. “I knew it was where I wanted to be, and I wasn’t ready to give up on that.”

It’s about the connections

With his hopes still set on working at The Garden, Monte pursued his master’s degree while working with another agency.

It was during that time that he tapped into a valuable skill he learned at York College: the power of networking.

He kept in regular contact with those he knew at Madison Square Garden until an opportunity finally opened up.

Two years later, Monte says it paid off.

“It was tough at first,” he says. “I had to work late nights finishing my master’s degree and working at The Garden at the same time. But the hard work was worth it.”

The York College community

Monte credits the community at York College for helping him reach his goals.

“I still have a large group of friends I keep in touch with, many of them daily,” he says.

“Friendship and the close-knit community made the experience better for me than I could have hoped for.”

As for the major, the biggest lesson it passed on to Monte is “accountability.”

“The program holds students to it,” he says. “Employers want to see that you can think on your feet and you can stay ahead of the competition, no matter what industry you work in.”

When it comes down to it, Monte says, that’s what his clients are looking for – even over an Ivy League degree.

“You’re willing to learn. Willing to run through a wall for the client. That’s the job,” he says. “I am very fortunate and proud to work at this company, not only because I am a fan, but because there is a sense of hometown pride and loyalty to The Garden.”

York College is proud to offer one of the best Sport Management schools in Pennsylvania, where our Sport Management major prepares students for a career working in sports. Where can a degree in sports management at York College take you?