Life at the ballpark is never dull for York College Sport Management alumna
If you’re looking for Sarah Campbell ’14 any given day from January through September, chances are she’s at the ballpark. The York College of Pennsylvania grad oversees all the marketing and media partnerships for Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Florida—the spring training facility for two major league baseball teams and the regular season home of two minor league teams.
She’ll go from playing master of ceremonies during spring training games for the St. Louis Cardinals or Miami Marlins to managing a race around the bases between a hot dog, a taco, and a lobster in the regular season. It’s a lot of work, but it’s work she loves. And this year, she was recognized for her work when she was awarded Emo Murphy Female Executive of the Year for the Florida State League.
Learning the ropes
It was Sarah’s mom who first suggested she consider pursuing Sport Management at York College. Sarah had been an athletic kid, always on the go from one sports practice to the next. The program seemed like a natural fit.
They had visited a few other colleges, but nothing had really stood out. Their trip to York College was a totally different experience. After they’d seen the Sport Management facilities and the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center, Sarah was sold. “I remember looking at my mom after I left, and I said, I’m going to York,” she remembers.
The school felt big enough, but still had a small town feel that Sarah liked. Her professors were amazing, she says. “The teachers and the program are really what drew me.”
Right off the bat, she was working sporting events at the College. It was a dose of reality. “It definitely opens your eyes with how much work goes into it,” she says.
But with hard work comes great rewards. She and her classmates got to work Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans as well as a D.C. United game. They were connected with York College alumni at places such as Under Armour and had a focus on hands-on classwork that helped prepare her for her future.
It was through one of those York College alumni that Sarah first started at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium as an intern. Her first full-time position at the stadium was as the Marketing and Promotions Coordinator. As she proved herself, she got more and more responsibility. Now, she’s the Marketing and Promotions Manager.
She likes the variety she gets working at a stadium with multiple teams. “You kind of get the best of both worlds,” she says.
It’s a smaller ballpark, where fans are close to the action. The atmosphere and excitement during spring training is incredible. She also likes the freedom she gets during the minor league regular season. “You can pretty much get creative and do just about anything,” she says. “Some of the kookier promotions are the ones the fans love the most.”
This year, they hosted the all-star game for the first time in 19 years. She’s pretty sure her role in pulling that off is what landed her the Female Executive of the Year award. “It’s nice, especially after a long season, to have people recognize what you do,” she says. “I’m excited to kick off 2020 now. It just keeps driving you to do more.”
She’s in the off-season now, but it’ll be time for spring training before she knows it. She’ll soon be looking out her second-story office window out onto the field and a sea of red in the stands, the start of another crazy season of baseball. It’s a view that never gets old. “The excitement of being at the ballpark,” she says, “that hasn’t worn off yet.”