“Persistence is the key to success in the sports industry”, says Andrew Stuebner, Assistant General Manager of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes baseball team affiliate of the Anaheim Angels in the California league. The path in which Stuebner has taken to his current position is proof of practicing what you preach will pay off.
The 28 year-old native of Western Massachusetts, graduated Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and shortly thereafter moved to the west coast to pursue his career in the sports industry. Similar to many collegiate athletes he new a great deal about what it takes to perform on the field and wanted to take his experiences to advance his career. “I was living in San Francisco and I had played baseball in college. I decided after my playing days were over that the next best thing would be to call the ballpark my office”, said Stuebner.
The quest for employment began by sending out resumes to any and all minor and major league professional sports teams on the west coast. The first team to respond was the Southern Oregon Timberjacks who at the time were an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics in the Northwest League, a short-season team. “They had a position open as they were just adding a group sales department to the organizations front office. In addition, they were also in need of someone to help coach an all year baseball school for teenage kids in the area. So, I traveled north and began my career as a full-time group sales intern for the organization and a part-time coach for their schools.”
After 14 months with the Timberjacks, Andrew was offered a position as the Director of Group Sales working for the Prince William Cannons of the Carolina League. Again, he packed up, moved across the country and spent the next few years in Virginia. This was an important move that enabled Andrew to gain more valuable experience from the vantage of an executive level position in the front office of a professional baseball team. While at the Timberjacks, Andrew worked for Pat Filippone who left the team in order to move to California to further his career at the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. When Filippone had a position available for the Director of Ticket Operations, he new his former co-worker was just the right fit for the position. So after a few short years away from the west coast he returned back to start a new job.
Since then, hard work and the ability to utilize his professional experience and athletic knowledge has allowed Andrew the opportunity to be promoted to his current position as the Assistant General Manager. However, he still carries the responsibilities of Director of Ticket Operations on a day-to-day basis. “I still maintain all of my duties as Director of Ticket Operations. I oversee all of our efforts with season tickets, partial season ticket plans and work with our group department on group sales.” Additionally, Stuebner is responsible for hiring personnel, interviewing personnel for the front office staff, summer intern staff and game-day staff. Stuebner says, “In minor league baseball, everyone does a million different things. You have your job title, but then you wear a million different hats.”
For someone who is looking to “Work In Sports”, Andrew says you need to go into it with a “healthy sense of reality”. “Working for a professional sports team, especially a minor league team is a lot of fun, very rewarding and can lead to a lot of great things. The reality of the situation is that you are going to be working many long hours and you are not going to be getting paid a lot of money.”
Knowing this ahead of time, Stuebner added, “There are a million people who want to do the same exact thing as you might be looking to do. The competition for positions is tough. So it is important to keep those things in mind, and make sure you understand why you are getting into it in the first place and keep that focus. Things will pay off for you down the road.”