Allison Spencer, Corporate Partnerships Activation Coordinator for the New Jersey Devils joined the Sports Industry Club for their virtual speaker series on Wednesday. Mar. 17.
The reoccurring program aims to allow students with an interest in sports-related careers to engage with tri-state professionals and alumni. Spencer detailed the current NJ Devils’ procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic and shared her journey leading up to her current position.
The New Jersey Devils have allowed fans back in their stadium at 10 percent capacity, according to Spencer. “I had the chance to go to some games before we had fans back and it was just so odd,” Spencer said. “I definitely feel much more rejuvenated and I feel a whole new sense of energy with having fans back in the building.”
Priority access has been provided to season ticket holders, with leftover available tickets being offered to the public, according to Spencer. An amount of suites are open as well. “We can’t have them at the full capacity of like 16-20 people,” Spencer said.
Spencer was part of a Sports Management and Exercise Science Club during her undergraduate years at Rutgers University. She stressed the important opportunities that can come from involvement with your University’s organizations. “It’s just great to have something where you can network with your peers,” Spencer said.
One of Spencer’s first internship roles involved working in ticket operation for Rutgers’ athletics department. The job included stuffing envelopes and selling tickets at will-call. “I quickly realized that it was not for me,” Spencer said. “Like a lot of other sports management majors, I was just taking something to get my foot in the door and get some experience in athletics to start out with and have something that would lend me a really cool internship or job in the future.”
Spencer then took on a promo-team role for the New Jersey Devils as a junior. She was an event staffer, doing things like helping set up events, handing out items to fans and operating the t-shirt gun.
“I sometimes wore a headset and communicated with the people upstairs who were running the scoreboard,” Spencer said. “That kind of experience was huge for me and what led me here today. I also did an internship with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). They’re headquartered out of Princeton so it was local.”
She worked under the league’s Director of Business Development, helping the director with different content for the league’s platforms. She coordinated multiple large partnerships with Nickelodeon, Geico, and “some other big partners for the overall league.”
“That was a really great experience and not only did I get to work on the business development side, but with hockey operations, ticket sales, and marketing,” Spencer said. “I got to have my hand in everything. If you ever have the opportunity to intern for a minor league, I highly recommend it because you get to wear a lot of hats and get a lot of experience out of it. It is a grind, but like I said, a great learning experience.”
While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Spencer also took on an event staff role with the Jets football organization and the New York Yankees baseball organization as a guest relations operator. Upon graduation, she took a role with Topgolf as a Platinum Memberships Manager in charge of overseeing premium level memberships on an individual and corporate basis.
Now, Spencer is the Corporate Partnerships Activation Coordinator for the New Jersey Devils, overseeing a client base of large partners such as Bud Light, Investors Bank and Heineken.
“I oversee all of their marketing assets,” Spencer said. “Any signage that you see in the arena or any activities that are happening on the concourse.”
“Right now is a little bit tough because of COVID-19, and I feel for all of you guys starting a career and trying to get experience during this time when sports have been at a halt,” Spencer said. “With that being said, I’ve been telling anybody who’s reached out to me what you can do is not sit back and idle. Don’t wait for things to get better; keep learning and find ways to learn. There’s webinars and speaker-series left and right. Just keep learning and educating yourself outside of your school.”
IMAGE TAKEN from lastwordonsports.com