Sports Sales and Operations

Lloyd 'Nic' Griffin
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Nic Griffin interned with Tucson Sugar Skulls and gained experience with sports sales and game day operations.

How did you get your internship?

I was seeking an athletics-related internship because of my passion for sports. I’ve always loved watching and playing sports while growing up. I wanted to see what it was like to be involved in the business side of athletics. I first learned about the internship opportunity with the Tucson Sugar Skulls through my sports management minor via email. I thought to myself, “Why not give it a shot?” I sent an email to the business operations manager for the Tucson Sugar Skulls and he responded right away. A few days later, at the end of my interview with the organization, I was offered an internship position with the team.

What new knowledge and skills did you develop in this internship?

I gained a variety of new sales and communications skills throughout my internship experience. When selling something such as merchandise, tickets, or even the idea of a new team to someone, you need to learn how to effectively communicate. A lot of what I did involved making client relations phone calls to season ticket holders. At first, I was extremely nervous, but as I spent more time doing it I became very comfortable and excelled in this work.

I also collaborated with numerous people within the organization to ensure game day success, including my manager, the head coach of the team, the players, other interns and other prominent members within the organization. Our ultimate goal was to ensure that game day operations ran smoothly without any error. Being willing to go the extra mile and allowing myself to be put in different situations was difficult, but it also made the experience a lot of fun.

The most satisfying part of my internship with the Tucson Sugar Skulls was the connections that I made. When people think of Arena Football, they don’t realize how many different people from other industries that are involved. For example, my internship manager came from a minor league baseball team before becoming the business operations manager for the Sugar Skulls. Being able to learn about what it takes in the sports business industry was something that I wanted to do and I am very satisfied with the results.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for or begin their internship?

The biggest piece of advice that I could give to another student who is searching for or starting their first internship experience is to be resilient. Be resilient in your search and when you begin your experience. At times, it’s discouraging when you don’t hear back from companies or organizations when you are applying for internships, but there is an opportunity for everyone. You just need to look hard enough and allow yourself time to apply. Once you get the opportunity to be an intern, work hard, accept and embrace the challenges you face. Hard work pays off.