By Benjamin Ryan
During the spring semester of my freshman year in college, I was fortunate enough to land an internship at a baseball media company on Long Island. As someone who had always been interested in sports media, I was thrilled at the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field.
I was assigned to work as a creative and was given a lot of freedom to try new content and branding concepts out. This allowed me to learn and try new things on programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. As someone who had only dabbled in these programs as an amateur, I was excited to learn how to use them in a professional setting and work within branding restraints. In my first week, we organized my work schedule and what content we wanted to focus on. I decided to focus on graphic design for social media use and branding style for future content.
My first project was to create a mock-up for a new social media graphic design style. I was nervous, but my supervisor was patient and supportive. These are templates that all follow a similar look to the brand and can be modified for immediate postings on social media platforms. He showed me examples of previous graphics they have used and gave me feedback on my own work. It was a steep learning curve, but I was determined to do my best.
As the weeks went on, I was given more responsibility and entrusted with larger projects. I worked on everything from social media graphics to marketing campaigns for events.
One of the most memorable projects I worked on was a series of graphics for specific high school players that committed to big college programs. I spent hours looking for ideas and finding a style I wanted to use for each graphic. Even though it got repetitive, I got to get creative for big commits to LSU, Rutgers, and Clemson. I wanted the postings to be eye-catching and stand up side by side with the college programs the players were committing to. When I presented my graphic designs to my supervisor, he was impressed. It was incredibly satisfying to see my designs enjoyed by the players and baseball community as a whole.
The best part of working in this field is getting to travel and meet all sorts of great athletes. Another part of my job is creating committed graphics for high school athletes for college signing day. In season, my job swings more toward in-game media coverage for high school baseball games across Long Island. This includes videography, which I specialize in, and photography, which I love to do on the side.
Here is a typical day as a Sports Creative Intern for a high school baseball showcase in Queens.
The day starts the evening before, with coordination among my supervisor, coaches, and players. I ensure my equipment is ready, including packing my bags, charging batteries and power banks, and formatting SD cards.
The next morning, I wake up at 5 am, shower, dress up, pack my equipment in the car, and head out. Before arriving at the field around 8 am, I stop at a deli near a gas station owned by a friend’s family, fill up my tank, and grab a bacon egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast.
Once at the field, I set up my gear in the media room and head out to the fields, where my supervisor usually provides me with a shortlist of players to cover. Throughout the day, I maintain a tight schedule for capturing and editing content, which I send to the social media manager. Upon returning home, I label all my files and send them to my supervisor for future use.
These experiences not only helped me form relationships with people in the industry, but they also gave me a deeper appreciation for the creative industry as a whole. As the semester drew to a close, I felt a mixture of sadness and excitement. I was sad to be leaving such an amazing organization, like Axcess Baseball, but I was also excited to take everything I had learned and apply it to my future endeavors.
Looking back on my internship, I can confidently say that it was a very transformative experience in my creative career. It helped me solidify my passion for graphic design and gave me the skills and confidence I needed to pursue a career in the creative sports industry. The creative industry is not for the faint of heart, but it is incredibly rewarding for those who are willing to put in the effort.