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Brian Hayes, Sports Marketer and Ticket Salesman

By Carolyn Stedinger

What does Brian Hayes like about his job? "You get to see the players; you meet upcoming stars, hopefully the guys who are going to be in the majors on down the line."

Working model: Sports Marketing
Name: Brian Hayes
Age: 26
Occupation: Ticket sales associate for the Rockford (Ill.) IceHogs, one of 14 teams in the United Hockey League
Degree: Bachelor's degree in sport and event marketing from the University of South Alabama
Career goal: "To be the general manager of a minor league franchise."
Favorite thing about job: "It's never the same thing every day."
Least favorite thing about job: "The odd hours."
How he landed the job: Hayes used to work for the Mobile Bay Bears, an AA baseball team that's owned by the same company that owns the IceHogs (United Sports Ventures Inc.). When the Bay Bears' assistant general manager was promoted to general manager of the IceHogs, he invited Hayes on board.
Philosophy for success: "The harder you work, the more rewards you're going to see."
The job: A lifelong sports nut, Hayes was painfully bored following in his father's footsteps as an accounting major. Then his university added a new major--sport and event marketing. "[The major] was everything I ever wanted," says Hayes, who ran cross-country and track in school, and plays tennis, basketball, and hockey whenever he gets a chance.

Now Hayes sells tickets to the IceHogs' inaugural season, which began in October. He also does basic sports marketing, including drafting press releases and getting quotes on advertising opportunities (as well as the occasional odd job, like finding an apartment for the head coach). "You fill what roles come up," he says.

Hayes says he knew he'd never be a professional athlete, but he calls his job the next best thing.?"You get to see the players; you meet upcoming stars, hopefully the guys who are going to be in the majors on down the line." And though he says he never pictured himself in sales, he believes that there is money out there for every company through sports," he says. "It's just a matter of finding what would work best for them."

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