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“I decided to join the Bucs Sales Team to further advance my sales skills and broaden my knowledge in the area, as well as make lasting connections with the Pittsburgh Pirates."

Jillian Svonavec '19

Following up a successful ticket sales campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Point Park University’s sports, arts and entertainment management department recently connected 12 students to join the Pittsburgh Pirates Bucs Sales Team and receive sales training at PNC Park.

According to Robert Derda, M.S., assistant professor and chair of the SAEM department, hands-on opportunities like joining the Bucs Sales Team give SAEM students real-life experience selling professional sports.

“We hope that our Bucs Sales Team members will use this wonderful opportunity granted to them by the Pittsburgh Pirates to improve their sales skills in preparation for a future job in professional sports. Experiences like this are part of our SAEM philosophy of learning by doing," Derda explained.

Under the direction of Rowland School of Business graduate student Miranda Klein, the Point Park students/Bucs Sales Team members are now making phone calls and scheduling personal meetings with individuals interested in purchasing tickets for the “Point Park University Night” game at PNC Park on Sept. 25.

“I decided to join the Bucs Sales Team to further advance my sales skills and broaden my knowledge in the area, as well as make lasting connections with the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said Jillian Svonavec, a senior SAEM major from Somerset Area High School in Somerset, Pa.

Svonavec added: “The training at PNC Park offered us great insight as to how the Pirates sales department works, and how they create unique experiences to broaden the reach of Pittsburgh Pirates fans. This experience will continue to expand my network in the sports industry, and help enhance my knowledge of sales within the Pittsburgh market.”

During the training, the Pittsburgh Pirates sales and service staff members discussed the different sales levels in Major League Baseball, as well as reviewed scripts, scenarios, the “do’s and don't’s” of professional selling and how to handle being turned down on a sales attempt.

The Point Park students also toured the ballpark and sat in the sections they are selling.

“I am looking to land an internship with an MLB team, possibly the Pittsburgh Pirates, between now and the end of my time at Point Park. This opportunity was a great way to get my foot in the door and gain an understanding of the ticketing and sales side of the MLB,” said Justin Joyce, a sophomore SAEM major, native of Pittsburgh and graduate of the Commonwealth Charter Academy.

Joyce’s career goal is to be a general manager of an MLB team.

“I have a lot of experience working and supervising events, as well as back office ticket operations, so dabbling in sales is only going to compliment my skill set further and beef up my resume,” he said.

"This opportunity has been another great hands-on experience I have had the chance to be a part of while being a student at Point Park. Through this process, I have learned a little bit of what I can expect from my future career in sales," said Madison Winger, a junior SAEM major from Oil City High School in Oil City, Pa.

Winger added: "Sales in sports is a fun and enjoyable career field that I hope to be a part of when I graduate. Making memories and connections with sports fans is what it’s all about!"

More About: Rowland School of Business, Pittsburgh Pirates, Somerset Area High School, Sports, Arts, Entertainment and Music Partnerships, Oil City High School, sports, arts and entertainment management, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School