St. John’s University graduate student Jason Glantz has always been a sports fan, but never excelled in athletics.
“When I went to games, I found myself fascinated by the whole presentation: the promotions, scoreboard, concessions, and interactions with fans,” he said. That interest propelled him to find other ways to indulge his enthusiasm for sports.
Currently, the Sport Management major is interning for the New York Mets, working at Citi Field on game days in their marketing department. He also serves as a Graduate Assistant in the University’s Department of Athletics.
“Ever since I can remember, I wanted to work in sports,” Jason stressed. He earned his undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh, and while there he interned in their Department of Athletics for two years. When it came time to choose a master’s program, he considered only one city: New York. With its proximity to the New York City sports world—and plethora of alumni networking opportunities—St. John’s was a natural fit.
And even though he is not a native New Yorker, Jason’s favorite player is 2016 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Mike Piazza, who played for the Mets from 1998 to 2005. “The first game I ever went to was a spring training game between the Mets and Florida Marlins, and he hit a home run,” Jason recalled.
Jason’s boss at the Mets is their Coordinator of Marketing, Jelani Wheeler ’16CPS, a St. John’s graduate who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management. Mr. Wheeler does freelance work for the BIG EAST Conference as part of their event production staff at Madison Square Garden, and assists there with in-game promotions at St. John’s Men’s Basketball games.
After getting to know Mr. Wheeler, Jason was offered an internship opportunity with the Mets, and noted that while the work he does with St. John’s Athletics is similar to his role at the Mets, there are some important distinctions.
“What I do at St. John’s is more of what I would call game presentation,” he explained. “I assist with anything that happens on the court that is not part of the actual game, direct any promotion or presentation with a sponsor, and cue the anthem singer,” he said.
With the Mets, Jason assists with the fan experience, which includes promotions like their Sunday Funday programming, held in the plaza adjacent to the rotunda entrance at Citi Field. “This is important because it is a fan’s first point of contact with the organization. Having a good time there hopefully leads them to having a good time inside the park.”
Jason also staffs the Mr. Met’s Kids Club kiosk inside Citi Field. The club is a loyalty program that enables children to earn points and get rewards at the game. “Making a kid happy contributes to making their parents happy, and that makes their whole fan experience better,” he observed.
On a typical day, Jason arrives three to four hours before game time. Besides assisting at Sunday Funday and the Mr. Met’s Kids Club kiosk, Jason helps fans use the GameDay mobile ticketing app. Sunday is his busiest day because in addition to his other responsibilities he is involved with the postgame running of the bases for children.
“I love that there is always something different going on,” he said, such as Star Wars Day at Citi Field, in which he helped direct actors throughout the stadium, or the 1969 World Championship celebration, where he assisted with setup for the on-field ceremony.
Jason often helps colleagues in other departments, and noted that teamwork is emphasized by his professors. “My professors are great,” he said. “They teach things you can actually use.” Through his internship, he is able to put theory into practice.
Running presentations and promotions is Jason’s favorite experience, whether at St. John’s or the Mets, and hopes that is where his career path leads. “I love basketball, so I see myself working for the National Basketball Association, but I am open to any sport. They all do promotions, and I always like to learn new things.”
Helping fans enjoy the entire game day experience is what Jason enjoys the most about his internship. “Of course you want the Mets to win, but you also want their supporters to walk away from every interaction with a smile.”