Courtney Chase ’17 was able to gain invaluable professional experience and a taste of a career in marketing before her junior year at Hobart and William Smith thanks to an internship with the Cape Cod Baseball League (Cape League), the famed summer baseball program that’s seen more than 1,100 former players go on to Major League Baseball (MLB).
During her experience, Chase worked for the league’s marketing department where she specialized in the areas of information and strategies, and was involved in the rebranding of the Orleans Firebirds. She also worked as the Firebirds’ social media director.
Through her work, she helped with the relaunch of the team’s website, supported social media accounts and was involved with enhancing the Firebirds’ fan experience. Chase says she was also able to facilitate a significant increase in the Firebirds’ Twitter followers over a two-month period, more than any other team in the Cape League.
She also had the chance to conduct media relations, communicating with local newspapers and schools interested in writing stories about specific players.
The Cape League will celebrate its 131th season in 2016. Currently, nearly 300 former Cape League players are in the MLB. The Cape League is recognized by college coaches and professional baseball scouts as the leading amateur league in the U.S.
All of the teams in the Cape League take a day trip to Fenway Park in Boston to showcase their talents to hundreds of MLB scouts during a closed workout. Chase had the opportunity to join the excursion and share the experience with Firebirds fans on social media.
“Having experience with marketing a team allowed me to make connections to new things I’ve been learning in class, as well as to begin to recognize how the companies and institutions I came in contact with every day present themselves to the public,” Chase says.
A media and society major and writing and rhetoric and sociology double minor, Chase arrived at the Colleges with the goal of becoming a sports journalist. After being introduced to the Media and Society Program, she learned more about sports in the media and developed an interest in sports marketing.
“That’s the beauty of HWS,” she says. “I’m able to combine many of my passions, and even experience new ones, without being restricted by a specific program.”
Having always been interested in sports, particularly baseball, Chase says working for the Cape League was an excellent opportunity to explore marketing with an elite organization in sports.
“When I discovered the opportunity to be able to combine both my long-time passion for sports and my new found passion for marketing, I immediately wanted to get involved,” Chase recalls.
At the Colleges, Chase is a member of the William Smith basketball team and works with HWS Recreation.