A look on his career in baseball, advice from his connections and his ultimate goal.
This feature is presented to you by the University of Nebraska — Lincoln Master of Arts in Business with a Specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration
Anyone who wants to make it big in sports, knows you probably have to work your way up the ladder. In Taylor Fisher’s case, he made the most of his opportunities that got him where he is today by using his connections.
Today, he is part of the business development team for the Nashville Sounds, where he focuses on sponsorship, group outings, and season tickets. Alongside that, he does the typical MiLB jobs like helping with tarp pulls.
Fisher has an interesting path, but maybe not as interesting as what his future holds.
Fisher realized that he just wasn’t going to be the next Michael Jordan, so he figured that working in sports was the next best thing. To get there, he obtained his Bachelor’s in Corporate Finance & Accounting from Bentley University and Master’s in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University.
He credits going back for his Master’s to one of his Bentley professors, whose colleague was a part of Northeastern’s program. Fisher says that it was, “one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received. I made more important connections in two years at Northeastern than I had my entire life leading up to that point.”
Great advice is something that he has received throughout his career. Right out of his undergraduate degree, he interviewed with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Director of Finance, Craig Bradley. Although he couldn’t find a position for Fisher, he told him something that he would never forget.
“He said if you want to work in baseball and move up the ladder, he recommended starting in summer collegiate baseball or Minor League Baseball and dive in and do everything. Sell tickets. Work on the field. Scrub toilets. Literally do it all. You will get noticed for your work ethic and willingness to help out wherever.”
Fisher took the guidance and got his start in summer collegiate baseball. One of his classmates at Northeastern, Ashley Laramie, the North Shore Navigators’ Assistant General Manager, offered him an internship. Fisher used Bradley’s suggestions and showed up early, stayed late and worked hard every single day.
“After the very first game I went home to my parents and said I was going to work in baseball the rest of my life. They were happy, but said to pump the brakes after only one game, but I just knew. And I haven’t looked back!”
Bill Terlecky, General Manager of the Navigators, is who recommended Fisher for his next job in sports. He put Fisher’s name up for General Manager of the FCBL team in Maine, the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide. The next thing Fisher knew, he went from a lowly intern to the General Manager of a team.
The position involved doing a little bit of everything, from selling sponsorships, signing players, selling tickets, and even scrubbing toilets. Fisher realized from doing everything that he loved sales the most, and that’s what he then pursued.
After his General Manager stint, Fisher broke into Minor League Baseball, and became the Sponsorship Account Manager of the Frederick Keys, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. He stayed in Maryland for two years, before moving to Nashville to work with the Sounds in October of 2016.
Expect to see Taylor “shooting for the Sox” in the future, as he was born and raised in Massachusetts, and has a deep love for the Red Sox and the city of Boston. His ultimate goal is to become the President or COO of the Boston Red Sox.
“I have so many people scoff and laugh at me when I talk as if it’s a for sure thing opposed to ‘I hope it happens.’ When you act and talk about your goals, don’t act like you’re wishing on a star. Act like you know it’s going to happen. You’ll have a much different attitude about things and be a lot more confident in yourself. I just laugh at people who laugh at my goal because it means theirs aren’t lofty enough. Don’t accept mediocrity. Strive for greatness.”
You should always ask for suggestions when talking to sport industry professionals, and Fisher has four pieces of advice for those aspiring to be where he is in the future.
First of all, be ready to grind if you’re going to work in baseball, because it is going to be 80–100 hour work weeks for six straight months. “Don’t work in sports just because you’re a fan. Do it because you have a passion for it and will do whatever it takes to make the organization successful and put out the best possible product for the fans.”
Follow Fisher’s footsteps and do everything and anything. You shouldn’t ever say “that’s not my job” or “that’s not in my job description.” Scrub toilets. Sell tickets. Help out with the on-field games.
He also suggested that you get to know as many people as possible that work in the ballpark, from the janitors, ushers, fan hosts and promo team. “A simple smile or a hello every day can go a long way if you ever need something extra for a client, family member or yourself. It’ll make your life so much easier.”
Lastly, ask questions and don’t be a know it all, because you’ll never know everything. Work as a team or no one will be on your side when you need it the most.
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