For the second straight early summer, high school students from all over the country come to New York for a two week crash course in the business of sports. Taught by longtime New York area sports business pro Joe Favorito, the program gives these rising juniors and seniors a chance to find out what they like, and maybe don’t like, about a field they may be passionate about.
On Thursday, the class, which also includes a young lady from Amsterdam and a Yemeni-American softball player from Texas, spent the day at Yankee Stadium, where Yankees Magazine editor Al Santasiere spent time with them talking about the ins and outs of business life with the Bronx Bombers, as well as imparting career advice (“Use your internships as a semester long job interview,” was one of his pearls of wisdom shared, along with the value of networking and working hard).
Several of the students are aspiring journalists, so the day, which included tours of Monument Park and the Yankee Museum, served them well.
Yankee Stadium was only one of the stops during the two week program for the group, which includes students from as far away as San Diego and Los Angeles and as close as the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They visited MLB Advanced Media to talk digital sports, the Barclays Center to learn about the arena business, another trip to Yankee Stadium to check out NYCFC and even Coney Island to see how the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest is run. Some of the students even crossed paths with former Giant now Packers tight end Martellus Bennett and retired Yankee Alex Rodriguez while they were in midtown last week.
They will wrap the program with a special presentation on Friday, and will even get to hear from former Mets and Oakland A’s pitching coach Rick Peterson on how the inner workings of an MLB team operate.
“The goal of the program is to give these kids an important look into all areas of sports business, with the hope that they realize they can turn a passion into a real career, which should allay some of their parents fears,” Favorito, who also does a similar but more intense program for Columbia University later in the summer, said. “We bring in experts in many fields, from collegiate sports to brands to media members, and give the students real life experience that can hopefully help them choose a college, and with that get a better understanding of the great potential that lies ahead.”
There is nothing better than work life experience, and these students are learning from some of the best, in the greatest city in the world for sports and business. This past week we would have celebrated the Boss’s 87th birthday. Nothing would have made him happier than to spend time with all of these kids and to give them advice on life and the career paths that they might choose. He was great with young people especially when he saw that they were serious about their education. As a parent, I thank the Yankees for never forgetting and always welcoming young people who are just realizing their dreams.
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