December 5, 2006
Gregg Greene, director of marketing for the Seattle Mariners
THE SEATTLE MARINERS
The job: Besides being paid to watch all of the Mariners games at Safeco, Greene works closely with the team to lead their marketing efforts and promotions. Though he can't control whether we win or lose, he makes sure we have a lot of fun while attending the games, from picking the music played as each Mariner goes to bat to making sure that the between-inning spectacles are enjoyable for all.
NWjobs: How'd you get to this position?
Gregg Greene: I started working in radio at the Fisher Broadcasting Group when I was at the University of Washington, as an undergrad. I got involved with the Mariners by happenstance. A gentleman that I was working with was doing DJ work over here and they needed someone to back him up. I was finishing my senior year at the UW and he offered me an opportunity to come and work for the Mariners and get paid to play music, which is another big passion of mine. It was kind of a no-brainer for me! And that was '95, which turned out to be a great year for the Mariners. I continued to do that through 1998. I went and received my graduate degree at Syracuse University and then started full-time as a marketing coordinator and worked my way up from there.
It's been a dream to work with a team that I loved growing up, to see so many tremendous players come through, and at the same time get to see this beautiful new ballpark be built. I pinch myself a lot.
NW: What advice would you have for a person who wanted to have a position like yours?
GG: I speak to college and high-school age students a lot and every time I'm in front of anyone that age I get up on my soap box and tell them that they have to take internships. They have to do at least one, and then it's not only getting an internship but making the most of their internships: working hard, showing what they can do, showing creative ideas and treating it like a full-time job. A lot of the people within our department started out as interns or started out in positions like I had, which are really entry-level. But it's making the most of those opportunities. And opening up a path for yourself.
NW: What skill sets are needed for a job like yours that may be surprising?
GG: We work 81 home games a year. That's a lot of home games ... you have to love baseball in order to make this work. If you go to 81 games and you're not happy, it's going to be pretty miserable going to work. Most of the people who work here love baseball. Coming to Safeco Field every day doesn't feel like a job. We love the teams as much as anyone; we live and die by each win and loss. Being a sports fan certainly helps.
NW: At what specific moments did you think, "This is a dream job!"
GG: I'm a fan so it's the success that the team has had. In '95, probably nine out of 10 Mariners fans will tell you that Game Five of the Division series is their favorite memory. And it's hard to deny that. We never tasted the post-season in Seattle and you're down two-nothing to the Yankees and to come back in the fashion we did in the 11th was baseball and sports nirvana. It's why people watch and dedicate so much of their lives to sport. But there have been great moments along the way, too.
NW: What's the average day in the life for you?
GG: It's a little different on game days. On game days, we'll be here between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. to start the day and get set up for that night's game. We have production meetings in the morning and then we come in and meet up with the crew that works the game. They start showing up around 4 p.m. We start diligently working on the show. And off we go. We work until the game is done -- 10, 10:30 in the evening -- and then come back and do it the next morning. On non-game days, there are more traditional business hours, but it's still working hard and preparing for the games and the promotions and our marketing efforts to bring people out to Safeco.
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