Business of Baseball: Breaking Back into the Industry session at Minor League Baseball’s Innovators Summit

Business of Baseball: Breaking Back into the Industry session with Austin Scher in a nutshell 👇🏼

The amount of people’s jobs that have been negatively effected by COVID-19 is insane, especially in Minor League Baseball. It’s not talked about enough, and it felt really empowering to be able to talk about it freely, openly and honestly to such a large group of people.

I only met Austin virtually one time before this session happened. It was awesome to see the support and positive feedback from the Innovators Summit participants once we went live and did our thing. People are requesting a podcast so we may have to make that happen…. (Just need someone else to do the leg work, we’ll do the talking).

The reason Chylinski Media, LLC has been able to be so successful during this crazy Covid time is due to furlough. I was working from home since March for the Hartford Yard Goats Baseball, then was furloughed back in June. And here I am now!!! I am so happy how #supportive the Hartford Yard Goats & Minor League Baseball has been, allowing me to do my thing & support my journey 🤍

THANK YOU Minor League Baseball for reaching out & allowing me to speak on my experience, and as a business owner of Chylinski Media! 

We are so happy to be unemployed by our respective MiLB teams because if not, we probably wouldn’t have been asked to speak….. HAHAH!

No but seriously, we’re honored to have had the opportunity to speak at the Innovators Summit. There have been a significant amount of people that have been laid off, furloughed, and somewhere in between… Austin and myself being a part of that large group. We’re happy to bring our personalities back to a strong MiLB platform, to talk about who were are because of MilB, and who we have been without it.

You know that TikTok similar to a ‘Never Have I Ever” game when someone says something absolutely crazy that obviously no one else has ever experienced, that’s basically how I feel about mu whole career in Minor League Baseball.

Grew up in the Greater Hartford Area in Connecticut, went to Western New England University in Springfield, MA. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Communications Public Relations, minor in Integrated Marketing Communication.

Following graduation, I was working at a non-profit that was hosting an awareness night at the Yard Goats. I was the contact that was planning it.. The night went great, and I thanked the General Manager and connected on LinkedIn. 

A few months later I get a call from him, told me he’s been watching my social personally & professionally. And at that time, Instagram stories were big, I was recording myself and my not-so glam, but still a regular glam life. Anyway, he was like this position just opened up Promotions & Marketing Manger. I’d love for you to come in to talk about the position. 

In my head I’m like ??????? You sure you’re calling the right Danielle. I didn’t know what MiLB was, what promotions were, how the game of baseball actually in depth worked.. and he was like “you’re the perfect fit.” After going back and forth, I ditch my perfect 9-5, and flip my world, my hours, and learn a whole new language: sports.

Allllll social media, mascots were my babies, game day promotions, and everything in between. All the fun stuff, I barley sat down. My boss used to always FaceTime me during the work day and be like ???? Where you at?

Every day was hard. I continued to have to learn new things, I had to do the lineups every day… and the numbers that are connected to each position…. OMG HARD. For those of you that don’t know them, which there probably is no one… no them because they’ll HAUNT you.

THEN COVID

COVID hit, it was chaos. Working from alone. Alone. Daily. In the dark, having to be funny and creative. Adapting to realize that not everyone’s day looked like mine. Then it turned dark, social got dark and raw and real life really hit hard. We did staff brainstorm sessions and happy hours. 

Everyone was getting furloughed then boom. I along with 20+ others, all on “pause.” I was fortunate to have created my own business back in January, Chylinski Media. I created because I’ve always helped small business and people on the side with their social, building their brands, etc. I’ve been super transparent with it since day 1 with the Yard Goats. So once the furlough hit, it was known that was my plan. I hadn’t done much for it since I was planning on working a mil hours, but now… I’m going full speed. Well full speed and half pretending im. On college spring break, locked in the house… edition. But not bored in the house… in the house bored.

I have no idea what the future brings, or what my future looks like in MiLB. I love the Yard Goats. I love the brand, who they stand for, I loved who I worked with.. well for the most part. I feel like I finally went through a whole season of what the f is going on, and now I’m ready to do my thing. BUT we have no idea what the future looks like, but I know that once it’ time to make a decision, I’ll know.

Austin’s top 3 tips to those breaking into the industry, or trying to get back in:

  1. BE. DIFFERENT. Set yourself apart, be unapologetically you, let your personality come into the interview process and work arena a little bit.
  2. Don’t tell me the reason you want to work in baseball is because you love baseball–find your why and follow that passion.
  3. Meet and connect with as many people as you possibly can. Genuine, sustained relationships will take you a long way. Might interview with someone tomorrow who ends up hiring you in 2025; meet someone tomorrow that might be key to a job next year, etc.

Danielle’s 3 tips to those breaking into the industry, or trying to get back in:

  1. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. I asked for a mac computer, I asked for a built in rack for mascot suits, etc. I asked questions that “we’re awkward” because ~who am I to ask for things when I’m so new, young, inexperienced in the industry.” But I was me. I knew what I needed to be successful at my job, so I spoke up.
  2. People are watching from a far. Everything you do is seen but someone, somewhere, somehow. People are following your story, your journey, and they’ll make their own story made up in their head until you ACTUALLY cross paths. Make sure what you’re portraying is accurate. You never know who you’re impacting. SO many people reached out to me once we were working from home and it was cool to “network” on LinkedIn more than it was before… “let’s hop on a zoom call.” 
  3. Own what you do. Know what you’re skills are and believe in yourself. People want to hire you because you’re confident in what you have to offer. Stand behind your decisions, your comments, etc. I knew I was good at cleaning up the mess, organizing a process, and getting things to a place where it would be able to effectively run. I’m good at delegating and finding people to make my job easier. I was blessed to be able and empowered to hire my own promo team. So you’re welcome Yard Goats, all of my ish is organized if you choose to carry on without me / I choose to carry on with you.

A comment someone left on my LinkedIn post:

It’s crazy to me that the impact on the employees within Minor League Baseball seems to have gone unacknowledged. I can count on one hand the number of national articles I’ve seen that addressed the loss of employment and economic impact. I think it’s easy to overlook since MLB and many other leagues have been able to continue functioning in some manner. I also think it has been overshadowed by the continuing speculation about the fate of the PBA between MLB and MiLB which expired this week.

We’ll see what’s in store for us soon Minor League Baseball….

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