BRIDGEWATER, NJ. -- In late June, Piscataway native Nick Morgan beat out the competition and was named the Kid CEO of the Somerset Patriots.
Morgan, a soon-to-be freshman at Piscataway Township High School in a few weeks went through five days’ worth of different behind-the-scenes duties at TD Bank Ballpark, his second home. During five games, Morgan learned the ins and outs of the ticket office, merchandise/retail, customer service and promotions, ballpark operations, and media relations, the press box, and broadcasting.
“The Kid CEO experience was awesome. It definitely showed me all of the behind the scenes things,” Morgan said. “Being able to go through every section of the ballpark was really neat and something that will never pop up again. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”
On day one in the ticket office, Morgan was taught how to work the computers and make sales, how to work the will call window, and then finally stood by the exits and said goodnight to fans as they left the stadium while handing them pocket schedules and the giveaway that evening.
The ticket office got a little hectic as more fans than usual flocked to the game because fireworks were to be shot off once it ended.
“The ticket office was really busy especially because it was a Friday and fireworks night,” Morgan said. “It was really cool though and it was a great way to start the CEO position.”
Next up for Morgan was all about merchandise. First, Morgan spent time in a small one-person booth right by the entrances where he sold team programs and scorecards to fans. Morgan said he sold 16 scorecards and 21 programs.
“It was really cool doing that, being able to interact with the fans being that it’s one of the first things you see when you enter the park. I greeted everyone with a smile,” Morgan said.
Then, Morgan went inside the team store and worked the cash register as fans bought hats, shirts, and whatever else. He also helped keep the store neat and in order.
“I learned how to use the register and made some sales and then I also walked around the team store and made sure everything was neat so when fans walked in they had the best experience possible,” Morgan said.
Last but not least on the day was arguably the best part: hawking.
Morgan sold red, white, and blue lightsabers in the stands. Morgan went section by section doing his best to sell the toy to kids and was able to talk to those in attendance as well.
“It was really cool,” Morgan said.
Day three, Morgan stood behind the customer service desk. It was there he worked on his social skills interacting with fans if they had any questions or wanted to redeem points on the Somerset Patriots app for prizes. He also did promotions as he assisted in organizing and putting together the between inning games on the field like dizzy bat and pony hop.
“For customer service, I just mainly learned what was behind the desk and information that could possibly help out fans if they have a question,” Morgan said. “Promotions was really fun too. I got to work with a great group of interns. I was on the field the entire time going back and forth, whether it was helping to run a game in between innings or getting ready for a game.”
Ballpark operations was where his job started to get interesting. Morgan set up tables on the concourse for the sponsors that were coming that night, worked in the fun zone, and as an usher in the stands.
Morgan had a good night’s sleep after day four of his experience.
“You don’t really get a break,” said Morgan, who graduated from Conackamack Middle School in June. “You’re always doing something. But the people there were really energizing. Everyone who works there always has a smile and operations was really fun and cool.”
The last day was bittersweet for Morgan because it was the last day of his Kid CEO position. And not only that, it involved media and broadcasting, which is his dream job once he gets older.
Morgan learned how to use the camera and took pictures for the photo gallery that went up at the end of the game, took video of a key two-RBI single by a player, was the official scorer for an inning, and worked the scoreboard as well.
The highlight of the final day’s work was getting to go on WCTC with Marc Schwartz and call the play-by-play.
“That was my last day and it was a great way to end it all,” Morgan said. “In the fifth inning, I did a complete play-by-play on the radio. I got to call Alfredo Rodriguez’s home run which was amazing. It was hands down my favorite part.”
Morgan struck out last year when he interviewed for the position but was dressed to impressed and more confident this year. He excelled in every task that was handed to him as Kid CEO and enjoyed his time.
It was also certainly worthwhile.
“Everything I was doing work wise for those five days, I got to do everything that goes into making the experience of the fans as great as possible,” Morgan said. “That was really the main thing I took away from that. I learned to always have a smile on your face even though I usually do anyway.”
“I got to see all of the behind the scenes stuff that nobody really knows about. I’m able to walk out of that experience with stories to tell my friends. Hopefully in the future I’ll be doing something with a baseball team somewhere, so this definitely will help with that.”