The Somerset Patriots and their partners at Spearhead Staffing have hired 11-year old Neelesh Thanasegaran of Warren as the 2016 Kid CEO.
Day 1: Customer Service
Today I just finished working at customer service for the first time as the Somerset Patriot Kid CEO. I’ve always wanted to know what happened in the places I can’t see, and today, I learned a lot.
There are lots of things that the staff does before and during the game that most people don’t get to see or notice. One thing that I saw that was really important was that promotions are very important, and they take a lot of time and effort to organize.
I also saw how customer service is the base for all of the games to run. While at the customer service desk, everyone who had problems or needed help were directed to customer service. I noticed how this can sometimes be very hard, as there are so many people who need help at the same time.
The staff at customer service also had a lot of other duties on their hands, like knowing how many people were at the ballpark. I also learned that timing is something that is really important, and everything in the ballpark has to be at the exact time, so that everything runs smoothly for the fans so everyone can enjoy a great game together.
The staff at customer service has to use their time wisely, and they even plan everything the day before the game!
I think knowing what to do at customer service is a really important step into learning how to run a professional sports team. Without customer service, it would be hard for all of the fans to address problems and get help from the staff.
I really learned a lot from helping at customer service. I am starting to notice how everything is connected at the ballpark. I really hope that I learn lots of new things on how to run a professional sports team at my next job as the Somerset Patriot Kid CEO.
Day 2: Team Store
Today I will be telling you about my second experience as the Somerset Patriots Kid CEO. I worked at the Team Store and I learned a lot of new things not many people know of.
When I first got to the store, I helped get some of the promotional items to the storage area. After doing that, I started my work at the Team Store. About 10 minutes before the game, lots of customers came to do some pre-game shopping to show their Somerset Patriots spirit!
At first, I helped with bagging all the items the customer bought and labeling items. After some time though, I learned how to use the register and how to give back the correct change. It was hard at first, but I got used to it.
During the middle of the game, we didn’t have as many customers as we had in the beginning, because everyone wanted to watch the game.
Around that time, I switched places and went to work at the fun zone, which was close to the lawn area. There was a small table set up for the items they were selling. I noticed that there weren't as many sales at the booth compared to the store, and one reason why I think so is because of the limited number of items they sold. As we got closer to the end of the game, some people came to the booth to get a souvenir before they left, or to get a lightsaber for the firework show.
I really enjoyed learning how to run the Team Store at the ballpark. I think these kinds of skills would be handy for running any kind of sports team. I learned how to run many things in the Team Store, such as the cash register. I hope I learn a lot of new things about running a sports team as the Somerset Patriot Kid CEO!
Day 3: Public Relations
Today I will be telling you all about my third experience as the Somerset Patriots Kid CEO. I just finished working at the press box for public relations (PR). This was really exciting for me, as I didn’t know what I was going to do at all, unlike customer service and the team store. Before that, though, there was the pre- game meeting that I attended. They discussed all the aspects of the game so everything could run smoothly. When I started working, I quickly went downstairs to get the autograph player, after that, we started taking videos of the fans outside, all of the booths and people getting autographs.
After that, we went on the field to take videos of the two singers who sang “God Bless America” and our national anthem. Then the game started and we took some short videos of all the fans filing into the ballpark.
After my dinner break, we went around taking videos of the booths and all the people at them. I came back to the press box and learned how to keep score for a little while. It was pretty interesting, as I really didn't know how to keep score. I learned you really have to be focused, to do that job.
Right after I finished keeping score, it was time for me to go on air on WCTC 1450AM and SPN.tv! I was really excited, as I never had a radio interview before. After Justin asked me some questions on how it has been as the Kid CEO, I got to quickly see how everything works for the broadcast.
I got to go and see the video and camera side of things. I learned how to use the cameras, and how they put the score on the scoreboard.
Then I quickly went to the field with my camera to get some shots because it was the bottom of the ninth inning and the game was winding down. Unfortunately, the Patriots lost, but I still enjoyed the game.
Right after the game ended, the fireworks show started and I took some quick clips. When the show was over, I went back to the press box to drop off my camera and to pick up all my stuff I left.
I really enjoyed working in public relations as the Somerset Patriot Kid CEO. I think it was really interesting and that you are always doing something. You can’t just sit there, and you always have to be on the move all around the ballpark. That is why I would call this experience my favorite. I really enjoyed this experience as the Somerset Patriot Kid CEO, and I hope that my next experiences will be just as great!
Day 4: Promotions
I just finished working with the promotions team at TD Bank Ballpark and I had a blast! I learned a lot about how everyone runs the promotions, and what they do.
It was very interesting, and I have to say, was one of the most exciting experiences I ever had!
When I got to the ballpark, I got directly to work. Since it was Veterans Of America Day, we went outside to set up the chairs for all of them for the ceremony. After we watched the ceremony, we had to get all the chairs out and back into the van to get them off the field.
A little while after the game started, we had our first promotion, the Sparkee Dash! After we finished that, we had a few more promotions.
Soon after, we had a break, so I got something to eat. We always had something different to do. We had to find a family to sit in the Comfort Seating area which we were able to find a family who were very happy to do it. We showed them where to go and gave them their meal tickets.
After that, I quickly went back to work with all the other promotions.
My favorite promotion was the T-shirt Slingshot! I got to slingshot the T-shirts to the whole crowd. I really liked slingshotting the T-shirts, which was lots of fun.
After the slingshot, I had to wait for the game to finish to hand out ticket vouchers to all the kids who ran the bases. We had a lot of kids participate in the post game event.
I really enjoyed working with the promotions crew as the Somerset Patriots Kid CEO. I learned how everything works, which was very interesting, and I got to do activities that only the staff did.
I had lots of fun, and I can't wait for my last Somerset Patriot Kid CEO experience at the ticket office!
Day 5: Ticketing
Today I will be telling you about my fifth and final experience as the Somerset Patriots Kid CEO. I worked in the ticket office and I learned the process on how all the customers get their tickets. There is so much I have to tell you…
When I got to the ticket office, I had to get directly to work. This was different from my other experience, in which I usually started my work when the game started. The reason for this was because everyone was buying tickets and exchanging their vouchers.
When I started, I just handed out the tickets, because I thought doing all the other stuff would be a little too confusing. It was a little hard at first, but I got a hang of it. I was also working with last year’s Kid CEO, which was fun.
Right before the game started, we got a lot of sales. We were still selling during the game! Once the game got underway, I went to my next job, the Pokemon Go table! I was really excited to go to the Pokemon table. Since it was Pokemon night, there were prizes to be given out for a variety of contests. While I was at the table, I decided to play some Pokemon too! I talked to some teammates who were near the table. I thought it was really fun to help everyone win the prizes.
I really enjoyed being the Somerset Patriots Kid CEO. I learned a lot of new skills that will help now and when I get older. I learned how to help people at customer service, sell merchandise at the team store, help with public relations, worked with the promotions crew, and help sell tickets at the ticket office.
I really enjoyed doing all of this, and I can’t wait to (Hopefully!) use these skills when I work for the Somerset Patriots!
Neelesh was one of six children that were chosen at Patriots Fan Fest in April for a final interview on the field before the Friday, May 13th game. He was the last of the finalists to address the crowd in the pre-game program, with the hiring announcement made during the middle of the third inning down on the field.
“I was so excited I wanted to jump up and down, but I wanted to be respectful to all the other great finalists,” Neelesh said minutes after hearing his named announced as the winner. “It took about a week or so after Fan Fest for me to think about everything. Then I sat down, wrote the speech and practiced it a lot.”
During his speech in front of all the spectators, including his mother Bremini and father Thanasegaran, Neelesh spoke about being a big baseball fan, coming to the ballpark since he was five years old and how the Somerset Patriots are his all-time favorite team.
Neelesh was also a finalist for last year’s Kid CEO and proved that perseverance and hard work can help you achieve your goals.
Neelesh wants to pursue a career in either baseball or cricket when he grows up. In the meantime, he is focusing on his favorite school subjects – math and science – and his hobbies that include photography, coin and card collecting and reading.
Doug Bryson, the President of Spearhead Staffing was among the handful of judges that helped hire Neelesh. He was joined by two previous Patriots Kid CEO’s- Jonathan Daneyka and Steven DiMaria, both of whom went on to become game day staffers for the team during the season.
“You can tell that all the contestants love the Patriots and they actually did some research to come up with what they would want to accomplish if they were selected as the Kid CEO,” said Bryson. “I think Neelesh was one of the best ones in terms of what he would bring to the table and his experience.”
This is the second season that Spearhead Staffing has partnered with the Somerset Patriots to hire a Kid CEO.
“We had such a great time doing it last season. A lot of times people are looking to do promotions just to get their company’s name out there. I think this is a good one because it marries Spearhead Staffing with a great pillar of the community in the Somerset Patriots. At the same time we get to work collaboratively with the Patriots to bring some excitement to local children looking to fill the position,” remarked Bryson.
Spearhead Staffing is an award winning IT staffing company privately held and headquartered in the New York metropolitan area. Spearhead Staffing specializes in the Life Sciences industries such as Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Biotechnology. Spearhead Staffing aggressively sources talented professionals that combine years of valuable industry experience and domain knowledge with certified vendor training. Utilizing their proven RightHire Recruiting Process, Spearhead Staffing reduces the risk associated with hiring and identify the best person for each company’s culture and skill needs.