“Squeak. Squeak.” This is what I heard approaching on the event floor of the Wells Fargo Center. I looked up from the game schedule to see a 7 ft. tall orange creature with googly eyes standing right in front of me. It was my first day as a sports PR intern for the Philadelphia Flyers and I had just met the one and only Gritty.
Like most college students, I had always dreamt of landing the perfect internship. Lucky for me, I did just that. After what seemed like months of applying to internships and not getting the answers I was hoping for. My email notifications popped up with a message and subject line reading, “Philadelphia Flyers Internship”. I couldn’t believe it; I had actually been offered one of the public relations intern positions. The dream of being a sports PR intern was coming true.
As a sports PR intern I was fortunate to experience some pretty cool things. Constant questions would come in about what exactly I did; so what better way to answer them than write it all here:
1. What exactly do you do as a sports PR intern?
So, as a PR intern for the Philadelphia Flyers, we would assist with any needs that the media would have on game days. We would start by handing out credentials. A credential is a pass that allows people to have certain access within the Wells Fargo Center. The PR team would have an approved list sent to them ahead of time. This list would be the interns responsibility to make sure these people received their credential when they came through the media entrance. The interns would also run our press meal, which is the breakfast or dinner provided for employees and media who have paid prior to a game.
While some interns would be assisting with these events, we had some who would be setting up the press box with game notes and other materials that would help the media write their pieces. During the game we would distribute the NHL official statistics sheets to everyone in the building who has requested them.
During the third period the interns would head down to the locker rooms to wait for the end of the game and to pull stars. Stars of the game are picked by one of the writers from the press box based on who they think made a large impact on the game being played. Once stars were pulled the players would head into the locker room to change; then the locker room would open, and the media would enter ready to ask their questions.
As the media asked their questions, we would be recording the questions and answers on our phones. Recording was done so that following the interviews we could transcribe them to be sent out to media outlets for publishing.
2. Do you ever get to meet the players?
Technically, yes. However, we are there for work, so all interactions are professional and pertain to the job we are there to do. We are not there to hang out with the players. It is cool though how professional relationships with the players, staff, and other employees developed over the course of the season.
3. What are your thoughts on Gritty?
Honestly at first, I was terrified of Gritty and I couldn’t understand why the organization thought the team needed a mascot. However, 24 hours after the release of Gritty and I fell in love. I think he’s exactly what this team needed. He’s funny, interesting, and brings an element to the games that hasn’t been seen with the team before. I think he’s pure PR genius.
4. Do you get to go to every game?
As an intern we were expected to work every home game. This was an aspect of the job that I found very appealing. I was so excited to be able to work and watch one of my favorite sports while doing so. There were also times that we would be asked to help out that were not on game days. For example, I drove to the city to assist with the press conference for the firing of Ron Hextall. All of these different experiences definitely made the job worthwhile. This internship helped with the development of my sports PR skills.
5. What is the coolest thing you’ve gotten to do as a sports PR intern?
Hands down the coolest thing that I have gotten to do with my internship was working the 2019 Stadium Series. I was fortunate to meet some amazing people from the NHL. It was also beneficial to learn more about what is involved in putting on an event as large as this. Not to mention, this was the Flyers’ first outdoor win against Pittsburgh!
I had the most amazing experience working as a PR intern for the Philadelphia Flyers. It was exciting to share my story and answer some of the questions everyone has been asking. As Gene Hart would say, “Good night and good hockey”.