Recent grad swings into professional golf tournament with sports marketing firm
When Maine’s first pro golf tournament in nearly 30 years recently rolled into the Falmouth Country Club, recent UNE graduate Zach Spicer, B.A., ’21 (Sport Management), found himself rubbing elbows and teeing it up with pro golfers and local sponsors.
The Live and Work in Maine Open is an event on professional golf’s Korn Ferry Tour. The event was managed by Shamrock Sports and Entertainment, a strategic sports marketing firm in Portland.
“I had an internship with them this spring and they brought me on full-time after I graduated,” Spicer said.
Spicer is now Manager of Partnership Development for Shamrock. In the months leading up to the tournament, he was responsible for securing corporate sponsorships for it.
“My main duties were creating relationships with local Maine companies and figuring how we could get them on board to be partners for this event,” Spicer explained. “I closed out some pretty big deals, a few official partnerships, so it was pretty successful.”
The event was big deal for Maine’s local sports scene. The only way a golfer can get onto the Professional Golf Association’s (PGA) tour is by playing on the Korn Ferry Tour. Seventy-five percent of the golfers on the PGA Tour began their careers on this tour.
The day before the tournament began, Spicer was able to tee it up with some of the golfers and sponsors in the pro-am event.
“It was a fun experience, especially seeing what it takes to get a professional golf tournament up and running,” he stated.
Spicer says the skills and knowledge he received from his professors at UNE prepared him well for the job. But he did have some anxious moments leading up to graduation. COVID-19 shutdown the sports world for months and businesses in his field of study were cutting back.
“They did not have the revenue coming in to hire a lot of new people,” he said. “Hearing that, when you were about to graduate with a sports management degree, was a little disheartening, but I now have a full-time job coming right out of college and I am very grateful for it.”
With the golf tour behind him and moving on to different cities and towns, Spicer is focusing on a new task and a new sport.
“Shamrock is taking on something new called the Superstar Racing Experience,” he stated. “It is a new motor racing series that will be airing on CBS on Saturday nights. So, I am learning a lot about that. It is pretty cool to be able work on a pro golf tournament and now a nationwide racing event.”