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Communication Program Graduate Works for Boston Bruins
By: Milo Smith
Yes, that's the real Stanley Cup that Lindsay Corbo, '07, is posing with in the photo on the previous page and the cover of this issue. To get up close and personal with the most hallowed trophy in all of sports was just one highlight of the past year for the UND Communication grad, who worked for the Boston Bruins during the professional hockey team's 2010-11 championship season.
Corbo was a client service representative for the Bruins. Her job involved working with corporate and individual clients in the luxury suites and premium club seats at TD Garden, the Boston home of the Bruins.
The job entailed arranging events for those ticket holders, including meet-and-greets with the players. On game nights, Corbo and her associates make sure fans enjoy their time at the arena. "If our clients are here, we are here," she says. "You run around a lot, dropping off gift bags, doing birthday surprises, bringing the mascot down to meet someone. We handle 500 accounts, so you have to keep those people happy."
In between all that, you also have to stay up-to-date on what's happening on the ice. "These fans are just really interested and know everything. They want to know what you think. There is so much history here that you have to know that to really understand your fan base."
Corbo says it's a lot of work. On game days, she might be in her office at 9 a.m. and still be at the arena at 10 p.m. Corbo says, "It's exciting, so that makes up for it." And Corbo will be in for more of those hours this winter. She recently took a position that has her adding Celtic professional basketball games to her workload.
A GOOD SPORT
That she's making a career in the professional sports industry might come as a surprise to those who knew Corbo as she was growing up in Burnsville, Minn., and later at UND. "I was horrible at sports," she says, laughing. "I loved to go to games, but I did it for social reasons. From just a sports perspective, I did not grow up wanting to be an athlete or was I an athletic person. So among all my friends, it's kind of surprising that I'm the one that ended up working in professional sports. I enjoy sports. I'm just horrible at playing them."
So a career in sports was not on Corbo's mind when she arrived on UND's campus. She was instead focused on going into nonprofit work or public relations. To that end, Corbo interned as part of the marketingteam for Studio One, UND's student-produced television program. Then, Monte Koshel, executive director of Studio One, asked Corbo if she could be a late addition to the sports reporting team. Corbo jumped at the chance and it opened her eyes to a new career path.
"We know that the most valuable [Studio One] position in terms of experience someone can get is to be a reporter," says Koshel. "That wasn't Lindsay's first choice, but we had an opening. In true Lindsay spirit, she accepted the position. She knows now why that experience is so transferrable to other jobs. If you can be a TV reporter, you can do almost anything."
"Studio One was huge," says Corbo. "It was a great program. In my interviews [after college], that was one of the main things I talked about."
She then worked for free in the UND Athletics Department and upon graduation attended a sports-specific job fair in the Twin Cities. There, she landed a job with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a ticket sales agent.
Soon after starting the job, the NBA team traded away its most popular and best player, Kevin Garnett, making Corbo's job selling tickets extremely difficult. "That was one of the most challenging positions I have ever had. Trying to sell a product that no one wants to have anything to do with — that they are very upset with — was very difficult."
Corbo persevered and eventually moved into client relations with the Timberwolves. She spent 18 months at the Target Center before getting the itch to expand her horizons. She applied for a position with the Bruins online, got the job, and moved to a city obsessed with its professional sports teams.
While "Beantown" had become title town in baseball, basketball and football in the previous decade, its hockey fans had suffered through decades of disappointment. Where Corbo's start in Minneapolis coincided with a steep decline in interest in the Timberwolves following the Garnett trade, her arrival in Boston was just the opposite: The Bruins were making the playoffs again, and each year made a deeper run.
As the third seed out of the Eastern Conference heading into the 2011 playoffs, fan hopes were high, but no one could have predicted the improbable road the Bruins would take to the championship. They became the first NHL champion to endure three Game 7s, including a Game 7 victory over the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 to win the Stanley Cup.
"It was touch and go, up and down. It was so exciting to just be a part of it," says Corbo. "I'll never forget: It was Game 6. It was at the Garden. We won that game and everyone went nuts. Game 7, people were just going out of their minds." Corbo describes what came next as a three-day party across New England that ended with a parade through Boston to honor the town's newest sports heroes. "We just celebrated for days. Everyone was just so excited. It was wonderful."
And it's not just a picture with the Stanley Cup that will help Corbo remember those days for the rest of her life. Each member of the organization, from players down to office staff, was given one-of-a-kind championship rings.
When she received her massive ring lined with 300 diamonds, her Facebook post said it all: "O M G!"