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Front Office Roles For CEBL Teams Are Larger Than Other Pro Leagues; All At Once, Rattlers’ Raul Garcia Manages Marketing & Communications

Raul Garcia | Manager of Marketing and Communications | Saskatchewan Rattlers

In a young league, you have to be willing to wear a lot of hats and learn new skills on the fly.

Raul Garcia

Manager of Marketing and Communications

Saskatchewan Rattlers

× The interview with Raul Garcia was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as the Manager of Marketing and Communications of the Saskatchewan Rattlers.

My role with the Rattlers is quite expansive which is one of the reasons that I was so drawn to the position in the first place. In my role I oversee the marketing, communications, social media and player, media and community relations for the team. I like to say that anything that is fan facing is usually done by me. It’s a really great position for someone relatively fresh out of school as it gives me a broad spectrum of experience and the opportunity to wear many hats. I really enjoy my role with the Rattlers as I get to be on the front lines of fan and community engagement and I also get to develop great bonds with members of the media as well as our players and coaching staff.

It’s cliché to say that no two days are alike when you work in sports, but it really is the truth. A typical day for me during the off-season includes scheduling social media posts, writing press releases and brainstorming creative ways to further push our brand to the people of Saskatchewan. During the season a typical day would include popping into practice to be a liaison with any media members looking for interviews with our players or staff as well as giving fans unprecedented levels of access to our players via our social media accounts.

A lot of CEBL team front office roles combine leadership roles from different department into one title. Your role for example, being Marketing and Communications Manager (which includes positions like Community Relations and Social Media). Most sport organizations have one or two management roles for each of those areas. How are you able to manage all those areas at once?

Time management skills and scheduling apps are essential for me. I’m a big proponent of To-Do lists and using programs such as Trello to keep me on top of my workload. I try to block out time during each day to focus on each area. Working in sports, things tend to pop up when you least expect them so being able to be nimble and adaptable is key to successfully managing each department.

In addition, a big support system for me is the strong personal relationships within our organization as well as across the league and with our head office. Being able to discuss plans with fellow Marketing/Communications managers, as well as our Director of Brand and Marketing, allows me to bounce ideas off of them and ensure that we are putting out the highest quality content possible.

The pros are that you get to wear so many different hats during a day that makes my day-to-day very exciting as no two days are alike. I am constantly facing new opportunities that allow me to tap into my creative side in order to extract the most out of any given situation. I love being able to communicate with our fans and players on a daily basis and being allowed to manage so many departments gives me that opportunity and so much more! Although days are often long, the ability to work in such an encompassing role is very rewarding.

Raul Garcia Sports Canadian Elite Basketball League

I believe that as the CEBL grows, staffing will start to expand. I think there will be more separation of these roles, however, I believe the CEBL will continue to run with much of the same cohesion and teamwork we operate with today. The way we are operating now allows for extensive collaboration across the teams which helps us continue to innovate and push each other to greater heights.

Seeing the impact that a team can have on your community. Seeing the smiles on fans faces when we win a big game or show up to a community event is absolutely magical and it’s one of those experiences that make the long hours worth it. The power of sport is that it transcends barriers and background and gives fans a focused item to root for. It’s incredible to see fans pile into the stadium from all different walks of life and for those two hours they all have one thing in common.

What is one of the challenges you face in your job? What is it, and how do you deal with it?

I would say the biggest challenge is how young we are as a league. Across the league each team is quite small, so we don’t have the same resources or capacity that a lot of established teams have. However, what we do have is an incredible work ethic and drive to succeed across the league. We work closely not only between our team and the league office, but all the teams across the league to continually push ourselves and strive to create engaging content that only further pushes our brand out to basketball and sports fans in Canada.

What are the top three skills you have that help you to be so successful in the position you are in? What are those three skills, and why do they help you?

I would say the top three skills are: adaptability, interpersonal skills and being highly self-motivated.

In a young league you have to be willing to wear a lot of hats and learn new skills on the fly.

Being able to adapt to whatever the situation demands are key in order to not only keep improving your content and engagement but also to keep improving yourself as a professional.

In a role such as this having strong interpersonal skills and being an effective communicator is key because not only are you working closely with your sales staff in the office, but you also have to develop trust with members of the media, the coaching staff and players. Once the players start to trust you, you can get them more involved in community outreach events which in turn leads to your fan base growing.

Finally, having a high-powered motor and being self-motivated is paramount in order to keep innovating and striving to push the envelope with new and exciting content.

What advice would you give someone just entering the sport industry?

Take on as many internships as you can possibly do and vary your role in each one of those internships. Get a well-rounded experience in a multitude of different roles and organizations so that when you are ready to start searching for a job you not only have a vast and varied experience you also have a wealth of connections who can help you out and introduce you to decision-makers.

In addition, work your tail off in each position that you take. Strive to go above and beyond what the requirements place on you are. The sports world is extremely small so the more people you know and the harder you work the better.

Stacey Leawood Stacey's Final Thoughts

As Manager of Marketing and Communications for the CEBL’s Saskatchewan Rattlers, Raul Garcia has an even more diverse role than most with that title. He was drawn to the position because of the wide variety within it and luckily Raul enjoys learning skills “on the fly” that he has to apply to his position within the new league. Raul gives us insight on how many hats he has been given the opportunity to wear within the Rattlers organization and how his major role helps the Rattlers be successful on the business side of sports.

Connect With Raul Garcia

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