UMO Students Tour Durham Bulls Athletic Park
February 23, 2023
Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations
Article By: Grayson Morgan, Student Intern
DURHAM, NC – In the competitive world of sports management, gaining hands-on experience can make all the difference in landing a job with a top organization. That’s why 31 students from the University of Mount Olive recently jumped at the chance to visit the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where they received an educational, networking, and experiential experience like no other.
The Durham Bulls, a four-time National Champion and Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, played host to the UMO group. Led by Will Bender, an alum of UMO’s Sports Management program and current Durham Bulls Athletic Park Stadium Operations Manager, the students were given a detailed presentation about the organization’s history, operations, programs, innovations, and career and internship opportunities.
Bender is no small fish in the Durham Bulls organization. He oversees a workforce of 120 and is currently assisting with a $13,000,000 renovation to their facilities, which are already considered one of the top professional baseball venues in the world. In addition to hosting baseball games, the award-winning Durham Bulls Athletic Park also plays host to special community events, rentals, and other special use events.
Aside from the knowledge gained from Bender’s presentations, the UMO students were also treated to a visit to the prestigious club seating area. As they took in the sights, the students were no doubt imagining themselves working for a top sports organization like the Durham Bulls.
However, the benefits did not end there. Students also gained valuable insight into the industry by networking with sports management professionals. And for one parent who accompanied the group, it was a chance to see their child’s future career path in action.
Overall, the experience at the Durham Bulls was a valuable one for the UMO Sports Management students. They left with a better understanding of what it takes to run a top sports organization and a newfound appreciation for the dedication and arduous work it requires. It’s clear that with experiences like this, these students will be well on their way to successful careers in the world of sports management.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.