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Recent Alumnus Earns Coveted Role at the Phillies

By: Alison Rooney
First Published: January 16, 2022
Topics: Alumni, Alumni Stories, Applied Knowledge, Industry Partnerships, Sport, STHM School

Sean McClatchy (BSRM ’19, MSSB ’20) turned a conversation after class into a networking opportunity, ultimately landing a job at the Philadelphia Phillies that’s since led to a highly coveted position. After several years in various part-time roles, he began a full-time position this past summer, and soon after the Phillies promoted him into the role of executive assistant to President of Operations Dave Dombrowski.

Inspired by a lifelong love of sports, McClatchy pursued a unique degree at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM): a combined 4+1 dual program, where he earned a bachelors as well as a master’s in sport business management. These degrees have led to an ongoing relationship with the Phillies that started with that first internship as a ticket services representative in early 2019.

McClatchy returned to a sales position with the organization a year later, before being furloughed due to COVID in March 2020. Early this past summer he became a full-time season and group sales associate at the organization, and his initiative and drive quickly became evident to leadership. Before long he was recruited to spend half his time in the distinguished role with Dombrowski.

“It’s an exciting role for such a force in the league,” McClatchy says, about working under the MLB veteran, who was former general manager of the Montreal Expos, former president of operations for the Red Sox and former president and GM of the Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers.

From season-ticket-holder to behind-the-scenes

This Havertown, PA native grew up bonding with his parents over games they enjoyed as Phillies season ticket-holders. He played varsity basketball and lacrosse in high school, and then as a Temple undergraduate he interned and worked in athletics operations for the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton. On campus McClatchy managed Owls Men’s Basketball for more than two years and was also a student ambassador for the Center for Industry Engagement (formerly the Center for Student Professional Development).

McClatchy’s path to the Phillies grew out of a networking connection that happened in an STHM classroom. Adjunct professor Ed Fagan—who spent a career as director of Strategic Engagement for Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation—brought in Vanessa Mapson M.Ed. ’00, the Phillies’ director of group sales, as a guest speaker. McClatchy approached her, and after they chatted she offered to introduce him to the Phillies’ manager of ticket services. His follow-up meant that he would soon connect with his future supervisor.

“I know these opportunities have paid off because I showed initiative, and jumped on the opportunity as soon as I saw it,” McClatchy says. “I understood that chances like this don’t just fall into your lap.” Now McClatchy routinely enjoys brushes with Phillies star power, including as a driver for former 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt and for former shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

An STHM connection that remains strong

McClatchy says he still talks regularly to former professors including Rick Ridall, associate professor of instruction and director of industry relations, and John Allgood, assistant professor of practice & academic director of the Executive Master of Science in Sport Business program. “I find that they have always offered me an overall sense of positivity, helped me learn to lean on my network of connections and give me clarity around my goals and objectives,” he says.

“Sean made it through the pandemic, in ticket sales and service for the Phillies, and then persisted during COVID, and his initiative has paid off in spades,” says Andrew Lovell, director of Corporate Partnerships and Engagement. “Despite not having a background in baseball operations, he put in the hard work that helped him to stand out in the organization.”

In November McClatchy had the honor of transporting the Phillies’ World Series Trophy from Citizens Bank Park to Doylestown, PA for an event at Delaware Valley University—not a duty assigned to the average pro sports sales associate. He sees this as a perk of the job working in pro baseball. “Bringing joy into the lives of fellow fans is an aspect of the job that energizes me,” he says. “I’m always aware of how central STHM has been to me taking so many steps so quickly toward my dream career.”