This past Winter and Spring, I have had the great opportunity to work with the Ocean State Waves on profiling their amazing player roster for the upcoming 2022 New England Collegiate Baseball League season. Some of the top collegiate baseball players in the USA come to Rhode Island every single summer to showcase their pitching, hitting, base stealing abilities in front of tons of fans, family members, and professional baseball scouts. But did you know that the talent on the Ocean State Waves roster extends far beyond the baselines? Student interns, local volunteers, respected local high school and college coaches soon to be Waves Coaches, host family coordinators, and dedicated Waves advisory board members are all part of the huge success every summer for the Ocean State Waves. And it starts right at the top of the organization with Assistant General Manager, Carley Bauckham.
Carley and I got together recently via email to discuss her background, how she became part of the Waves team, and some of her favorite experiences she has had working with the Ocean State Waves. Here is an excerpt from our conversation along with some amazing game and event photos shared by the Waves and Carley:
- Carley, thanks for agreeing to share your story. Let’s run it back, how did you get started with the Waves and where are you now heading into the Summer of 2022?
I started in the summer of 2020 looking for an internship during Covid-19 which allowed me to intern with the NCBL (Newport Collegiate Baseball League) and the Newport Gulls as director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Game Day Operations. This is where I met Eric in his Head Coaching experience with the NCBL League. I am Currently finishing up Graduate School at Salve Regina University with a degree in Innovation and Strategic Management (M.S.) and will graduate this May. I was in search for another internship for school credit in Graduate school and with Eric knowing the work I have done in the past, he recruited me to intern as Strategic Director of Marketing & Corporate Partnerships in 2021. Over the past year of our success recovering after the loss of our season due to Covid-19, I was asked to be a Board Member for the OSW and manage the Interns, social media, and Community Relations. I am happy to say that currently I am an Assistant General Manager for the Ocean State Waves.
2. Talk to me a little bit about your background in sports and what the Waves experience has been like for you these past few summers.
As far as my experience with the team… I have always played sports growing up, including Baseball. Although I was an ice hockey my whole life and through college, I always had a love for baseball and the excitement and community that it creates. I love working closely with players, coaches, fans, and networking to build relationships for my future career in the sports industry. During the off season I have continued to work and support the OSW on our social media, Sponsorships, and fun raising events such as the Brew Tour.
The latest project I have completed is our new apparel designs and apparel options for sale coming this season! We will have a big announcement on all social media platforms in May to showcase our new gear. These items are new for our players on the field and our fans off the field. Everything will be available on our online website as well as in person at all home games.
3. As it pertains to the Waves, do you have a favorite memory, to date, of a game or event that stands out?
One of my favorite games was the game played against Team Israel, in Hartford, Ct. This game was played in a professional stadium that was filled with fans who could enjoy the benefits that a professional stadium has to offer, such as concession stands, jumbotron, and big scoreboard. Everyone from the players, employees and fans felt like they were a part of a Major League baseball game. You could just feel the energy and excitement in the air.
My most memorable event was this past Brew Tour fundraiser held at The Towers in Narragansett. I was involved in a great deal of the planning and organizing for this event which was a huge success. From helping with planning, to securing new vendors for the event, putting together the raffles, setting up and adding decorating touches, I was able to learn a lot being a part of the event from start to finish.
4. Does your athletic background playing ice hockey serve as a benefit to your roles as Assistant GM? Meaning the ability to work with others, communicate, motivate, encourage and energize teammates, problem solving?
Yes, it absolutely does, playing sports growing up in a team environment is always what I enjoyed. I was chosen by the coaches and players as a captain during my senior year in high school on the varsity boys ice hockey team. This was due to my playing ability, as well as my ability to communicate, motivate and encourage teammates in a positive way. We had a very successful season with a team that really had fun, worked together, and supported each other. It was a great experience and at the end of the season I received a few awards, one being the Joseph Carr Award which was for team dedication and enthusiasm.
5. You mentioned your future career in the sports industry, what avenues are you looking at?
As an athlete and a person who is passionate about sports and the competition of the game, I hope that my future career will be working for a professional team one day whether that be in sports management, sports marketing, or any other role that this career path may lead me to. I hope that by working in this field, I will be exposed to all the opportunities that are out there for me. I am an observant and fast learner, who is driven to work hard for things that I am passionate about.
6. Ok, since you are the Strategic Director of Marketing for the Ocean State Waves, here is a sports marketing question for you. How has the role of social media affected how organizations like the Waves communicate with fans?
Social media has transformed sports marketing for teams like the Waves. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and twitter are being used to expand our reach and increase fan engagement. We can use social media platforms to communicate upcoming games and events, post live game highlights, offer apparel sales, run promotional events, and offer social media sponsorship packages. This helps bring more fans, create brand awareness, and increase revenue. Our insights on social media have gone up a tremendous amount since I started working with the Waves. Insights tell me and help me understand the people I am communicating with at any given time. (Our insights have gone up just in the past 90 days to almost 10,000 Accounts reached, 10,000 content posts reached and over 80,000 impressions). I love interacting with fans through our social media, whether they are asking questions or just telling me how much they enjoy what we do! I think social media has become so important in our generation especially after Covid-19. We lost our 2020 season due to Covid-19, but I think social media helped us remind people what we had and what we wanted to get back so badly.
6. Give me an elevator speech. I am a potential sponsor of the Ocean State Waves. What am I getting with my sponsorship packet?
Hello, my name is Carley and I am the assistant general manager of the Ocean State Waves, a local 501(C) 3 non-profit collegiate baseball team, and I work with many local businesses like you, who have really benefited by joining our team as a sponsor. Our games attract the local and surrounding community who we can help you reach. Our website alone had over 150,000 page views from January 1st to August 23rd and our insights on social media are continuing to grow, with 10,000 Accounts reached, 10,000 content posts reached and over 80,000 impressions. I am not sure if you are familiar with our sponsorship packages, but we offer a variety of sponsorship levels that can also be customized to fit your needs. They include options such as advertisements in our media guides, mailings and pocket schedules, banners and signs at games, social media, and special events. Here is our sponsorship package and my business card in case you have any further questions. I look forward to speaking to you.
Great to meet Carley and learn more about her very important roles in the Ocean State Waves organization. Carley mentioned a few important events coming soon on the Waves calendar, so I have listed them here:
- Brew tour – January
- Opening day – June 8th
- Golf tournament – TBD
- Summer tournament – Last week of July
- Fall fundraiser – TBD
And stay tuned for the Waves big announcement in May showcasing the new apparel Carley mentioned in the article. Here is how you can stay up to date on all things Ocean State Waves on social media: