MOUNT PLEASANT - Iron River's Ben Baker is among the Central Michigan University sport management students getting a unique experience this semester by working directly with the front office staff of the Detroit Pistons on a ticket selling project.
CMU instructor Steve Adler believes the project is giving his students a chance to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to obtain real life experience in the sport industry," Adler said. "I cannot thank the Pistons enough for allowing us to do this."
Adler says several members of the Pistons sales department made a presentation to his students to kick off the project. The Pistons set a goal for the students to sell 1,000 tickets before the end of the semester in December.
The students strategically divided the class into departments to ensure the message was delivered to as many potential customers as possible- local businesses, CMU departments and organizations, area schools and media relations.
"My duties for this project are selling tickets to the general public along with area schools in the mid-Michigan area," said Baker, a 2008 West Iron County graduate who played three years of basketball for the Wykons.
While students can sell tickets to any games in the first half of the Pistons' season, they can offer special rates for "CMU Night" at the Palace on Saturday, Jan. 12, against the Utah Jazz. Upper deck tickets are $20; lower bowl $35. One does not need to be a CMU student to be eligible for this offer.
Adler says the project will benefit the students in several ways.
"First, you cannot beat the experience of working for a professional sport franchise," he said. "Second, we talk often about how competitive this industry is for entry-level jobs. This project will help differentiate our students and give them a leg-up when applying for those positions."