MOUNT PLEASANT — Landing a job as an intern with the Detroit Pistons is no easy trick, but Central Michigan University senior Kyle Russell is determined to give it his best shot.
Majoring in sports management with minor in business administration, Russell is aware of the large role money plays in the world of professional sports. By finding creative ways to market tickets to an upcoming Pistons game, Russell hopes to at least get an interview with the team’s management.
As part of a class project, Russell — who played basketball for Central Montcalm High School before graduating in 2003 — is helping promote a special online ticket offer for the Pistons.
“We don’t physically have the tickets,” Russell explained. “There’s a link on the Detroit Pistons’ website for CMU’s fan night on Jan. 12. We’re trying to market that game because people get the most bang for their buck then.”
Lower level seats for the Jan. 12 game against the Utah Jazz are selling for $35, upper deck seats for $20. For every ticket purchased through the CMU link, Russell moves one step closer to his internship interview.
“There are 86 students taking part in the project,” Russell explained. “Only one person get a chance to interview for the internship.”
Those buying tickets from the link can designate Russell as the student to receive credit for the sale by typing in the “special offer code” of PES190.
“They can purchase tickets for any game during the first half of the season,” Russell said. “Even though the Pistons are struggling, it’s more about the experience of being in a professional NBA arena with your friends, family, kids, whoever you want to bring with you.”
Most of Russell’s classmates are marketing tickets only to friends and fellow students, he said. Russell hopes that by taking the offer to a larger audience, he will be able to win the internship.
“I sent out emails to athletic directors all over the state,” Russell said. “I sent out 481 of them, letting them know what I was trying to accomplish. So far, I’ve only heard back from two.”
That, however, is a start and Russell is hopeful.
“People are saying the Pistons are horrible this season,” Russell said. “That’s making it a little more difficult to sell tickets. But going to a real NBA game is still a great experience for people. That’s what I’m trying to sell — the experience.”
According to the Pistons’ website, several different ticket packages are available, some of which may be used in conjunction with the PES190 promotion.
For more information or to order tickets, visit nba.com/pistons/PES190 online.