So you've been to the Santa Cruz Warriors games...but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? Check out our exclusive interview with Christina Pedersen, the Business Operations Coordinator for the Santa Cruz Warriors! You can get your Warriors game ticket here.
1. How did you land your position as the Business Operations Coordinator for the Santa Cruz Warriors?
It was a long road to get the position I’m in today! After I graduated from high school I had trouble deciding what career to pursue, but because I grew up surrounded by basketball and football I knew that working in professional sports would be a dream come true. While attending Cabrillo College, the Dakota Wizards relocated and became the Santa Cruz Warriors, so I took a chance and went to the job fair! I applied for basically every position and ended up getting hired as an usher.
During my time as an usher, I interacted with people from a variety of departments that season. The more I got to know my colleagues, my future goals became clearer. A Game Operations employee ended up being a closely-related family friend (Santa Cruz is a really small town!), so he was eager to refer me to his boss at Golden State! I had an interview that offseason, and the following two years I had an internship with the Game Operations department for the Golden State Warriors.
Before my second season with Golden State started, I began my emphasis in Public Relations at Santa Clara University and knew that I wanted to make the same transition professionally. That same season, a familiar face from Santa Cruz arrived in the PR department for Golden State. Every time I saw my old friend I asked about his career path and whether there were any game-night openings for his department. That summer, after all of the Championship celebrations were over, I got an opportunity to work for Golden State’s PR Department! I was ecstatic to get the position.
Last year, along with working for Golden State’s PR Department, I also held a Member Services Representative position for the San Francisco 49ers, where I assisted in Ticket Operations and Ticket Sales. When the Business Operations Coordinator position opened in Santa Cruz, I had the right mix of experience between my time with Golden State and the 49ers that it was a great fit!
2. What does a day in the life of a Warriors representative look like?
My days vary greatly day by day, so it’s really hard to say what an average day consists of. My main responsibilities include assisting in Public Relations, Community Relations, Ticket Operations, Office Management, assisting our President, and assisting Basketball Operations, along with other spontaneous tasks that come my way.
As for game days, I arrive at the arena a few hours before tipoff to set up the Box Office. This includes ensuring that all will-call tickets are printed, the ticket scanners are working properly, and that the Box Office is organized. Once the Box Office is set up, I transition to helping with PR. This includes prepping media credentials, greeting media upon arrival, distributing statistic sheets throughout the game, in-game tweeting, and producing a post-game recap. I love the excitement and variety that comes along with this career and my position!
3. What would your advice be to other young professionals that are considering a career with an industry such as the Santa Cruz Warriors?
The best advice I can give is to put yourself out there. Because working in sports is such a niche career, networking with everyone you meet is a must. Since I first got my job with the Santa Cruz Warriors as an usher, I’ve moved around through departments to get where I am today ONLY because I talk to everyone and tell them of my goals. I’ve found that people generally want to help one another get ahead, so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb! I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t put myself out there and treated everyone’s advice as gold.
4. Be honest, how awesome is Chris Murphy? (President of the Santa Cruz Warriors)
“AWESOME” is a great way to begin to describe Chris Murphy. He’s an incredible leader that is involved in every aspect of our business and is a visionary in every respect. His work ethic and humility never ceases to amaze us. He teaches us through his own actions and sets the tone for our culture of teamwork and accountability. We’re lucky to have a leader with such immense drive, compassion for our staff, and community-mindfulness.
5. Aside from attending Warrior's game, what do like to do for fun and where can we find you hanging out at?
I LOVE being outdoors, whether it’s at the beach, the forest, a lake, or a wide-open field, I need that fresh air every day to refresh myself. When I’m not working a Santa Cruz Warrior game, I love watching the Golden State Warriors play, and during football season I typically spend my Monday’s, Thursday’s, and Sunday’s watching the games. Although this is a bit cliché, I love spending time relaxing with my boyfriend and my friends, playing board games, video games, or binge-watching Netflix and HBO shows. I also love reading a good book in the sun or while snuggled up in a cozy blanket.