Warren Hypes, a 2010 marketing graduate of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics, is an intern with the Tampa Bay Rays major league baseball team.
Hypes, who graduated from Princeton High School in 2004, will work with the Rays through December. His internship, which involves marketing, graphics and promotions, began on June 21.
The Rays began the season in first place, had a slump, but came back to second place in the American League East by the All-Star break.
“Hopefully we we’ll be on top by end of season,” Hypes said.
For Hypes, the internship is a dream-come-true. He called the job “one of the best internships throughout major league baseball,” and said interns with the Rays are treated as part of the marketing staff. “We are encouraged to get involved like full-time employees, and that’s nice.”
He’s been a sports fan since he was young, and he hopes to pursue sports marketing as a career. Already he has begun a project for the Rays to draw more college students to games. “There are about 60,000 to 70,000 students in college in the area,” he said, “So I’ve been working on promotions such as a college night and other ideas to reach them.”
He said his education at WVU has helped him. In the “real world” he can see the conceptual classroom ideas in action. “There is no way I could do this without my educational background,” he said.
Hypes' dreams are coming true because of help he has received, especially from his parents “who always told me to work hard and follow my dreams.” He also credits his success to the help of Rick Bay, who taught him graphic design at the Mercer County Technical Education Center, and Jim Holland, his mentor/supervisor and General Manager of the Princeton Rays minor league baseball team.
“These two not only taught me to work hard, but to do so with passion and dedication. Without these people, and my family’s support I never would have had the skills, initiative or drive to succeed to have gotten this internship.”
For Hypes, the best part of his internship is taking part in the nation’s pastime. “Not just being a spectator is great,” he said. “I’m part of the team, albeit behind the scenes, and I’m really having a great experience. I know that I definitely want to do sports marketing as my career.”