Dodgers Double Play
Courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers
On a warm summer night, Joe Jareck and Martin Kim can be found catching a game under the lights at Dodger Stadium. But for the longtime baseball fans, America's favorite pastime is also their field of expertise.
Mr. Jareck, 'BA 00, and Mr. Kim, BBA '01, work for the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the nation's most renowned baseball organizations. Mr. Jareck, assistant director of public relations for the team, is the Dodgers spokesman, breaking news on everything from player injuries to team ownership changes. Fellow Colonial Mr. Kim is the manager of Korean relations, helping to support scouts in Korea, generating revenue with Korean-based companies, and creating partnerships within L.A., which has the largest Korean community in the United States.
For Mr. Jareck and Mr. Kim, baseball is both work and play.
"There are a lot of jobs in sports where you could just like baseball, but this isn't one of them. It's got to be your passion," says Mr. Jareck, who travels with the team and works most nights and weekends. "The whole day is hectic, but my favorite part of it is the three hours I get to spend watching the game."
Mr. Jareck says he fell in love with the Dodgers at age 7 when he attended his first sporting event at Dodger Stadium. After graduating from GW with a major in journalism, Mr. Jareck worked a few jobs with sports media outlets before finding his dream gig posted on the Dodgers' website. He's been at the organization since 2006.
Since then, his biggest stories have included the Dodgers' 50th anniversary in Los Angeles in 2008; the 2009 50-game suspension of then Dodger Manny Ramirez for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs; and, more recently, the 2012 change in team ownership, headed by former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson and five other partners.
Another important part of the team's operations is maintaining relations with different cultures and countries, which is Mr. Kim's specialty. Mr. Kim, who speaks fluent Spanish, English, and Korean, worked at several jobs in Asian marketing before landing the position of the team's manager of Korean relations. With a history of diversity on the field, the Dodgers' organization has long been a pioneer in recruiting Asian players.
Mr. Kim supports scouts and players with translation needs and helps the team connect with its many Korean and Korean-American fans. This year, for example, he sparked a business partnership with Korean beer Hite, which is now sold at the ballpark. When South Korean pop star Psy—known for his viral "Gangnam Style" video—stopped by for a game in August, Mr. Kim made sure his song was played and tweeted his impromptu dance on the stadium's dance cam.
"A big challenge of my job is that there isn't a set of rules," Mr. Kim says. "Every day I think of a goal to maximize my abilities; I'm always trying to see what I can do to help the team."
And that's what Mr. Jareck and Mr. Kim enjoy the most, they say. Above all else, baseball is about teamwork.
"People see Jerry Maguire and Moneyball and think working in sports is all glamour, but it's not," Mr. Kim says. "It's a lot of hard work and dedication, not just by the team on the field but also by the front office that is laying all the pipe work for success."
—Jaime Ciavarra Gacek