Submitted by Dalton State College
Three Dalton area natives are gaining hands-on experience in sports marketing as summer interns with the fledgling Dalton State College athletic program.
Garren Palmer, Hutton Sellers and Will Snipes have been working hard to help the Roadrunners develop a marketing plan, and their activities have included helping put together a campaign to sell season tickets for the men’s basketball team.
“The men had asked for an opportunity to get their feet wet,” Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh said. “Instead, we have let them dive head first into athletic administration.”
The trio has been working with Waugh, senior associate athletic director Richard Skeel and others to help build excitement for Roadrunners sports teams. Palmer, Sellers and Snipes worked this week with Jill Campbell, Dalton State’s assistant sports information director, as they addressed more than 1,000 letters to potential season ticket buyers.
“I hope to assist Dalton State’s athletic department in providing a product that will make our community proud,” Palmer said. “I have been astonished by the direction of the department. When applying for the position I had hoped to gain sports and business job experience, and the position has delivered.”
Palmer is a 2009 graduate of Dalton High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and a four-time scholar athlete, meaning he maintained at least a 3.5 grade point average, participated in two or more sports and was in good standing with teachers and coaches each year. On the field, he was The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Baseball Player of the Year for 2008 and 2009 and was a member of the newspaper’s all-area team as a sophomore. He earned all-area team honors for football in 2007 and 2008.
“I know the impact sports can have on the local community,” said Palmer, the son of Cathy and Gary Palmer of Rocky Face.
Palmer recently graduated from Georgia Southern with a bachelor’s degree in sports management, and he plans on beginning work on a master’s of business administration next month. He played baseball for the Eagles all four years and was on the 2012 Southern Conference All-Tournament Team, the 2012 Southern Conference All-Academic Team and made the Southern Conference academic honor roll from 2009-2013. The Eagles won the 2011 Southern Conference championship.
Sellers, the son of Dawn and Scott Sellers of Dalton, is majoring in business at Georgia Southern, where he recently completed his freshman year.
“I have been passionate about sports my entire life, both as a player and a fan,” said the younger Sellers, a 2012 graduate of Dalton High School. “As of late I have become interested in starting a career in athletic administration at either the college or the professional level.”
Dalton State’s membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics becomes official Aug. 1, and the Roadrunners will begin competition in women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country next month. Men’s and women’s golf, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s tennis will also begin competition this school year.
“I am getting to witness the making of an athletic program from the ground up,” Sellers said. “It’s a completely different experience from what I would get by interning at another school.”
Sellers sees the internship as a chance to gain experience while staying at home and helping the Dalton State athletic program grow. He hopes it will help him get his foot “in the door of athletic administration to help me receive opportunities in the business.”
Snipes graduated from Vanderbilt this year with a bachelor of arts in medicine, health and society. He originally contacted Waugh to talk to the athletic director about his work experience in sports.
“That meeting helped me get off and running and make a game plan of how I wanted to attack the business,” said Snipes, the son of Jane and Brad Snipes of Rocky Face.
Later, Snipes talked to Waugh again, this time about an internship.
“I knew this would be an opportunity to get my feet wet in sports administration,” he said. “I have already learned so much and I appreciate the ‘hands-on’ work that we are able to do as interns.”
After graduating in 2009 from the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Snipes continued his golf career at Vanderbilt, where he was a four-year letterman for the Commodores and was on the Southeastern Conference academic honor roll for three years. Snipes’ volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tennessee earned him a place on the SEC men’s golf community service team for two years.
As a three-year representative on Vanderbilt’s student athlete advisory committee, Snipes gained knowledge and experience in the administrative side of athletics.