Around the Yard: Sofie Fella

Around the Yard: Sofie Fella

Sofie Fella
Sophomore
Women's Rugby

How did you find out about the position in the marketing office and what were your responsibilities?
Last year when I was a freshman, I attended a Harvard Athletics organized speaker panel with Yelena Cashion, who at the time was the marketing manager for the Boston Bruins. I stopped by afterwards to talk to Yelena and also got to introduce myself to Susan Byrne, Harvard Athletics' head of marketing. I made sure to stay in touch, meet with her to go over some of my ideas, and overall just express my interest in working in the sports industry. I didn’t know there was a position available to students in the marketing department until I reached out to Sue about wanting to help out more. I began working there this past fall and my main responsibilities were updating and improving the Crimzone Rewards App, keeping inventory of the prize store, running the social media accounts, creating graphics for the Crimzone student section, helping out the graduate interns, and brainstorming student-perspective ideas and projects with Sue. 

Why did you decide to go for it? Does it relate to your concentration at all or is it just something you enjoy outside of school and sports?
I’ve always been interested in a career within the sports industry so I was actually planning on studying sports management or general business before I committed to Harvard. Because Harvard does not offer any undergraduate business degrees, I chose to concentrate in psychology with a secondary in economics. These are definitely applicable to business but I also wanted to search for opportunities outside of school to get more practical experience and gain sports industry knowledge. I’m a very hands-on learner so working with Sue and her team in the marketing department has taught me more about the ins and outs of college athletics than I could have ever learned in a classroom. And it’s super fun too!  

How long were you in the role?
I started working here when I arrived for pre-season in August 2019 and am planning on staying in this position until the end of the academic year.

What did you enjoy most about your time with the marketing department?
I feel like the best part of working in sports is how similar it is to being on a sports team, with everybody collaborating and working together to achieve a goal. My favorite part was meeting the great people there, like the graduate interns I worked with, Brian and Katherine. I also loved getting to know and learning from people who work in communications, multimedia and speaking with the associate athletic directors. Being able to see how hard everybody works behind the scenes of Harvard Athletics reminds me to be appreciative as an athlete here.  

What is something that you learned while you were in the role?
Through working in marketing, especially creating the Crimzone student section social media and game promos, I’ve learned that it takes time for things to happen and how to be patient. Some of the game night themes we came up with were “Back in Black” for our first Friday night football game or a “Camo Night” for Veteran’s Day. When I went to check out these games, it was easy to get discouraged seeing students weren’t buying into the themes or a lack of attendance. I learned that especially with a goal of increasing interest in sport at Harvard, it is a slow process and all we can do is continuing trying (putting on promotions, putting up graphics and flyers, and updating social media etc.) until someday it clicks.  

What is something you're most proud of that you either made, learned or contributed during your time in the office?
In addition to being the marketing intern, I was also a part of the CMO program as a representative for the women’s rugby team. This meant I was in charge of brainstorming ideas for our featured game, posting on social media, putting together graphics and distributing flyers across campus. I’m happy with how our featured game attracted fans (we had free BBQ from red bones, free fanny packs and a halftime kicking competition). In general, I’m really proud of how many students came to our rugby games this past fall, especially that featured game, our NIRA semi-final, and our national championship. Compared to years before, we’d never seen that much student support for rugby so it felt like I was actually impacting our program with marketing and helping grow the sport at Harvard.