Managing the in-arena community activities, as well as the community content that is posted on the New York Rangers' website are two key aspects of job of the Manager of Community Relations. This position includes overseeing fundraising activities, player related events and NHL events as part of the Rangers and Garden of Dreams collaboration program. David Martella holds down this significant position for the Rangers. Holding a Bachelor's Degree from Siena College, and a Master of Art's Degree in Physical Education, with a concentration in Sports Management from the Adelphi University, David puts in long hours, especially during the season, and says it is not unusual to work a sixty hour week.
Living & Breathing Sports
Perhaps the greatest motivation to take on a job such as this was David's passion for sports. "My father always advised me to choose a career that I was passionate about," says David who, from an early age, always saw sports in his future. A serious knee injury while playing college soccer was the impetus for David to switch from the idea of a professional soccer career to one behind the scenes in sports.
In graduate school David took an internship position with the New York Islanders in their Community Relations Department. That led to a two-term internship with the Rangers, or a full season, in the Community Relations Department.
"Once my internship was over, the Rangers hired me as a temporary Community Relations Assistant, a position that I remained in for over a year. That is when a position in the Rangers Public Relations Department opened up and I was fortunate enough to get hired," explains David, who served as the Rangers Public Relations Coordinator for two seasons before moving to his new position this past season.
To do this job well, you'll need to multi-task, handle a wide range of projects well and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. It's also important to understand the non-profit world, since you will be working with a number of non-profit organizations. You'll also want to be knowledgeable about the sport in which you get involved, or in this case hockey, and the NHL. "You also must be interested in helping others," adds David.For those out there looking to get involved with a professional team in the business, community or public relations end, David recommends internships and says it's important to start as early as you can. "The experience that you will gain and the relationships that you are able to build during those internships will be so important as you look to start your career," concludes David.