Published: Jul 3, 2008
It’s a whole different kind of game on the courts of the International
Tennis Hall of Fame, says University of Tampa senior Ryan Messier.
The Hall of Fame’s historic courts in Newport, RI, are where many of the game’s legends of the past and present have played.
Messier, a native of Attleboro, MA, who works at the Hall of Fame as an
intern, it is where he regularly rubs elbows with millionaires and
negotiates exclusive tournament accommodations for wealthy tennis
enthusiasts. It’s all in a day’s work for the sport management major.
a place that’s been around forever,” Messier said. “You walk on the
ground and you can just feel the history that’s there.”
As an intern, Messier is focused on the marketing and management of the Hall of Fame’s two major summer tournaments.
Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, held from July 7 – 13,
host some the world’s most notable players, with the competition
broadcasted live on Fox Sports Net.
The Champions Cup, held Aug.
13 – 17, includes retired players and legendary pros like John McEnroe,
Jim Courier and Mats Wilander.
Both tournaments attract tennis fans and professionals alike from all over the world.
duties as an intern are many and varied. On a given day, he is charged
with recruiting and coordinating tournament volunteers, handling ticket
orders and selling exclusive travel packages and accommodations to
tournament goers. He serves as a liaison between all sponsor
representatives and coordinates all box holder packages, gifts and
“I walked in on the first day and they told me to sell
a $1,000 luxury suite,” Messier said. “It’s definitely not an
internship where they stick you in a room and leave you.”
Messier is also directly involved in the preparations for the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
other duties include supervising all tennis ball boys and ball girls.
Even this, a seemingly simple task, carries with it much responsibility
as a 20-page manual dictates exactly how each ball boy and ball girl
must stand, kneel and move on the courts.
“I had no idea how much work actually went into that,” he said. “There are a lot of very specific things that they have to do.”
of it is a long hustle, especially on the days of the tournament, when
his working hours are all day every day. A $20 per day stipend is all he
receives for payment. Nevertheless, the internship has many perks.
job gives him the opportunity to meet tennis greats like John McEnroe
and Andre Agassi, who make appearances at the tournaments and other
events. Also, on a recent evening after a long day of work, Messier and
some coworkers enjoyed a few rounds on the Hall of Fame’s renowned
grass-covered tennis courts.
“It’s very stressful, but I’m learning a lot,” Messier said.
the International Tennis Hall of Fame is his first internship, he is
hoping to obtain further internships, including one possibly with the
Tampa Bay Lightning, in order to gain further hands-on sport management