Jim Van Dam ’12 works in the front office at the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning as a Premium Sales Manager. He is responsible for tailoring corporate ticket packages for businesses in southern Florida to create memorable fan experiences. Jim’s road to the “major leagues” wasn’t easy, but he credits the practical, hands-on learning experiences he received at DU to help him land his dream job in the NHL. Learn how Jim put his passion of sports into action below.
Tell us about yourself, Jim!
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids and now live in Tampa, FL. Graduating in 2012 with a double major in Marketing and Sport Management, I knew making it to the “major leagues” was not going to be easy. I did everything I could to earn a spot in the front office of a professional sports team. After graduating from DU, I left my hometown to take an internship position for the Detroit Pistons in the marketing department. It was an amazing learning experience that continued to spark my interest in sports. As my internship was coming to an end, I contacted everyone I knew in the sports field. Luckily for me, my boss down here actually had the same boss as myself when he interned with the Pistons. He was looking to fill a position on his team in Tampa and called his friends at the Pistons. The Pistons recommended me for the job! It is all about who you know.
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I am a Premium Sales Manager for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. As a Premium Sales Manager I am responsible for selling the executive suites, premium parties, exclusive Chase and Blue Line Fan Clubs and group ticket sales. I build relationships with companies to tailor corporate ticket packages in the Southern Florida area. My goal is to create memorable fan experiences. I love my job! We have a great hockey club and amazing management team.
What is your favorite memory of your experience at Davenport?
I chose to go to Davenport because of their focus on sports management. One of my favorite memories was getting to know the faculty and staff. The professors had real-life experience in sport management. I enjoyed how they taught with a hands-on learning approach which allowed me to connect what we learned in the classroom to real-world applications.
What advice do you have for recent graduates?
Do something that you are passionate about. Then do not stop until you get to where you want to go. I am a prime example of someone who followed their passion.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I was in a rock band in Grand Rapids called Brimstone.
What do you do when you are not working?
I enjoying staying active by playing hockey. I like playing the guitar, fishing and spending time with family and friends.