Every year, the Portland Timbers take on a veritable army of interns to help across a host of departments. Whether it's public relations, marketing, sponsorship, game operations, soccer operations and everywhere in between, life as a Timbers' intern is rarely boring. Getting to see the inner workings of a Major League Soccer club is an enticing proposition--even if it doesn't pay any money--and former interns have gone on to get jobs with the club, the U.S. Soccer Federation, other MLS teams, and throughout the sporting landscape.
For last winter's PR and marketing intern Mike Ekstrom, however, leaving the Timbers did not entail returning to school. Rather, Ekstrom had another job already lined up that entailed reporting to Oakland A's spring training in Tucson, Ariz. with the club's pitchers and catchers contingent. The Portland, Ore. native who played his high school ball at Barlow High School and college at Oregon State, has spent parts of the last five MLB seasons as a reliever with the San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Colorado Rockies.
"First internship ever," said the 29-year-old Ekstrom, a non-roster reliever in A's camp. "First taste of wearing dress clothes and going downtown and feeling like a real person."
Sharing time between helping organize the Dribble Oregon tour to writing the occasional article for portlandtimbers.com, Ekstrom was able to get a full picture of the inner front office workings of a pro sports franchise.
"It was kind of eye-opening because there was a lot of stuff I took for granted being on a pro sports team, so I have a little bit better perspective of the workings that go on. It was fun seeing all of the moving parts."
Are you looking to be the next Timbers intern? Apply online.
The roar of the crowd.
The electricity of matchday.
Do you want to be a part of the Portland Timbers AND get paid at the same time? Today is your lucky day as the Timbers are in the market for Guest Services Attendants.
Guest Attendants act as the primary providers of direct service to guests as they enter and attend events. They're oftentimes the first people that fans meet when entering JELD-WEN Field and are among the most crucial to helping set the tone for what can be a spectacular Timbers experience. And we need more of them.
To find out more and apply, visit the MLS job board here.
Thad Bell of the Kansas City Soccer Examiner has been doing some good reporting on some of the details around the new NWSL. In a recent article, he talks about national team player allocations and how Mexico is upping their player commitment, salary cap figures, sponsor information and more.
Liviu Bird of the excellent New York Times Goal soccer blog has an interesting story today about how MLS is leveraging league assets to create a central scouting resource specializing in the Central and South American region that is available to all teams.
“Since a number of our players were coming down from Central and South America, we decided at that point to think about ways that we could help our teams in their scouting and recruitment efforts,” said Lino DiCuollo, the league’s vice president of player relations and competition, in a recent phone interview. “So one of the things was to start cataloging all the games in many of the leagues in Central and South America where we were getting players.”
Building an interconnected web of technical tools involving video of matches, WyScout, Opta, and Statbridge, while weaving together in-country consultants that can assist teams with information, the system is similar in part to endeavors created by Major League Baseball and the NHL. MLS' structure also allows for the cost to be shared.
“Instead of paying to have a consultant in Bogotá, clubs are basically paying one-nineteenth of the cost,” DiCuollo said. Many clubs still have dedicated scouts in these areas, and it is common for members of their technical staffs to make trips to Central and South America to find players. But instead of having to rely on just one or two games as an evaluation period, staff can go to the league catalog for more video to make educated decisions on transfer targets.
With the recent talk of Timbers scouting trips to Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina to search for potential new players, it's an interesting complimentary piece to learn more how the league as a whole looks to evaluate new talent.
Though perhaps not quite as popular as the addictive FIFA 13--at least not in the US--Sega's Football Manager has it's very dedicated followers. A complete front office simulation game, Football Manager lets the user be the coach, technical director, and everything in-between to control all aspects of your favorite side.
For one such VERY dedicated and talented player of the game, he received the ultimate opportunity. FC Baku in the Azerbaijani Premier League turned over their head coaching duties to 21-year old Vugar Guloglan oglu Huseynzade, a young man with no head coaching experience other than what he has learned while playing Football Manager.
As stated by sports business contributor Jed Hughes on Bleacher Report:
Don’t let the turkey tryptophan get to you this Thanksgiving – the Timbers are geared up for the holidays, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
Black Friday – November 23, 2012
The adidas Timbers Team Store will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday with free Stumptown coffee, hot chocolate and Voodoo Doughnuts. The first 20 customers in the store will receive a free gift bag including a primary or secondary replica jersey (total gifts valued over $100 per bag!). Not a morning person? Everyone who visits the store on Black Friday will also receive a free gift, such as a Timbers coin bank or a logo projector pen, and no purchase is necessary. Additionally, many items will be on sale once you have a chance to make it past all of the great giveaways at the door!
A new item will be featured and discounted online throughout the day in two-hour blocks starting at 8 a.m. Specials will include items such as outerwear and third jersey replicas and boxed sets. Follow the Timbers on Twitter and check back at shop.portlandtimbers.com to stay updated on the deals! Added bonus: all packages ordered on Black Friday will receive an extra surprise gift!
Cyber Monday – November 26, 2012
Shop for your favorite Timbers fan in your pajamas on Cyber Monday! Shop.portlandtimbers.com will be running sales throughout the day, also in two-hour blocks, including discounts on youth apparel and stocking stuffers starting at 6 a.m. Added bonus: all packages ordered on Cyber Monday will receive an extra surprise gift!
For updates on holiday sales and featured items, sign up for the adidas Timbers Team Store mailing list.
adidas Timbers Team Store Holiday Hours
Black Friday: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 23: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Christmas Eve, December 24: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
December 25 – January 1, 2013: CLOSED*
*The adidas Timbers Team Store will gladly handle all holiday returns and exchanges upon reopening January 2 at regular hours of 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The trio will be running a special presentation as one of numerous events connected to The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, an exhibition of artifacts celebrating the human form dating back to the second millennium BC which are all part of the collection of the British Museum in London. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in various activities, such as creating mythic monsters, designing vases and Greek-style puppets.
Mwanga, Timber Joey and Thompson will talk about the importance of keeping their own bodies healthy through exercise and a healthy diet. The presentation will run from 2 until 2:30pm with an autograph session to follow until 3pm.
Free Family Day runs from noon until 5 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum located at 1219 SW Park Avenue. For more information, visit www.pam.org or call 503.226.2811.
The ambitious community outreach event known as Stand Together Week affected many non-profits and organizations across the city of Portland at the beginning of October. Close to 1,000 community volunteers, including 80 members of the Portland Timbers staff, coaches and players donated over 1,400 hours of service to the Portland community.
KPDX were at many of those events and tonight, Shauna Parsons and Wayne Garcia host a special about how the unique week all came together. There will be stories from across the various locations as well as an interview with Timbers COO Mike Golub about how and why the Timbers became involved and just what it meant to the Portland community.
Tune in at 9pm PT tonight on KPDX to watch and if you miss it, KPTV will air a repeat at 4pm PT on Nov. 4.
The Local Grind will serve their Hawaiian-style plates out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium for $6.50. Up for grabs will be a choice of grilled teriyaki chicken, garlic honey chicken or “The Shred” – teriyaki chicken with ginger and garlic. Each dish will be served over white or brown rice, and sides of Asian-style vegetables and macaroni salad will be available for $1 each.
Abell started The Local Grind in 2007 after many years in the food service industry and an interest in Hawaiian cuisine. He designed his cart and friends helped him build it in his garage. In the winter, The Local Grind is set up at Ira Keller Fountain in the summer, and relocates to SW Park and Montgomery Streets in the winter.
“I love working with the public, being outside, taking the cart to different festivals, serving the people a good quality product,” said Abell. “I could eat my bento every day and I know many of my customers could, too.”
The Local Grind is the last of six food carts chosen by fans to serve at JELD-WEN Field via Facebook vote through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA).
“JELD-WEN Field is such a great facility, plus it’ll be cool to see my regular customers in a different setting, as well as introduce so many other Timbers fans to The Local Grind,” said Abell. “A lot of people have said, ‘I will see you there.’ Generally, my customers are just excited to see The Local Grind grow!”
PTFCA is looking for members for the 2013 season. Applications will be accepted throughout the off-season.