Theresa Bloom ’17, ’18 MBA has fond memories of going to baseball games as a kid. She has now returned to her home state of California, working as a marketing manager for the baseball team she grew up cheering for, helping to create meaningful memories for the team’s growing fanbase.
February 17, 2022
When Theresa “Tess” Bloom ’17, ’18 MBA was a kid, she and her family went to a baseball game at Petco Park during the first season it was open. Decked out in the jersey of Hall of Fame pitcher Trevor Hoffman, she had such a fun and meaningful experience at the game that she told her parents she wanted to work at the ballpark someday.
Bloom began doing just that last September, beginning what she describes as her “dream job” as a marketing manager for the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team.
“Growing up, my best moments were spent at sports stadiums and ballparks,” she said. “What I am able to do as part of my job is absolutely incredible.”
Bloom, who grew up in San Diego and attended high school in upstate New York, expected to return to the West Coast to attend college. When she visited the University of New Haven, she liked it so much she attended an instant admission day in New York and began speaking with the admissions representative about applying.
“I remember walking on campus and thinking, ‘I really, really like this place,’” she said. “It felt like home. I was also a huge San Diego Chargers fan [the team has since moved to Los Angeles], and there was the correlation to the University of New Haven Chargers.”
‘The most amazing experience of my life’
Although as a kid she wanted to work for a professional team, during – and shortly after – her time as a Charger, she had other ideas. Her plan was originally to major in business and then attend law school. Her goal? To become a sports agent. She envisioned herself yelling, “Show me the money!” much like Tom Cruise in the Oscar Award-winning film “Jerry Maguire.”
Originally a business management major, Bloom later switched to sport management. She then earned her MBA as part of the University’s Fast Track program.
“I loved the small class sizes,” she said. “I loved the proximity of the campus to my internships, and of course, to great pizza. Attending the University was, hands down, the best choice I ever made. It really did make me step out of my shell and find myself.”
As a Charger, Bloom gained hands-on experience working at the front desk at the University’s Beckerman Recreation Center, as well as during internships with three different organizations, including the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team. Her experience studying abroad at the University’s campus in Prato, Italy, during her senior year was particularly meaningful.
“That was the most amazing experience of my life,” she said. “My friends joke, ‘Did you study abroad in Italy, by any chance?’ Because I’ll bring it up any time I can. I tell every student who reaches out to me that, if they can study abroad, they should do it. I learned so much about different cultures, as well as soccer, while I was there.”
‘I ended up loving it’
Bloom graduated with her bachelor’s degree the day after returning from Italy, then celebrated her 21st birthday the following day. She remains in touch with many of her former classmates, and she has formed lasting friendships from her days as a Charger. Still in touch with many of her former professors, she continues to seek their guidance. She’s grateful for their unwavering support and for their vast networks that expand beyond the east coast.
“The faculty all genuinely wanted to help me and my classmates,” she said. “They really do want you to succeed. Your success is their success, which I think is awesome. You’re not just an alum. You’re someone they care about. They still help alumni, not just current students. I’ve made great connections with faculty, alumni, and my professors’ connections.”
After earning her MBA, she began exploring job possibilities across the country. After applying for a position in Colorado Springs, she got a call from a recruiter asking if she’d ever heard of Amarillo, TX. She hadn’t, but the team she’d applied to work for, a Double A affiliate of the Padres, was moving there.
Taking a leap of faith, Bloom moved to a city and a state she’d never been to, working as director of marketing and communications for the Sod Poodles, a Minor League Baseball team. The team, the brand, and the stadium were new, and the position was an opportunity for her to help build the brand from the ground up. She and her teammates saw record attendance, including a years-long waitlist for season tickets. The team was also named 2019 Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America.
Working for a minor league team was an opportunity for Bloom to learn all facets of working for a professional team. In addition to graphic design and social media, she pitched in wherever she was needed – whether it was pulling out the tarp when it rained, serving hot dogs, or taking tickets.
“I ended up loving it,” she said. “You wear a lot more hats in the minor leagues, since there are fewer people. My job with the Sod Poodles helped me land this role with the Padres.”
‘It’s incredible how everything worked out’
In 2021, Bloom learned about an opening for a marketing manager position with the Padres. She was immediately interested, and she was later offered the position. After beginning her new role last September, she is looking forward to her first full season with the team.
Bloom says she and her colleagues refer to themselves as “Grand Central Station,” since they handle projects and requests from other departments, such as sales. They manage a variety of responsibilities, such as the wording of emails and coordinating requests for graphics. Working with the teams that manage digital content, social media, and paid media, Bloom ensures that operations run smoothly and that everyone meets their goals. When the season starts, Bloom will pay attention to the fans, making sure they are having a good time.
“Marketing is a very fun job, and there are never two days that are the same,” she said. “We’re marketing memories with families. We’re marketing a kid getting a signed ball. We’re marketing people coming out and spending time with family and sharing a beer. We’re marketing making lasting memories.”
Memories like she has from her own first game at Petco Park. When she had the opportunity to meet Padres legend Trevor Hoffman in 2019 while still in Amarillo, she told him the story of when she wore his jersey to her first game, and how the experience inspired her career ambitions. In joining the Padres, Bloom hasn’t just hit a home run in landing her dream job. She has come full circle – returning home to San Diego and fulfilling the dream she had during her initial visit to Petco Park.
“It’s incredible how everything worked out,” she said. “It was a real 360° experience telling Trevor Hoffman that story, and that’s even more so now because I’m working for the Padres. It’s funny because even when I began my time as a student at the University, my dream wasn’t to work for a team. But it was my dream as a kid. Now I’m back in San Diego, and I couldn’t be happier.”