If you need Courtnie Golden, the Director of Community Relations for the Midland Rockhounds, don’t bother looking in her office. True to her title, she’s almost always out working in the community.
She found her calling right out of college, when she did an internship with the Rome Braves, the minor league affiliate for the Atlanta Braves. It’s where she had her first taste of media and community relations.
Asked about her always-on-the-go approach, Golden responded, “I just knew I never wanted a job that consisted of nothing more than sitting at my desk. I wanted something where I could be more active and involved, and get out into the community. Marketing and community relations is the perfect fit for me.”
It may be the perfect fit, but the job is not without its challenges. Golden recalled a recent series where the Rockhounds played nine games in the span of 10 days. Her role requires her to be at each event. The following day, she and Rocky, the team mascot, visited with children at an event for six hours.
“Working 15 hours a day for nine days in a row can be exhausting,” said Golden. “But then, when I see thousands of kids running up to Rocky at an event, and they’re so excited. Seeing how much it means to them makes it all worth it.”
The Rockhounds focus much of their community relations efforts on children. During Red Ribbon Week, the alcohol, tobacco, drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed every year in October, Golden visits elementary schools each day of the week.
“Last year we went to 18 elementary schools during those five days,” said Golden. “We do a 45 minute program with the kids about saying no to drugs, and being a good teammate, and staying physically fit, and the kids get to play games with Rocky.”
Many of the children come from disadvantaged families who can’t afford to take them to professional sporting events. Golden often provides free tickets to the games, so the children can have that experience. Sometimes, she’s able to give children a one-of-a-kind experience.
“We were able to take part in granting a wish for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, recently,” said Golden. “The child was able to spend an entire day at the ballpark, and interact with all the players. It was an amazing experience for him, and for his family.”