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Internship leads Cougar baseball player into sports marketing

Athletics Jan 10, 2020
A man in a red IU polo shirt sits in a press box looking over a baseball field.
A man in a red IU polo shirt sits in a press box looking over a baseball field.

KOKOMO, Ind. –  As a die-hard Indianapolis Colts fan, Nick Cottongim’s dream job is working in marketing for the team.

“Ever since I first stepped in the RCA Dome, in the company of Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Bob Sanders, and Jeff Saturday, I knew I was watching the most elite players,” he said. “We are told to find a job that we love, and give our best effort day in and day out. A career with the Colts would make work not work.” 

The recent Indiana University Kokomo graduate grew up watching games with family. On a rare occasion, his father or uncle would give up one of their tickets so he could see a game in person.

Cottongim is taking the first steps toward his goal by completing a degree in new media, art, and technology, with a focus on graphic design. A former Cougar baseball player, he’s now an assistant sports information director (SID) using his talents to create graphics for campus sports teams.

“I’d love to run with this and see what it can teach me, and where it can take me moving forward,” he said, adding that he served in a similar position as an intern. “I felt comfortable taking over the graphics for the players, so they had someone to promote them on social media. It’s allowed me to plan games and see ideas for promoting our teams and athletes.”

Cottongim handles game day graphics, including for the large screens in Cougar Gym and at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. He posts updates during games and puts together stat sheets at halftime and after a game.

He enjoys traveling with teams, and getting to know athletes, so he can help tell their stories.

“All sports teams have different styles,” he said. “I’m looking forward to combining those characteristics with IU Kokomo’s branding, and seeing where we can go. I get to focus on player stats, keeping track of when important milestones are coming up for them, and when they are having success on the field or court, so we can share that story.”

Before he came to IU Kokomo, Cottongim, from Plainfield, earned an associate degree in broadcasting. An opportunity to be on IU Kokomo’s first baseball team drew him to campus, where he enjoyed the kinds of graphics that showcased his team.

“I started looking at graphics in sports, and then what was created for professional players,” he said. “I thought it would be fun to do at a college, to promote their players and show what they do.”

He honed his skills during a design class that provides free services to area not-for-profit organizations. In addition, he interned as a graphic designer for the athletic department, which led to his job.

Now a Colts season ticket holder himself, it would mean a lot to him to work for the team.

“I’d love to travel with them, do their media and marketing, and pitch a lot of the ideas I have,” he said. “Going to the games. I see everything from that side. Their marketing program is growing. I want to be part of that, be part of the team, and get more insight than I already have.”

Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.

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