The Learning Season: Blair Hooper

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A senior sports management major and mass communications minor, Blair Hooper already has first hand experience with the specific demands and challenges her field of study has to offer.

“I worked for the minor league [Rome] Braves in the entertainment and marketing department when I was in high school,” she says. “At that point I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in college but I worked sports entertainment and promotions, [which involved] anything you see and hear at a baseball game.”
For Hooper, driving, jet setting, watching games and counting stats is what she enjoys doing.

“Baseball would be my pick if I had to pick any sport,” she says.

While Hooper has maintained a long-term relationship with the industry she also has gained more exposure to the game she loves through her long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, Tommy Palica, who currently plays Double-A minor league ball for the Atlanta Braves organization.

“We met in 2008 at the Rome Braves, where I worked,” she says. “Since then, I travel to spring training, fall instruct leagues, games, player appearances, you name it. If school permits, I go.”

Attending school and traveling the Southeast region with her boyfriend, Hooper says she stays busy balancing the two.

“Our lifestyle is a little hectic,” she says. “I go to school in the summer but I travel when I’m not in school. When June session is out I can travel more freely. I alternate with classes because there are only a few months in the fall when he plays since he’s in minor league with his Double-A team. If he’s playing nearby I travel,” she says. “It’s a long- distance relationship. We’ve been together about two years now so we’ve pretty much got the juggling act together.”

“I love the adrenaline rush of the lifestyle,” says Hooper, “and my major adds a lot of depth and understanding to my trips all over the Southeast. So while others go to the beach, I will travel to baseball parks, watch him pitch, go to autograph signings and charity events. I love every minute of it.”