Sitting in an overstuffed chair inside the Red Auerbach conference room at Boston Celtics headquarters, Tyler Marcotte, ’15, smiled. He had a message for his fellow Bears.
“I want students at BSU to know it is possible,” Mr. Marcotte said. “I want students to look at me and say, if he’s able to do it, so can I.”
This past January, the Plymouth native was hired to work with the Celtics organization as a member experience executive. Just like the professional athletes who play on the parquet floor, Mr. Marcotte’s road to the Celtics required hard work, dedication and perseverance.
At 9 years old, Mr. Marcotte was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Because of this, he’s struggled with social interactions. “I was often on the outside looking in,” he said.
Sports is where he found comfort and began to build confidence. For his third birthday, he received a red plastic baseball bat that quickly became his favorite toy. He often used it to hit fallen peaches in his backyard.
As Mr. Marcotte’s love of baseball grew, his father, Stephen, introduced him to the Boston Red Sox. Together they watched the games, the elder Marcotte passing on his knowledge of baseball to his son.
In 2006, Mr. Marcotte’s father took him to his first home Celtics game. Spending that day with his dad and watching Paul Pierce, his then-favorite player, made a lasting impression. “My first Celtics game is a day I will remember for the rest of my life,” he said.
Early on, Mr. Marcotte was encouraged by his father to consider a career in sports when they went together to a college job fair hosted by the Celtics in 2010. Aside from posing with the 2008 championship trophy at the event, Mr. Marcotte claims that is when he learned of the possibilities within the sporting industry. The seed was planted.
After graduating from Plymouth North High School in 2011, Mr. Marcotte admits he struggled upon entering college. Academics were not always his top priority. That all changed when his father suddenly passed away in 2012, causing Mr. Marcotte to re-evaluate his life.
“My dad was the hardest-working individual. When he passed, I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself I wanted to be a better person. I wanted to become someone my dad would be proud of,” he said.
BSU Learning Disability Specialist Pam Spillane helped guide Mr. Marcotte and paired him with Stephen Hill, ’12, through the university’s Peer Mentoring Program. Mr. Hill introduced him to new people, including study partners, and also exposed him to activities outside of the classroom. “He really helped me figure out college life,” Mr. Marcotte said.
During his sophomore year, Mr. Marcotte landed an internship with the Plymouth Pilgrims, a local collegiate summer baseball team. His responsibilities as an intern forced him to interact with many people, helping to strengthen his interpersonal skills. “I was always book smart, but I wasn’t people smart,” Mr. Marcotte said.
While at BSU, he continued to seek out opportunities in the sports industry. As a senior, he obtained a sales internship with the Pawtucket Red Sox. There, he interacted with the public, answered fans’ questions and talked baseball.
Upon graduating in 2015 with a degree in business administration, management and operations, Mr. Marcotte’s search for full-time employment led him to Frisco, Texas, where he found a job in sales for the Frisco RoughRiders, a minor league baseball team and Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
“Because of my disability, many thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. Some people didn’t want me to go. But I wanted to grow as a person,” Mr. Marcotte said.
He proved the naysayers wrong and for two years lived and worked in Texas. His time with the RoughRiders helped him grow both professionally and personally. With more experience under his belt, Mr. Marcotte looked to expand his horizons and used networking to open the next door.
He reached out to fellow BSU alumnus David Cohen, ’06. As Boston Celtics director of member experience and retention, Mr. Marcotte knew Mr. Cohen would be a good resource and point him in the right direction. He learned of the member experience executive opening and applied. After nailing the interview, he was hired and began working for the Celtics in mid-January 2017.
His responsibilities involve creating lasting memories for season ticket holders, and include ticket sales, in-game and other special events, draft parties, meet and greets, and pre-game shootarounds. He is at every home game ensuring fans enjoy themselves. While the goal is to build fan retention and sell tickets, Mr. Marcotte also has a personal agenda. “I want to create those experiences I had with my dad for other people,” he said.
Mr. Marcotte’s father is never far from his thoughts, and he continues to rely on the lessons his dad passed on as he navigates his way through life.
“In spirit I think he’s here with me every day, every game,” Mr. Marcotte said.
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