The Unlikely Road to the Minor League
At just 23 years old, Ashley Seda has achieved what some dedicate their whole lives to achieve.
Just recently graduating from UNLV in the Spring of 2013, Seda is currently the Social Media Strategist and Brand Manager of the Las Vegas 51s Baseball team, Triple A Affiliate of the New York Mets.
While working for a minor league baseball team has always been part of her life plan, this was not something she seeked out, instead it was something that happened sooner than she expected. She was initially contacted through her twitter account while she was working as the Social Media Manager for UNLV Athletics, also a position she got unlike anyone else.
The tweet simply read, “Would you like to meet with our GM for a potential job opening for the 51s?” To which of course she said yes to since it has always been a part of her plan to work for a minor league team before achieving her overall goal of working for a major league team.
“To have this all planned out and be able to achieve it all in less than a year is crazy,” Seda said. “It’s been everything that I want to do, I grew up loving baseball, and to actually be in this stage in my life at only 23 years old is probably the coolest thing ever.”
Seda started working for the UNLV Baseball team on a volunteer basis at the beginning of the 2015 season. She got the position after she snuck into an athletic event for donors to welcome the new football coach. There she started networking with the athletic administration and quickly convinced them to give her a shot at managing the marketing for the baseball team.
During her time with the baseball team, their home opener was the first baseball game to be sold out. Soon enough the athletic department started to take notice of her work and since they were in need of a graphic designer they offered her a part-time position until she graduated in May when they would offer her a full time position. They offered her the position of Graphic Design and Social Media Coordinator, which is something that didn’t exist before she started.
One of her biggest achievements with the UNLV athletics department was designing a nationally recognized football field for UNLV that incorporated a Las Vegas feel to it. Some of her work for UNLV athletics incorporated the Las Vegas skyline, which she said, “Nobody at UNLV embraced the fact that we’re in Las Vegas, so that’s when I made the football field.”
“I built a style guide when I first got the message,” referring to the message about a potential job for the 51s. Before being interviewed she started to work on graphics for the team and started building a skyline of Las Vegas Blvd. It starts from Cashman Field, where the 51s play, and goes to the Stratosphere and includes Fremont Street, the Mob Museum, and the Las Vegas Library.
She started working for the 51s with the mindset of embracing the fact that it is Las Vegas, “they have a stigma because they are downtown, and downtown doesn’t have a great reputation, I wanted to embrace that, I want to make it a downtown Vegas vibe, where it’s fun and engaging and vibrant.” One of the biggest challenges she has had to face with working for the 51s is getting more people to go to the games. “It’s easy to be at a football game, it’s fast paced, there is action 24/7,” but that’s not stopping her from trying.
She is constantly looking for ways to engage with the fans and wants to establish a relationship with the fans, “I want it to be more like a friend following each other, I want them to be seen as a friend you hang out with sometimes, not a business.” The alien logo is very popular in the United Kingdom and has five fans coming to a game and she has made it her mission to go out and find them during the game. “It’s something to do, and it’s really cool that we can offer that experience, having it be their first game ever.”
“Baseball is harder, most people that are baseball fans, have played the game, or inherited from their parents.” Which is where she got her love of the sport. Her grandfather used to be an Umpire which is why she fell in love with baseball. He would always tell her, “make it gold, you have the Midas touch,” which was his way of telling her to make it good. Her office is decorated in gold in honor of him and his constant words of encouragement.
Her mother is also another huge influence in her life. She was more sad than excited when she found out Seda was leaving UNLV to move on to the 51s. Seda says her mom is “just bitter because she is just a huge UNLV fan.” In 2014 Seda and her family were the firsts to become UNLV Honorary Rebels for their constant involvement at UNLV despite not graduating from there.
While attending UNLV Seda was involved in as much as possible. Through her sorority Alpha Gamma Delta, she was able to serve on the Panhellenic Executive Board for two years, first as Vice President of Recruitment and then as President. She also served as a Community Operations Manager for the residents on campus and a student advisor for the Lee Business school among other things.
Beverly Wong has known Seda for five years and in those five years she has witnessed the kind of impact she has left in her community. “She always found every day as an opportunity,” Wong says. They met each other through their sorority when Seda posted about a volunteer opportunity and have not separated since then.
Seda has made her initials her trademark, which she takes with her everywhere she goes. Her newest office is full of things she made herself also brings a girls touch to the office mainly dominated by guys. On her wall she has a cork board where she hand painted a map of the United States and also hand painted pushpins with the logos of every Major League Baseball team, all 30 and she plans on adding all the minor league teams some time soon.
Even though she doesn’t have to, every day she shows up to work in heels and a dress, most of the times a blue dress, one of the team’s color, to show her support. “It’s a man’s world and I like to be pretty,” Seda said mentioning that she is the only one who does that.
Wherever she goes she leave some type of impact. “She inspires not only me, but those around her to imagine the possibilities that each brings and to seize every opportunity,” Wong said. She hasn’t slowed down since her time at UNLV and doesn’t show any signs that she will anytime soon.
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