When more than 2,100 fans streamed into the Westchester County Center for the Westchester Knicks’ sold-out inaugural game in November 2014, it was thanks to the tireless efforts of Katie Hatch. As director of marketing and public relations, Hatch spearheads those functions, as well as game entertainment, community relations, and social media efforts. At any given moment, you can find her organizing ticket promotions, updating the team’s website and e-newsletter, or writing game notes and press releases. Hired before the team even had a name, Hatch developed a comprehensive marketing plan in April of last year that led to more than 14,000 fans across the team’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts—and 11 of the first 16 games selling out. “To start with nothing less than a year ago, to bringing professional basketball to Westchester and filling up the stands has been an immense source of pride for me,” Hatch says.
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• Hatch grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, in a little town called Boone, though she lived in Florida for the past decade, where she also spent two years in graduate school at the University of South Florida getting her MBA and MS in Sport & Entertainment Management.
• Hatch’s first job in sports was an internship with the Daytona Cubs, a minor league baseball team in Daytona Beach, Florida. “There was something magical about showing up to a ballpark every day—it never truly felt like work,” she says. She then held a full-time position with the St. Lucie Mets, another minor league team, where she helped host Spring Training for the New York Mets. Hatch also held positions with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Tampa Bay Championship PGA Tour, and FOX Sports Florida.
• Has being a young-gun helped or hurt her? “The interesting thing about the sports industry is that being younger can actually be a benefit. Working for a sports team, especially one launching its first season, can be demanding in terms of hours and late nights. I’m lucky that I’m at a point in my life when I can put the team and my career first and it’s been a great experience.”