A soon-to-be Castleton graduate has just accepted a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in arguably the coolest city in America, the City of Brotherly Love.
Cody “Bubba” Collins has recently been hired as a ticket merchant for the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. He said he’ll be going around to corporate sponsors and selling different ticket packages like season tickets and others alike.
“What I think I’m looking forward to is people aren’t really there to buy the product you’re selling, they buy the person,” Collins said. “And that’s why I think I’ll excell at that position!”
Collins said getting hired for this position wasn’t an easy feat to accomplish, as he applied to around 20 different professional sports teams across the country. He only heard back from three organizations, one being the Sixers and Devils.
For a two-month stretch, Collins received denial letter after denial letter, and was beginning to feel discouraged.
After seven interviews going up against a couple hundred other applicants, he came out ontop. “This was the one that I put all the cards on the table and I just went for it. It was a dog eat dog world,” he said.
Collins said this job will allow him to network himself more, something that he can’t really do right now as a Castleton student. He added that his ultimate goal is to one day become a sports agent.
“If I move up in the rankings fast, and I have expectations too, I’m not gonna look back,” Collins said. “This may come off a little conceited, but this is something that I did by myself and I’m proud of it.”
With graduation coming right around the corner and everything happening all at once, Collins said the reality really hasn’t hit him yet and probably won’t until he’s in his suit and tie on the job for the first day.
“I’d like to say I’m sitting back and soaking everything in, but everything is moving so fast I’m just living in the moment,” he said.
Collins will be moving to Philly on Dec. 22 to start his new job on Jan. 9. He joked that he’s already received some backlash from his friends for moving to Philly as a New England native, but he’ll always have love for his Patriots.
“I’ve already gotten a lot of heat, a bunch of my buddies called me up, especially with the Eagles red hot right now, saying I’m gonna turn into an Eagles fan, I’m not. I’m gonna rep my guys loud and proud,” he said laughing.
While he said won’t be turning into an Eagles fan anytime soon, he anticipates that the Sixers will be his new favorite basketball team once he starts advocating for them.
“I came to love it through my pretty much younger brother Kendrick Gray…I love seeing him play and then seeing the high-pace which made me fall in love with the sport,” Collins said. “And now Philadelphia, I really didn’t have a team for basketball, and Philadelphia is gonna be my new team.”
He is also pretty “wound up” to watch some ECW wrestling in downtown Philly with “all the fat drunk slobs.”
Collins said the biggest wake-up call for him to get out of VT was going home to the Northeast Kingdom for Thanksgiving and it just not feeling like home to him anymore.
“I went to a bar back home and I see one of my old classmates, and he looks me in the eye and says ‘what are you doing here?’ it was someone from the group of tools from our high school days,” he said.
Collins said he’ll always have love and support for the Northeast Kingdom because that’s where his roots are, but his chances of going back are “second to none.”
His final words of advice to all the sports management majors out there are to keep hustling and never give up.
“Something’s not just going to come up, you have to go out and find it. I’m excited to put Castleton on the map and just to have a blast,” Collins said. “I’ll be thinking of you guys when I have a fat ol’ cheesesteak to the face.”
Troy Dane has known Collins since they were high school football teammates for the North Country Falcons in Newport, VT.
He said he has always looked up to him and thinks of him as a brother on and off the field, and he thinks Collins will thrive in Philly as a salesman because he has the attitude and a burning desire to succeed.
“His motto has always been he ‘can sell sand to a guy that lives in the desert’, and that’s the type of attitude you need in an environment like Philly to become successful,” Dane said.
He said he is grateful for the many years of friendship and for inspiring him to be great at everything he does in life.
“I can’t wait to continue to be a part of his life and see his career grow into a prosperous and successful one,” Dane said. “Good luck Bubba, and thank you for everything you have done for my life on the football field and off. You are one hell of a teammate, roommate, and brother.”
Professor Marybeth Lennox, Collins’ advisor and professor agrees that he is made for this position because he is really good at selling an idea, no matter what it is. She feels Collins will make a name for himself wherever he ends up.
“I have a feeling he’ll be extremely successful at what he’s doing there. I will miss him a ton,” Lennox said. “I’m going to use him as an example for other students to follow in his footsteps.”