Hirsch is working with about 600 season ticket holders and 50 group outings that take place at the ballpark.
Jonah Hirsch grew up in a sports family.
“My grandparents were huge on tennis,” explains the 24-year-old Detroit resident, who works as an account executive with the Detroit Tigers. “My mom was huge on basketball and baseball, so baseball was really a love that I shared with my mom and my grandfather.”
Hirsch, who grew up north of Chicago and moved to Detroit in 2021 for his new role, knew he always wanted to work in sports management. Yet, in his final months at Miami University in Ohio, where he studied business management with minors in sports management and French, Hirsch hit an unexpected crossroads.
COVID-19 had created a major shift in the industry. He graduated from college three months into the pandemic, when the sports industry had come to nearly a complete standstill. “At that point, sports was actively laying folks off,” Hirsch recalls.
As he finished up his schoolwork virtually at home in Illinois, Hirsch spent the time he would have been job hunting by networking online with others in the industry instead. “I wanted to move into the ticket sales area of the business,” he explains.
Luckily, an opportunity came Hirsch’s way in February 2021. The director of ticket sales at the time with the Detroit Tigers reached out to the recent graduate with an opportunity to join the team’s inside sales program, which included both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings. Hirsch interviewed and, shortly after, landed a job with the program.
Beginning his role at home, Hirsch moved to Detroit in May 2021 and switched over to the Detroit Tigers’ client services team one month later. Now, he’s working with about 600 season ticket holders and 50 group outings that take place at the ballpark.
Hirsch is responsible for each account and is gearing up to enter the season’s busiest time yet: its renewal period. “I’m going to be putting my head down and focusing on that moving into the future,” he says, noting that the work slows down between October through March in the off-season period.
Despite how busy this time of year can get, Hirsch wouldn’t trade his job for the world. He loves the sport, the atmosphere and, above all else, the people.
“Sales is less of a focus in my line of work,” he says. “I’m more of a relationship-builder, someone who makes sure everything is going right.”
The most rewarding aspect of his career, Hirsch says, are the genuine relationships he builds with season ticket holders, many of whom are a part of Metro Detroit’s Jewish community.
“We have a great rapport,” he explains. “We talk about work; we talk about life.”
With most of his family still in Illinois, many Jewish season ticket members even invite Hirsch over for Jewish holidays. “I am so unendingly grateful for that,” he says. “It means more to me, and it means more to them than just baseball.”
“These folks know my family is not here right now,” he continues, “and I might not necessarily have a place to spend the Jewish holidays.”
Many members help make Hirsch feel “like a family member,” he says. “I’m creating real relationships with people, especially my Jewish members.”
Finding A Hub
Hirsch was also recently connected with Royal Oak Moishe House through a friend. He’s been an active participant there since moving to Detroit last year.
“It’s a great source of community for me,” he says. “I’m from Chicago and I went to school in Ohio, so I don’t have as much of a base of people here as I did at home.”
Going to Moishe House events, Hirsch says, has helped him build relationships outside of work and discover a Jewish group of young adults to hang out with (and is something he highly recommends for young Jewish individuals new to the Detroit area).
Outside of work and events, Hirsch loves to travel and recently took an impromptu trip to Washington, D.C., to visit his sister who lives there. His parents have also recently visited him in Detroit and together they explored Eastern Market and Ann Arbor.
“When I moved here was the first time I’d ever been to Detroit,” Hirsch says, “but I’d heard so many great things about the city. I wish I’d seen it earlier.”
To reach Jonah, email him at email@example.com.