Morgan Rogers enjoyed being around sports for as long as she can recall, and when it came time to select a major in college, it seemed natural to her that she would parlay that interest into a career.
“I grew up watching college basketball and professional baseball,” Rogers said. “I have been a huge baseball fan since I was little.” She also played tennis in high school. Given that background, sports management seemed like something she would enjoy as a career.
Rogers is now the licensing coordinator at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Her days tend to be a flurry of activity that could include approving artwork, working with campus groups regarding licensing needs, meeting with retailers, speaking with licensees, creating newsletters, posting on social media and coming up with giveaways and promotions for Mountaineer fans. “I really enjoy all of the different aspects of the job because it is not the same every day, which always keeps it fun and exciting,” Rogers said.
Her path into sports began as a student at North Carolina State University when she did an internship with a minor league baseball team. “From there, I knew I enjoyed the marketing aspect of working in athletics, so after graduation, I was able to get an internship in the marketing department for NC State athletics,” she said.
Fortunately for Rogers, she had only served as an intern for a year when a full-time position opened in the marketing department as assistant director of marketing. While working with the Wolfpack, Rogers was in charge of marketing for the women’s basketball team. There, she crossed paths with legendary former coach Kay Yow.
“She was inspirational on so many different levels,” Rogers recalls. “That is an experience and time that I will always cherish. She taught so many about, not only basketball and coaching, but life and how to live it to the fullest without ever giving up. I still use so much of what she said in my everyday life today.”
Rogers would serve as assistant marketing director for three years before she had to relocate for her husband’s job. That move kept her out of athletics for a few years, but when the couple moved back to North Carolina, Rogers was eager to delve back into college sports by accepting her position at Appalachian State. She’s been in that role for a year-and-a-half now.
Rogers says the most rewarding part of her job is seeing the merchandise in stores after having seen its initial artwork during the approval stages. She also enjoys working with licensees and giving them ideas so they can create products to which Mountaineer fans will relate.
With licensing also comes the bad cop days, and she notes that the most challenging part of her position is rejecting a product or design that someone created and loves. “We do have guidelines and rules that everyone must follow, so when I have to tell someone they can’t do it, they don’t always like to hear that,” Rogers said. “I wish I could make everyone happy, but we have a brand that we have to protect, and sometimes, that means saying no.”
In terms of her own rooting interests, Rogers, of course, cheers for her alma mater Wolfpack. She is also a big Boston Red Sox fan and has adopted her husband’s Dallas Cowboys.
Rogers’ husband played professional baseball after college, and those years hold her most favorite sports memories. “He was able to make it a career for about seven years, and it was awesome going to his games and watching people cheer for him,” she said. “The joy and excitement I got from seeing him pitch is something I will remember forever.”
These days, the couple stays busy with two sons, ages 2 and 3. “We spend a lot of our time at the baseball field running around or watching daddy coach,” she said.
For other young women aspiring to break into the field of athletics, Rogers says seeking volunteer and internship opportunities is key. “I was very lucky how it worked out for me, but I know it can be much harder,” she said. “Everyone you meet will be an important part of your future, so keep those contacts and work hard.”