By Matt Leviss
For some students, being able to work with high-profile athletes is a dream. For Zack Wolfman, a junior majoring in public relations at this university, it’s part of his daily routine.
Wolfman is from Long Island, New York. He currently works for this university’s Athletics Marketing team as well as for a sports agency representing student-athletes like Eric Ayala.
But Wolfman wasn’t always so involved in the school’s sports. In fact, he wasn’t always a Terp. “Maryland isn’t actually the first college I attended. I used to go to Binghamton University but I decided to transfer… because I didn’t really like any of the majors or opportunities I had there,” he said.
After leaving the Empire State for Maryland, Wolfman took advantage of the opportunities on campus here. “When I transferred here, [the school] gave me a transfer advisor and she actually used to do what I do now. When I was talking to her about the school, she told me about an opportunity to work in the marketing department for Maryland Athletics,” Wolfman said.
He discussed how much time and planning goes into every game, no matter the sport. He said for one part of his job, “There’s a whole list of intern task sheets, and they vary. For some, it’s to give some ideas for halftime shows, different ideas for promotions. You know how they give out shirts and stuff at the games? We design them.”
Wolfman also said he coordinates events with local high schools. “One of the women’s basketball games is going to be partnered with a bunch of schools nearby and they’re gonna be able to come for a field trip to see a game.”
The other part of Wolfman’s job is getting to work at the games and getting the chance to be on the sidelines. “We do it for all the sports. There’s a number of marketing promotions that happen throughout the game. Usually, depending on the game, I have to do one thing per period or quarter. They include giving out the shirts, bringing the flag down, working at the marketing table.”
Gabriel Storfer, Wolfman’s coworker and a sophomore intending to major in finance, said, “He’s a great person to be around. Whether that’s in the office or on the field, his presence brightens the room. Everyone loves getting to work with him.”
Wolfman said his internship is available to all students but is very selective. “They told us that it was competitive. There’s an application every semester and you have to go through an interview process. And if you pass the process, then you get to work.”
Wolfman’s involvement in the business of sports extends beyond the university. He also works for Raymond Representation, a sports agency representing NIL [Name, Image and Likeness] college athletes.
“They represent a multitude of NIL athletes, most notable would be Eric Ayala from the University of Maryland. Specifically, I try to seek out opportunities for Ayala in College Park locally.”
He says he looks for two kinds of opportunities. First, he looks for charity opportunities. “I most recently set up a charity event with the Boys and Girls Club where Ayala will be coming to play basketball with the kids.”
Following recent NIL rule changes, Wolfman also looks for paid promotions. “I’m in the process of setting up one with Looney’s [Bar in College Park] where after a game he’ll come by and do an autograph signing.”
Wolfman admits he found this position from a friend, with little idea of what he was getting into. “One of my good friends in College Park told me that his friend was looking for some interns for his company. I didn’t really know what the company was, but I’m always interested in new work opportunities so I sent in my application.”
The job with Raymond Representation is virtual and Wolfman spends about three to four hours a week working for them.
With all his sports experience, Wolfman surprisingly doesn’t want to work in sports. “For my internship program at Maryland, we actually do, once a month, we have meetings with people who work in the sports industry. From what I have learned is that there is not a lot of money in sports. Unless you get to the top of the front office, you don’t really get paid too well because they think they’re doing you a favor by allowing you to work for professional sports.”
He hasn’t figured out exactly what he wants to do, but he has an idea of what direction he is going. “I think my long-term [goal] is to work for a company, doing… I’m not really sure what, but I enjoy the aspect of sports and it’s a good thing to do in college.”
Josh Wolfman, Zack’s dad, said, “I’m really proud of what my son is doing. He is really diving deep into the world of business and I can’t wait to see what he does from here.”
Outside of work, Wolfman likes to play video games and go out with his friends. He is also involved in social Greek life.
Ben Strauch, a sophomore mechanical engineering major looking to build racecars professionally and a member of Wolfman’s fraternity, said, “Wolfman is one of the hardest working people I know. He really takes advantage of every opportunity. As someone who wants to work in sports myself, it’s cool to see just what this school has to offer.”