Nick Wierciak of Edwardsville, Illinois, always dreamed of a career in sport management. A student position in Southeast’s Athletics Department spawned a journey that led him to a post with the former St. Louis Rams before landing with the St. Louis Blues where he is currently Vice President of Ticketing, Premium and Suite Sales. Nick graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in mass communication, public relations option, with minors in sport management and political science. While a Southeast student, Nick met his wife Lisa, also a 2002 Southeast graduate with a degree in speech communication. They are the parents of three children, Addie, 11, Cole, 8, and Finley, 3. A lifelong Blues fan, Nick says he’s living the dream as part of the St. Louis Blues’ management team while watching “his” team vie for the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup series is tied 3-3 with Game 7 set for Wednesday, June 12, in Boston.
How long have you been employed by the Blues and has it always been in your current role?
I’ve worked for the organization for 14 years. I started as a member of the Inside Sales team and was able to work my way up through the ranks. I was promoted to Vice President of Ticketing, Premium and Suite Sales this past off-season. My specialty has been in the premium and luxury sales world. Prior to this off-season, I was the Senior Director of Premium Seating and Suite Sales.
What does your current position entail?
I oversee the entire Ticketing Sales and Service Departments for the St. Louis Blues and Enterprise Center. My job in the simplest form is to generate and maximize revenue to its fullest potential, which allows our ownership group to spend to the league sanctioned salary cap. Ticket sales help drive a professional organization and offer the opportunity to provide the best environment possible for its players, staff, season ticket holders, fans and city. Also, I’m responsible for ticketing revenue for all non-hockey events at Enterprise Center, including special events such as concerts, USA Olympic trials and NCAA events and tournaments.
How did you get to where you are today? Did you think your Southeast education would lead you to where you are today?
After graduating in 2002, I briefly worked in politics and decided to go back to school to chase my dream of working in sports. I attended graduate school at Florida State University. While a student there, I worked closely with both the Boosters and Compliance Offices gaining valuable experience. In 2003, I graduated with a master’s degree in sports business and moved back home to work with the St. Louis Rams towards the end of the “Greatest Show on Turf” years. The opportunity with the Rams led me to the Blues and the rest is history. I always knew my Southeast education would provide a good, solid foundation for my future education and experiences. Also, I would add that going to a school within close proximity to St. Louis helped build excellent networking opportunities and relationships with individuals, many of whom I have remained close with and still value today.
What interested you in working in an NHL franchise? Have you always been a hockey fan?
I love all sports, and when the opportunity to work for the Blues presented itself, I jumped on it. I grew up watching and going to Blues games, and now I get to work for a team I’ve cheered for since I was a kid. What’s better than working for your hometown team?
How has the Blues’ success ramped up your job responsibilities as of late?
We are definitely the hottest ticket in town now! Since I have been with the organization, we have not been in the type of position we are today. Everyone wants to be a part of history. I have an awesome sales and service team that shows up every day ready to get after it and make a difference. The opportunity to leverage the success of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to sell next season is a goal I have always dreamed of fulfilling.
What has it been like to be a part of this historic season for the Blues?
In one word – incredible! Who would have thought back in early January the team in last place in the entire league would be one win from winning the organization’s first ever Stanley Cup in our 52-year-old history? It’s just been an amazing ride. St. Louis Blues fans are the best fans in hockey, and this organization is built on their excitement and loyalty. And personally, growing up as a Blues fan, and now being part of this historic time and getting to share the experience with my kids is really a dream come true.
How has your Southeast education contributed to your success today?
My education and experience at Southeast provided such a strong, solid base for where I’ve ended up. My parents instilled in me ambition and a strong work ethic. What I learned at SEMO built on those core values and set a foundation for my future.
What advice would you offer other public relations and sport management students, or any Southeast students, who might aspire to work in professional sports?
If you want it, go after it. Make sure to Intern, volunteer, get involved in both college and professional sports any way you can. The first thing I look for from applicants looking to start with the Blues is their previous experiences in sports. While I was at SEMO, I made sure to get involved in as many as extracurricular activities as possible.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in at Southeast? What is your greatest Southeast memory?
While at Southeast I was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, serving on the leadership board. I also served as Interfraternity Council president and played lots of intramurals — basketball, flag football, tennis. I volunteered and worked for the Athletic Department as well. I have lots of wonderful memories, but I’d say my greatest one is meeting my wife Lisa while we were both students at SEMO.