Young Alumni Series

Hayley ’18: Sports to Sales

Rick Hayley ’18 took his love and passion for sports and landed a job where he can use his skills each and every day. Hayley played sports all his life, worked with the Auburn Athletics Department and has now landed a job with the Atlanta Falcon’s front office.

As an inside sales representative, Hayley sells personal seat licenses to adoring Falcons fans, working with a team of 16 other representatives to make close to 60 calls each day.

These personal seat licenses

are used as a one-time fee to allow fans to purchase season tickets in the section they want. Rather than ‘cold call,’ Hayley and his team lately have been calling and meeting with fans who have been interested to help them secure seat packages for the 2019 season.

Often, Hayley will have a virtual meetings to help fans know more about the sales, though he does have opportunities to provide in-person tours.

Making so many calls a day can lead to unpleasant experiences as well as genuine and enjoyable conversations. Some people that Hayley gets on the phone with are rude and uninterested, but he it also gives him the opportunity to positively affect someone’s life or day.

“You never know the kind of conversation you’re going to have,” Hayley said. “You can just call somebody and they can be so mean to you, or you can call somebody and they’re so happy to talk to you. You never know the kind of effect you can have on someone’s day.”

While preparing to graduate, Hayley gathered experience to help him land his job, not only playing sports but working for the athletic department in the ticketing office. In addition, Hayley coached soccer to high-schoolers at Trinity Christina school in Opelika.

“Most important is not giving up,” said Hayley. “This is a very hard industry to get into, so you get told no a lot, You have to be okay with hearing the word ‘no’.”

This job, to Hayley, is not just a ‘work for the weekend’ job. He said that his coworkers love what they do. Even when a client tells him ‘no’, Hayley said it can still be a networking opportunity.

“These people love the organization, love the team and everybody’s so passionate about it and want it to be successful,” Hayley said. “You meet with these people, and they know so much. They’re such great leaders and that can motivate you.”

Hayley was a legacy graduate from Auburn in 2018, preceded by his eight siblings,

his parents and grandparents. Sports came naturally to his family since his dad and grandfather played football for the Auburn Tigers. His father was a tight end and grandfather a wide receiver when they played for Auburn.

“Getting adjusted to the college lifestyle was definitely different,” Hayley said. “I had people in my life that were older than me already there, so they helped me and guided me through things at college.”

Hayley was a marketing major, but also joined a fraternity and YoungLife in addition to all his time in sports.

“The most important thing to me while I was at Auburn was the relationships I made,” Hayley said. “I have lifelong friends that I never would have gotten if it wasn’t for Auburn. We went on spring break trips where we rented lime green minivans and drove to Canada, California, Washington and Nevada, camping and seeing amazing things. I will always value those memories.