As a Cardinal hockey player, Andrew Ketterer ’14 scored some game-winning goals and made some amazing assists.
Now that he’s netted a position with USA Hockey, Ketterer’s goal hasn’t changed all that much. As coordinator of social media and digital content, Ketterer is still assisting with promoting the sport of hockey.
Only now, it’s on a national scale.
Ketterer double-majored in marketing and sport management and minored in public relations at Saint Mary’s. He’d always known marketing was a route he wanted to take. Adding sport management seemed natural to the four-year varsity hockey player.
While in college, he started his own hockey blog, Ketts’ Corner, covering a variety of topics, mostly revolving around the National Hockey League. The blog’s success led him to approach Jeff Hefel from the Business Department and Dean Beckman from the Communication Department about adding a public relations minor. Ketterer could foresee that these skills would help further his career.
After graduation, Ketterer worked for Simantel, a global marketing and communications firm in Peoria, Ill., but he never lost sight of his dream to work in sports.
“I knew that I wanted to work in hockey,” he said. “It was just a matter of how I was going to get there.” When he was alerted to the USA Hockey position, he recognized immediately it was a dream job.
In December 2015, two weeks after interviewing, Ketterer moved to Colorado Springs, Colo.
USA Hockey’s focus is on the support and development of grassroots hockey programs. It connects the game at every level while promoting a lifelong love of the sport.
In his position, Ketterer handles the day-to-day responsibilities of all of the social media platforms, which can mean some crazy hours.
“If we have international games or tournaments, it can mean an early morning or late night,” he said. “We always have things going on like youth hockey clinics or adult league tournaments. Our team is constantly on call.
“Another large part of my job is more strategic; we don’t want to just pump out content. Instead, we want to take a look at what goals we are trying to achieve, explore new channels, create new accounts under our channels—all of that falls into my daily responsibilities. A typical day is anything but typical.”
Ketterer said his job also includes opportunities to travel. Most recently he covered the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship, which was held in Zlin, Czech Republic. “I was doing everything from live tweeting to cutting up post-game comments, doing some side interviews on camera, basically everything we had on the web and on social, I had a hand in,” he said.
“Our goal is to grow the game at the grassroots level, whether that’s youth hockey, disabled hockey, or adult league hockey,” Ketterer said. “The other side, which is more known, includes the international tournaments. Those are a big deal to us because of the exposure they give the game of hockey in the U.S., which helps us grow at the youth level.”
Ketterer said he will play a role in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games but doesn’t know if he’ll be covering the U.S. men’s and women’s teams from home base or from Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“It’s crazy to think that it’s just a year out; there’s a heck of a lot to do, but I’m excited for the opportunity it presents” he said.
Ketterer said he is grateful for many of his Saint Mary’s professors, including Hefel and Beckman, who helped him hone the critical-thinking skills necessary in his position. “They made me work through real-world situations and really think outside the box,” he said.
He advises students to be patient, and to stay aggressive in finding the right position. He said there are a lot of opportunities to get experience. “My blog made me realize there was a possibility of working in hockey,” he said. “Some pieces were linked to by Yahoo Sports, or people would link to something in one my articles. The blog was free, but it eventually helped me because I included it during my interview process. You may not get paid, but the payoff will be worth it,” he said. “I found my dream job.”