Major League Baseball well and truly landed in London at the weekend with The New York Yankees beating the Boston Red Sox in a classic encounter in front of over 100,000 fans.

Joe Vickers, BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management student at UCFB, was working with EVENT360 at the London Stadium in the build-up to the series to make sure everything was ready to go for the historic occasion. We spoke with Joe about the highlights of working at such a unique event and what sets the stadium apart as a multipurpose arena...

Tell us about your role at this year's MLB London Series. How did the role come about? 

I was lucky enough to go straight into full-time employment at EVENT360 before finishing UCFB as a production assistant so it all came through there as it was a big project for us. I was on site for eight days helping us prepare for the series and break down afterwards. It has been a busy few months going straight from the Nations League Finals to MLB however I am really lucky to be working for a company like EVENT360 where I am always looking ahead, supporting the event managers on events such as the MLB London Series.  

What were the highlights of working there? 

The MLB was a completely different event to anything I have worked on both during and since my time at UCFB. There was a huge emphasis on entertainment which for EVENT360 was really exciting as we were able to play a big part in the success of the event from the opening ceremony to The Freeze and Bobbleheads. The best bit about the event for me was that it was the first time it had ever been hosted in Europe and this meant that there was always something to improve and learn from the guys who had come in from the US which for somebody who is still making their way into the industry was an incredible opportunity. 

Away from the work, my personal highlight of the weekend was being on the field for the US national anthem with the mascots, I couldn't describe how it felt when the anthem ended but it is something that will stick with me for a long time. 

As a BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management graduate, how is the London Stadium suited for different sports/events like this?

The London Stadium is really one of the most universal stadiums in the UK which is why it was selected for the MLB, because no other stadium had the right dimensions to host the event. This all comes down to the London 2012 organisers who really thought about its purpose post Games which other Olympics have struggled to do. 

I have to say that in order to create a multipurpose venue it can have some negative impacts - for football, the seats are a little further away than consumers are traditionally used to. However, MLB managed to effectively negotiate this with temporary stands showing how venues that are not designed for certain sports can still effectively host them. When you also consider that over the space of a few months the London Stadium will host football, baseball and athletics before transitioning back into the football stadium it really does show the planning that went into the stadium before London 2012 and has been carried on since. 

Tell us more about Event 360, how did you get the job and what sort of progression and experience? 

I have been at EVENT360 for around three months now and actually found the job through a connection on LinkedIn who was also a UCFB graduate. I never would have been in a position to apply for the job without UCFB. Having a degree helped, however, it was the placements and industry experience that I feel gave me the confidence to know I could do the job. The company itself organises pre, during and post-match entertainment for leading organisations such as NFL, MLB, The FA, RFU, WRU and UEFA, among others, and this does bring pressure as you need to ensure standards are met. However, it is a great chance to learn from those around me and develop from shadowing the producers. 

Right now I am just continuing my development learning more about the company and how they operate however I am starting to see myself getting more involved and trusted to come up with solutions. I never thought I would have already worked on The FA Cup, Nations League and MLB. I really believe this came from committing to placements at UCFB. Looking forward I just want to keep learning and hopefully, in the future, I can work on my own small projects on aspects of events. 

The London series has been such a success. How is MLB making such a big impact coming over to Europe? And why is it important for the brand? 

When you look at all the major sports leagues they are all known all over the world from the clubs to the top players. Before this weekend I would not have put MLB in this bracket however after seeing how the fans reacted and speaking to everyone involved in the event I can certainly see that through international events like this they can bring the league to the next level. In the UK a huge number of people follow the NFL and even if they don't have a team for the MLB the London Series can achieve the same thing creating a following in the UK and Europe. 

Tell us about your highlights from you time at UCFB? What have you taken from your degree and your time at UCFB into the workplace?

My highlights from UCFB are the placements I was lucky enough to secure with London Marathon Events, Lacrosse World Cup, DNC, Keith Prowse and The FA. My degree gave me the basics of the industry, however, more than anything it allowed me to put myself in front of employers and show what I can do. Going into higher education is key however you cannot graduate with just a degree - you need industry experience to back yourself up especially in the events industry where you do not necessarily need a degree. 

I am looking forward to seeing everyone from my course and seeing where they are in their careers come graduation in October. I am still waiting to get my grade confirmed as I may just get a 1st so that is the main thing for right now. But it will be really good to see everyone again and look back at the past three years.