Tyler Baldwin was destined to become a Bear.
The Springfield, Missouri, native grew up attending Missouri State University sporting events with his parents, who are both MSU alumni.
“We went to Bears basketball games, Lady Bears games with Jackie Stiles and football games,” Baldwin said. “I think it instilled a lot of Missouri State pride.”
Baldwin is the executive director of entertainment for Boyd Gaming Properties in Las Vegas. Boyd Gaming owns over 28 properties. Its largest entertainment venue Orleans Arena hosts up to 200 events every year.
Becoming a business Bear
As a student, Baldwin was undecided on his major until his sophomore year.
“I knew I wanted to work in the sports industry on the business side,” Baldwin said. “But I didn’t know a degree like entertainment management existed.”
When his advisor learned of his love for sports, she suggested a career in entertainment management. Baldwin then met with Dr. Benjamin Goss and Dr. Philip Rothschild, two professors in the department of management, who encouraged him to pursue the program.
“That’s when my excitement in finding my degree and my passion really took off,” Baldwin said.
He graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in entertainment management.
Baldwin’s work of bringing the sports world to Las Vegas opened new opportunities to the city that will grow for years to come.
From intern to mentor
In 2010, Baldwin interned at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The venue is home to teams including the Flyers and the 76ers.
Upon his return to Missouri State, the venue asked Baldwin to return for a permanent position. Rothschild and Goss helped him finish up his degree remotely so he could return to Philadelphia and start his career.
Years later, Rothschild helped him connect with his current employer in Las Vegas.
“I’m very fortunate that Dr. Rothschild and Dr. Goss have been so supportive of my career,” Baldwin said.
“That’s why I feel it’s important to stay connected to Missouri State and help mentor current students.”
He served as president of the Entertainment Management Alumni Association for two years. Under his leadership, the association and Rothschild set up a mentoring network to connect students with alumni.
Baldwin still works with current students as a mentor and has hired students for internships and permanent roles.
Reimagining entertainment in Las Vegas
Sports became the source of entertainment that kept Las Vegas afloat through COVID-19 slowdowns.
“When I moved out here, there were no pro sports teams in Las Vegas,” said Baldwin. “There was no appetite to bring them here knowing the gambling aspects, but sports betting has grown across the country so that mindset has changed.”
The city has since brought in teams like the Raiders and the Golden Knights.
“Las Vegas has shown a lot of dedication to expanding in the sports sector,” Baldwin said. “Different venue and hotel groups, and the city itself have come together on this.”
Boyd Gaming and other hotel groups like MGM and Caesar’s came together to bring in major sporting events, such as U.S. figure skating competitions, NBA tournaments and the World Wrestling Championships. Their collaboration allowed them to put on key events safely and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
Las Vegas is also set to host its first college basketball (NCAA) National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in spring 2023 at the Orleans Arena under Baldwin’s direction.
“I really love this industry,” Baldwin said. “We’re not brain surgeons, but I think I’m doing my part in the happy business, putting smiles on faces while introducing them to their first shows or major sporting events.”