When Ashleigh Middlebrook came to study at Missouri State University in 2002, she began with a general business major. But her family’s affinity with sports got her interested in MSU’s entertainment management program.
She graduated in December 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in entertainment management.
That summer, she interned with the Springfield Cardinals and found a love for baseball.
“I moved back home after graduating and I applied for pretty much any and every entertainment/sports type job in the St. Louis area,” Middlebrook said. “I joined the Cardinals in January 2006 for their inaugural season at Busch Stadium III and have been part of the team ever since.”
She is currently the director of event operations for the St. Louis Cardinals.
A prestigious honor
Recently, Middlebrook was selected as one of 32 recipients of the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) Katy Feeney Leadership Awards. This annual program recognizes one exceptional female employee in the front office at each of the 30 MLB clubs, one from the office of the commissioner and one from the MLB network.
The awards celebrate the significant contributions and outstanding initiative demonstrated by these women and honor the legacy of Katy Feeney. Feeney is an MLB executive who worked for the league for 40 years. She was a select few women who rose to the executive level, finally retiring as Vice President of Club Relations and Scheduling.
Honorees were selected based on exemplary leadership qualities. Each recipient is chosen by the executive management for demonstrating exceptional leadership within their organization.
The impact of good education
According to Middlebrook, the entertainment management program at MSU played a pivotal role in shaping her career. Her time at MSU helped her with networking and developing the skills needed for career advancement.
“They continue to encourage and guide me,” Middlebrook said.
She notes that one of the most valuable things she learned in this program is the ability to absorb information, summarize it and present the most vital details.
“The sports industry can be a very fast paced environment. Having the ability to disseminate vital information succinctly whether it be to executive management, my game day staff or the millions of guests we see every year is a resource I’m so thankful I learned at MSU.”