Larks Named A Best Employer In Sports
Front Office Sports selected the Bismarck Larks baseball team as one of the 30 best employers in sports for 2021. Other notable winners include the Denver Broncos, United Soccer League, 4Front and the Savannah Bananas.
Whether it is great leadership, commitment to diversity and inclusion, employee well-being or philanthropic/social endeavors, Front Office Sports’ Best Employers in Sports award recognizes organizations that do right by their employees.
“You can design, create and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality,” said John Bollinger, Owner and Chief Experience Officer of the Bismarck Larks. “This is one of my favorite quotes from Walt Disney and nothing could be truer. Our people are the cornerstone of a great fan experience and it’s an honor to be recognized for our commitment to them.”
The Larks are especially unique because they operate in a small market 400 miles away from the nearest MLB team. They recruit nationally with 13 of their 15 full time employees moving from out of state to work for the team. The organization has made a name for themselves by selling out consistently, adding goofy entertainment to their games and organizing year-round community events. Their goal is to become the Disneyland of North Dakota.
While some front offices worry about balls and strikes, the Larks are more focused on helping their community. In 2021, the Larks helped facilitate $70,000 to local non-profits and community programs, over 9,000 kids participated in their reading and 3,626 meals were donated during their jersey giveaway event.
“At the end of the day, employees want to work somewhere that gives them purpose, autonomy, the opportunity to be great and ultimately that has fun,” said Bollinger. “The fact that our culture strives to provides that for them each and every day is an award in itself.”
Larks’ employees submitted open-ended surveys to Front Office Sports to win the award. They described the Larks as a team that bucks the trend in sports of long hours and low pay. They still work hard year-round, but also enjoy great benefits, unlimited vacation days, a unique, team-oriented bonus system, continued education opportunities and a culture centered around teamwork and direct feedback.
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