DAYTONA, Fl. — Josten Boyer was a three-sport athlete in high school, but none of them involved stock cars going over 200 miles per hour around a track. Nowadays, however, she’s getting acquainted with the world of high speed, restrictor plates and checkered flags.
Boyer, a 2016 New London graduate, landed a job with NASCAR, the world’s biggest racing organization, as an Account Executive.
Boyer moved down to the capital of NASCAR racing and began her new gig last week. She’s no stranger to the work she has ahead of her, having previously landed a job with the National Basketball Association’s Memphis Grizzlies. She made her way to Memphis after graduating with a degree in Sports and Recreation Management in just three years.
Boyer says she went into the University of Iowa to go into pre-dentistry, but figured out early on that she wanted to switch gears.
“I took one chemistry course, and it was just not for me,” she says. “I had a couple of friends who were in sports and recreation already. My freshman year, I just took one course in that sports and recreation program. I ended up taking one class and meeting with the professors and sitting down with the advisors there just to see what this world is, and I really just dove right in.”
After an internship at Solon High School, Boyer worked for the Grizzlies for a little over 10 months. People within the Grizzlies organization helped her move even further south, to move into her position at NASCAR.
“I loved my time in Memphis, it just didn’t shake out,” Boyer says. “With the sports world, something I learned is you have to jump around to move up the ladder.”
Though she’s quickly learning, Boyer wasn’t much of a racecar fan herself. She says her family didn’t usually have the races on TV and she rarely went to a track herself.
“To be honest, when I was in high school, I went to 34 Raceway maybe twice, and to hang out with friends, not to watch drivers,” she says.
Luckily, though, she’s not the only fresh face in the room, and she’s been able to learn on the go.
“My direct manager actually just came from the Oakland Athletics organization, so he’s pretty fresh too,” Boyer says. “You learn on the fly, follow the accounts on social media, follow the drivers, and you pick up on it.”
Of course, this isn’t the most ideal time to be trying to sell out grandstands. NASCAR, along with every other professional sports league in America, is currently on hiatus due to the Coronavirus outbreak. But Boyer is keeping her spirits up.
Boyer explained that she’d be much more concerned if she was still working with the Grizzlies. The NBA regular season is set to end in mid-April, with the playoffs following, and the peak of COVID-19 in the United States is set to be around that time, putting the rest of the basketball season in grave danger. The NASCAR season is scheduled all the way until early November.
“Right now, if I was still working for the Grizzlies, the season is really gray and up in the air,” she says. “I would be calling my clients and just kind of being there to listen to them. Here at NASCAR, we are very, very fortunate that we still have a lot of heft in the fall.”
The NASCAR season is one of the longest running professional sports seasons each year. The races take place over a nine-month stretch, giving Account Executives plenty of events to sell.
Boyer also says NASCAR tickets are a little less stressful to sale, since someone wins every race. With Memphis, she says, the sales often depended on how the team was doing.
“If we went on a five-game losing streak, it would be hard to come in and make calls to clients,” she says.
Boyer says despite leaving the Grizzlies, she’ll always be a Memphis basketball fan.
When Boyer was in high school, she played volleyball, basketball and softball. She was a part of multiple state softball qualifiers and helped the Tigers to a state volleyball berth in her junior year.
Boyer says she still follows New London sports, crediting the very active Tiger social media pages. She also checks in with her little brother Jax, who will be graduating from New London this spring.
The 2016 grad says if she had to give current high school students some advice, she’d say not to be afraid to try something new, and feel out what you might want to make a career out of.
“I would say, take one little course, even if it’s online,” she says. “You’ve got to dip your little toe in. Don’t be afraid. If you just have the slightest bit of interest I would recommend sitting down with that academic advisor and figuring out the possibilities.”