University of Minnesota

Ashley Hanne

University of Minnesota
Where did you go to school? What did your FOX Sports U project involve? Did it change what career path you want to pursue after you graduate?

I graduated from the University of Minnesota in May of 2015. I earned a degree in Professional Strategic Communication from the School of Journalism, and also have a minor in Management from the Carlson School of Business. I was lucky enough to be part of the Fall 2013 Fox Sports University project at the University of Minnesota. Our group was tasked with raising the profile of Hockey Day Minnesota–both locally in the state for FOX Sports North as well as nationally with additional FOX Sports properties. We created 360 campaigns designed to air winter of 2014 that included on-air, grassroots, digital, social and viral multimedia to elevate the sport of hockey across the state of Minnesota and across the country. Our group specifically focused on bringing people back to the core reason why they love the sport of hockey. Whether they grew up playing with their dad on a frozen pond in the neighborhood, or played competitively their whole life, we were really trying to pull out those bigger picture memories and feelings from our audience. Being part of this program definitely helped shape my career path. I am a very passionate person, and I love bringing that passion to everything I do in life. Working on this campaign helped me realize how much passion there is in the sports industry. From the players and coaches, to the on air talent and people who work behind the scenes to make every game the best it can be, everyone involved has a lot of heart. I knew this was something I would love to be a part of long term.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far in your new role?

I have learned so much in my role as National Advertising Sales Coordinator at Fox Sports North. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is truly how much behind the scenes work and man power goes into getting a commercial from client, to on-air. In my role I work directly with account executives at Home Team Sports (a Fox Sports Media Group). These account executives represent media agencies and national advertisers who buy ad space in live games and network shows from Fox Sports stations. I communicate with the HTS account executives on a daily basis to place spots ordered by national advertisers into our live programming on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin. It is always rewarding to watch a Twins game or a Wild game and see our clients’ ads running during commercial breaks and know that I was part of the process to get them there.

What was the most important lesson/skill you learned in working with Fox Sports University?

One of the most important lessons I learned from working on the Fox Sports University project was how to work efficiently and effectively in a creative group setting. Since we were challenged with creating a complete 360 campaign, there were a lot of moving pieces to account for, as well as a lot of great ideas from great people. One of the hardest parts I can remember was trying to narrow down everyone’s various ideas for our campaign into one concise, big picture concept. I think our group did an awesome job staying organized and on track. We held many brainstorm sessions and made sure every member’s leadership role within the group was clear in order to avoid any road blocks along the way. This project set the bar for how I approached working in group settings moving forward.

What advice would you give students your age looking to land an internship or full-time job at a place like FOX?

My biggest piece of advice for anyone looking to land a job in the sports industry would be, get to know the right people, and make yourself stand out. There are so many college graduates that want to work in the sports industry. Just applying for a position and sending in your resume isn’t enough. The power of making connections is huge and will get you so far in this industry. I would suggest finding a mentor in the field you are interested in and meet them for coffee or lunch once every few months. Ask them questions and just soak up all of the knowledge they have to offer. I would also suggest getting as much real world experience through internships as you can while still in school. You learn a lot in class, but nothing compares to learning from real experience.

What is the best project you’ve worked on so far?

I have been involved in so many exciting things in my time here at Fox thus far, but I am very excited for the project I have coming up in June. One of our national clients is Pepsi. Each year, Pepsi holds a contest for the public to win a chance to be the “Pepsi Sportscaster of the Game” at 20 different Twins home games throughout the summer. Once the winner for each game is selected by Pepsi, I get to be the one to call them and let them know they won. On the day of the game, I will take the winners over to Target Field to show them around, escort them out onto the field, and assist them while they film a short pre-game segment that will air in that day’s game. I can’t wait to get started on this awesome project!