Arizona State University

Austin Controulis

Arizona State University
  • Information Intern/ Assistant, Cleveland Indians
Where did you go to school and when did you graduate? What was your FOX Sports U project about?

I went to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and graduated in May of 2014. For our Fox Sports U project we had to make a marketing campaign to run a contest to find the #1 sports fan in Arizona. My group decided to focus around the team mascots for Arizona teams. We had the mascots in situations that everyday fans would be in to try and show a correlation between the #1 fan and their loyalty/”fanhood” to their Arizona teams. For example, we ran a TV ad in which a fan was on a camping trip…the camera zoomed out and it showed the Arizona Coyotes mascot sitting in the tent with the “superfan” or #1 fan.

What is your current title – what job responsibilities fall under this role?

I currently work for the Cleveland Indians as a Baseball Information intern/assistant. I am essentially in a PR department but for the baseball and statistic side instead of the business side of things. My responsibilities include handling all media credentials for the team, setting up player interviews, finding game statistics for the media, writing press releases and putting together statistical information for coaches and co-workers.

How did your time working on a FOX Sports University project help pave your career path?

My time with Fox Sports University helped me gain a better understanding on how media and marketing works within the sports industry. It allowed me to broaden my skill-set and provided me another avenue in which I could work in the sports industry in the future. I wouldn’t say it had a direct impact in my want to work in sports PR but it definitely made me realize that I wanted to continue working in the sports world.

What is your favorite part of your job?

As I mentioned above, the Fox Sports U program assisted me with my decision to want to work in the sports industry. It broadened my knowledge of different aspects and jobs that the sports industry can offer in terms of marketing and broadcast department positions. Prior to the program, I had internship and experience with working in a sports-related job. I think the program really cemented my want to continue with a career in sports.

What skills or traits would you consider vital for anyone entering the sports and entertainment field post-college?

The biggest skill I took away from working with Fox Sports University was the skill and knowledge on how to build a successful marketing campaign. Prior to the program, I did not have much experience in the marketing world. I had a lot of journalism experience but had never come close to building a full-fledged marketing campaign. Now that I am done with the program, I am able to say that I have built a successful sports marketing campaign. It is something that I can put on my resume and be extremely proud of. I think the Fox Sports U program really allows its participants a great way to differentiate themselves from others who are searching for jobs in the sports industry. Not many college graduates can say that they have built and pitched a marketing campaign to one of the biggest sports media companies in the world.

In order to survive working in the sports or entertainment industry post-college, one needs to realize that it is never a 9-5 job and it will never be a 9-5 job. You work easily 60-100 hours a week and you have to love every part of it or you will probably find yourself being miserable. I think it is absolutely important to intern/work in conjunction with as many companies in the sports and entertainment industry as possible while you are in college. It allows you to really understand how the industry works and the different positions/jobs that are available in the industry. It also tests you to make sure that this is something you really want to do the rest of your life. Some people aren’t cut out to work in this kind of fast-paced and time-intensive industry and that is perfectly okay if you aren’t! It is better to find that out in college with internships and programs like the Fox Sports U program instead of feeling lost once you have graduated.