University of Southern California

Spring 2017 Project Description

Sports Media, and Technology students in USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism were challenged by the FOX Sports Lab team to research and develop a strategy for FOX Sports NASCAR technology to be integrated into NASCAR broadcasts.

 

Professor Profile

Jeff Fellenzer

Jeff Fellenzer

Jeff Fellenzer has more than three decades of experience in sports media, sports management and education, and as an entrepreneur. He is a senior lecturer and full-time professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His “Sports, Business, Media” class, which he has taught since 1999, averages between 150 and 175 students each semester. His newest class, “Sports and Media Technology,” focusing on the tech sector’s impact on sports, launched in fall 2014 in Wallis Annenberg Hall, USC’s new state-of-the-art communications and media center.

 

In a 2012 survey of students, “Sports, Business, Media” was voted the No. 4 most popular class at USC. In April 2014, Fellenzer was featured in Annenberg TV News’ series on “USC’s Most Inspirational Professors.”

 

Among the prominent sports figures Fellenzer has interviewed in his classes are: John Wooden, Jerry West, Bill Walton, Pete Carroll, Byron Scott, Al Michaels, Scott Boras, Keyshawn Johnson, Larry Scott, Ned Colletti, Pat Haden, Kevin Love, Jeanie Buss, George Raveling, Fred Claire, Casey Wasserman, Bill Plaschke, Lee Jenkins, Shelley Smith, Sam Cunningham, Jamaal Wilkes and World War II hero/U.S. Olympian Louie Zamperini (“Unbroken”). His “Weekly Wooden” segments are a tribute to the life lessons of his late friend, the Hall of Fame basketball coach and teacher, who was a three-time class guest.

 

Fellenzer has been a guest lecturer and moderator for sports business and communications events and panels at USC, UCLA, Caltech, the UC Berkeley School of Law, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, University of San Francisco, Long Beach State and Southwestern Law School. He was a featured speaker in July 2015 at the inaugural Front Office Combine, held in conjunction with the NBA Summer League, on the subject of “Networking, Resume Writing and Interviewing,” and speaker/moderator at the inaugural NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles.

 

Fellenzer serves as faculty advisor for the school newspaper at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, where he also teaches a journalism skills class to high school freshmen and sophomores, and as faculty advisor of the USC Sports Business Assn.

 

Fellenzer has been a Heisman Trophy voter since 2007, one of only 43 in California and 925 nationally who have been invited to participate in the selection process for the most prestigious individual award in sports.

 

Fellenzer is a frequent media commentator on sports business issues, having made live, in-studio appearances on the KTLA-TV Channel 5 News in Los Angeles. He was a featured interviewee in ESPN’s recent “Trojan War” documentary, part of the network’s acclaimed “30 for 30” series.  Fellenzer also has been interviewed for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” National Public Radio and KNX News Radio, and has been quoted in publications including Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Associated Press, Forbes.com and MSNBC.com.

 

Fellenzer also serves as a communications consultant for USC Athletics, working with athletes and coaches in developing social media awareness, understanding the media, brand building, media training and improving academic performance through his “Keys to Success in the Classroom” program.  He was a featured speaker at

 

Fellenzer developed and hosted his own hour-long sports TV interview show, “One on One,” for Charter Communications in Long Beach. In-studio guests included John Wooden, Tommy Lasorda, Pete Carroll, Scott Boras, Fred Claire, Dan Guerrero, Stan Morrison and Jim Lampley.

 

Fellenzer was the founder and president of the Pete Newell Challenge, a college basketball doubleheader held annually in the Bay Area from 1997 to 2006 that honored the late Hall of Fame coach and teacher. The event still holds the record for the largest crowd ever to see a college basketball game in California. On Dec. 21, 2000, a sellout crowd of 19,804 at The Arena in Oakland watched No. 3-ranked Stanford defeat No. 1-ranked and eventual national champion Duke, 84-83.

 

In February 2012, Fellenzer recruited, hosted and moderated an elite panel of Olympic broadcasters at the inaugural USC Olympics Conference: “Stories from the Booth: Broadcasters and the Games,” with Al Michaels, Jim Nantz and Jim Lampley.

 

Holder of undergraduate and graduate degrees from USC Annenberg, Fellenzer has served as an editor for several sports-related books, including: “Never Make the Same Mistake Once,” a tribute to the late USC baseball coach, Rod Dedeaux, by Robert Leach; “Fred Claire: My 30 Years in Dodger Blue,” an autobiography, and “Money Players” and “Go Pro Like a Pro,” both by Marc Isenberg.

 

Fellenzer is the immediate past president and current member of the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Education Foundation, and director/founder of the Spirit of Sue, a fund that offers financial assistance for arts-related programs in the Long Beach Unified School District, honoring his late mother, longtime Long Beach educator Sue Fellenzer. He is a frequent speaker and interviewer at the annual Most Inspiring Students Awards in Long Beach, and in November 2011 spoke on behalf of his friend Louie Zamperini at the annual U.S. Vets “Honoring Those Who Serve” luncheon.

 

Fellenzer worked as an editor/writer at the Los Angeles Times for almost eight years, writing a column on recruiting and serving as sports coordinator for the original L.A. Times Web site that became latimes.com…before leaving to launch the Pete Newell Challenge and start his own company, Innovative Sports Management.

 

An avid runner, patron of the arts and longtime supporter of the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum who officiated his second wedding ceremony in November 2015, Fellenzer is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, having appeared in two sports-related films: “Blue Chips” (1993), with Nick Nolte and Shaquille O’Neal, and “Cobb” (1994), with Tommy Lee Jones.

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