USF – Spring 2014
University of South Florida
I attended graduate school at the University of South Florida in the Sport and Entertainment Management MBA program (’15). We had the opportunity to take part in FOX Sports U during our Sport Marketing course in the first year of the program. The goal of our project was to create a 360 degree marketing campaign in order to improve viewership for Tampa Bay Rays broadcasts. In our project, we focused on many of the same areas that I work in on a daily basis in my current position—on-air concepts, off-air promotions, social media continuity, partnership tie-ins, researching new technologies and marketing tools, and cost effectiveness.
At the time, I was preparing to begin a residency with the Tampa Bay Lightning in ticket sales. Having participated in FOX Sports U before beginning that position was huge for me. I was able to see two different segments of the industry and then choose where I felt my abilities were best utilized, which led me back to FOX Sports.
I can thank all of our team partners for the most interesting thing I’ve learned so far in my new role. In most companies, employees have the opportunity to work with one brand, one goal, and one direction. As a coordinator working on the ground floor with each of our six team partners as well as the FOX Sports brand, I’ve been able to see seven different strategies and outlooks. As I move forward in my career, this will become invaluable because at an early stage, I’ve already been exposed to a number of different perspectives.
The most important skill we learned while working with FOX Sports U was the real world industry exposure. We were responsible for thinking like executives and creating a campaign with a consistent theme and message. We had to willingly accept constructive criticism to improve our work. Ultimately presenting our ideas to FOX Sports and Tampa Bay Rays executives was extremely important to a group of students.
My best advice for students looking for internships or entry level positions is to network as much as possible. Reach out to as many industry professionals as reasonably possible with the goal of having brief informational interviews about their roles, their career paths, and the industry. Come prepared with specific questions and be genuinely curious about their experiences. Going into it with the motive of asking for a position is a recipe for failure—instead, ask if they have a reference for another connection to make or if they have advice on what next steps to take next.