University of Southern California

Fall 2011 Winners

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and also holds an MSc in Global Communications and Global Media from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a MA in Global Communication from the University of Southern California. Vanessa currently works as the Digital Marketing Coordinator for the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board’s website

“One of the most incredible things about working with Fox [Sports] University was my team’s ability to turn theory into practice and actually find both qualitative and quantitative data to support and develop our creative execution. Successfully doing this with no budget will continue to remind me of the power of great team work!”

“Fox [Sports] University gave me the practical knowledge and real-world experience that took learning marketing research out of the classroom and directly into the field.”

“The tools I learned by taking this class continue to help me in my professional career.”

“Even though I was intimidated by the challenge because of the fact that I as well as my team members were not huge sports fans, I found out that the key to any good campaign was understanding our  target audiences and creating a message that would speak directly to them.”

Bin (Chelsea) Hu

Bin (Chelsea) Hu

Originally from Beijing, China, Bin Hu will graduate in December 2012 with a Master in Communication Management from the University of Southern California. Her diverse job/internship experience includes work in advertising, branding, journalism, project management, translation and China-US business in Fortune 500 companies and local companies. She is pursuing a career in media and marketing, ideally involving China-US business.

“Fox [Sports] University gave us a great opportunity to work on a real project from identifying the target market to designing the whole advertising campaign.”

“It’s such a pleasure to have this hands-on experience in the real professional world and learn more about the entertainment industry.”

“I love how the competition involved both analytical and creative skills.”

“We learnt a lot through the process of quantative analysis, focus groups to concept development, and also enhanced our communication and team work skills.”

“The feedback and comments from the people of Fox [Sports] University are really insightful and valuable.”

“The professionals set a great example for us, and the encouragement from them also makes me more confident and clearer about my career goals.”


Fall 2011 Project Description

FOX Sports U students at the University of Southern California were challenged to research the demographic and consumption habits of high school sports fans in order to develop marketing campaigns for FOX Sports West’s new digital offerings: Prep Zone and Prep Zone Live. Prep Zone launched just one week after the start of USC’s 2011 Fall Semester, and is the new home page for CIF-Southern Section and high school sports coverage on Prep Zone Live is an interactive video player that streams four high school football games every Friday night. It is also an integrated studio host channel that guides users to the best action of the night. The winning campaign was incorporated into a multi-media campaign that launched in Fall 2012.


Professor Profile

Kimberlie Stephens

Kimberlie Stephens

Dr. Stephens strives to work at the intersection of research and practice. A student of organizations, she works as an instructor, facilitator and researcher to bridge academia and industry, allowing each to inform and motivate the other. As an instructor in the Communication Management Masters Program, Dr. Stephens aims to help students understand both the power and limitations of theory-in-practice by requiring them to apply course concepts in corporate, public and non-profit contexts.

Dr. Stephens’ main areas of research are strategic communication, organizational design and interorganizational relationships. Her work aims to increase our understanding of how organizations achieve their strategic goals in the midst of highly interdependent, complex and fast-paced communication environments. She has worked in different capacities with organizations such as the United States Navy, Anna’s Linens, Fox Sports, Nickelodeon and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Dr. Stephens received her doctorate in organizational communication from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Prior to returning to graduate school she received her B.A. in Communication and worked at Promedica International CME, a continuing medical education provider.

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