FOX Sports and SIM Partner to Provide Students with Real-World Experience

FOX Sports and SIM Partner to Provide Students with Real-World Experience

Photo courtesy of Sam Yarin

Ten students in Georgetown’s Master’s in Sports Industry Management (SIM) program just completed a first-ever summer elective called “FOX Sports University.” Working with executives from FOX Sports, the students tackled a real-life challenge: the promotion of the 2015 Big East College Basketball Tournament.

‘Barely any limitations’

The course kicked off on May 22, when students met with FOX Sports executives to discuss needs and goals for the 2015 Big East Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Then they were divided into teams and asked to develop strategic marketing approaches based on research, competitive analysis and brand understanding.

The overall objective of the project was to strengthen audience engagement beyond core fans using unique marketing and digital concepts, especially online media ( and social media (@hoopsonFOX on Twitter).

Students began by reviewing promotions used for the 2014 tournament held at Madison Square Garden, including weekly Google hangouts and a stunt in New York City’s Grand Central Station.

In order to be successful, they needed to practice creative concept development, leadership, client relations, business writing, teamwork and time management.

“The FOX Sports University class at Georgetown gave me a hands-on experience into working in the sports world,” says SIM student Spencer Weissberg. “Meeting with their executives really drilled home the fact that our project could be meaningful to their marketing plans in the future. With barely any limitations, we were motivated to make the project as creative as possible.”

‘Fresh Ideas and Out-of-the-Box Thinking’

The final aspect of the course gave students the opportunity to practice their presentation and public speaking skills.

On August 7, each of the Georgetown student teams presented a 360-degree campaign designed to use all FOX Sports assets: TV, digital, social, on-site activation and promotions.

“Being asked to speak in front of a diverse FOX Sports panel gave me presenting experience that I will need in the world I hope to enter,” adds Weissberg. “I left the class with a tangible product that I can use in the future to show that I created a comprehensive digital marketing campaign that affected a real organization. Not many other classes can provide that kind of opportunity.”

Photo courtesy of Emily Parker

Several FOX Sports executives listened to and evaluated the student presentations:

  • Claudia Howard
    Brand Director, Consumer Marketing
  • Kaitlyn Beale
    Manager, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships
  • Emily Parker
    Manager, Communications
  • Patrick Muldowney
    Manager, Social Media

“Working with Georgetown’s SIM program was a great opportunity for FOX Sports because the school is a founding member of the Big East and the students working on the project have a unique perspective being from a member school,” explains Howard. “Each group provided fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking that sparked internal brainstorming sessions at FOX Sports heading into the upcoming basketball season.”

Winning team members were David Fink, Brian Gill and Alex Ozenberger.

Future Plans

“The partnership with FOX Sports had an immediate and meaningful impact on our students. They were challenged to produce superior work in a highly stimulating and competitive environment,” says Bobby Goldwater, interim associate dean of the Georgetown SIM program. “We are very proud of the students’ professionalism and creative presentations and very impressed with the commitment and guidance provided by the participating FOX executives. It will be exciting to see how the students’ work is integrated into the marketing plan for FOX’s coverage of Big East basketball.”

FOX Sports partners with 25 universities across the country and the program is continuing to grow each year. A few other participating schools are University of Southern California, University of North Carolina, University of Florida and DePaul University. Each school is challenged with a project that focuses on one of FOX Sports’ national or regional properties.

Students participating in FOX Sports University classes have been selected for more than 30 internships and five full-time job placements with FOX Sports in addition to other sports organizations and team partners. Student-generated campaigns have also won prestigious Telly, Addy and Promax awards.

FOX Sports University will be back next summer with a new challenge for Georgetown Sports Industry Management students.

More Information
Master’s in Sports Industry Management program
Georgetown University’s partnership with FOX Sports University


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