How Fox Sports uses college students for an R&D lab – Digiday
Fox Sports is going back to school with Fox Sports University.
The program counts 41 universities as partners including USC, Syracuse and Northwestern. Media rights partners including college conferences and pro-sports organizations like NASCAR and the U.S. Golf Association also work with the program. It is a relatively small team with two people overseeing the program. But the team shepherds roughly 39 projects a year — usually one with each partner school — and receives assistance from other Fox Sports departments depending on the nature of the project involved.
For instance, earlier this year, students from the University of South Florida’s sports management program were tasked with developing a multiplatform marketing strategy to get people to watch Tampa Bay Rays games on the Fox Sports Go mobile video app. This required participation from the team that oversees the Fox Sports Go app as well as executives at the Fox Sports Florida and Sun regional sports networks. The team of students with the winning pitch was on hand when Fox Sports shot their creative, which involved Rays players and Fox Sports on-air talent and aired on Fox Sports Sun during the second half of the 2016 season.
“The program gives us all a front-row seat to how [college students] work and interact with media,” said Molly Stires, manager of marketing and strategic partnerships at Fox Sports. “This is the challenge that we and many of our peers face today.”
Bonus: It’s a recruiting tool. To date, Fox Sports has hired 15 full-time employees and 15 interns who completed the program.
Fox Sports University is currently working with students at Arizona State University and St. John’s University to develop strategies for how Fox Sports can use virtual reality and 360-degree videos in live sports. ASU J-school students are focusing on how to bring