How Fox Sports uses college students for an R&D lab
Fox Sports is going back to school with Fox Sports University.
The program counts 39 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 more than 50 interns who have 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 VR to college football and, specifically, to the Pac-12 Championship Game, which Fox Sports will broadcast. St. John’s sports management majors are focusing on college basketball and the Big East tournament. Working with the Fox Sports Lab group, Fox equipped students at both universities with Samsung 360 cameras to shoot videos that highlight their concepts.
“Let’s go to the source and ask these students directly, ‘What type of VR and 360-degree video will get you to stop scrolling down the Facebook feed?’” said Stires. “A lot of what they’re focusing on is the on-campus experience on game day — tailgates, the press box, the locker room.”
Participating Fox Sports executives visit the classrooms multiple times during the semester and readily hand out their contact info. More recently, the program has included an internal surveying software which asks students to fill out what kind of career paths they want to pursue in an effort to match them when openings do become available.
“These students have spent more time working with our data and resources than other applicants who haven’t gone through the program. It gives them a leg up,” Stires said. “It’s also a testament to the value the company places in this program.”
Digiday’s updated breakdown of 12 publishers’ diversity statistics
A roundup of publishers' diversity reports reveals that nearly all of the companies included have majority white staff, leadership and new hires.
GroupM’s Kieley Taylor and Amanda Grant are on the lookout for the future of identity in advertising
Between's the cookie's demise and Apple's anti-tracking moves, digital advertising's identity picture is still coming into focus.
Cannabis and the workplace: The pandemic has bosses and employees craving its benefits
Employees and employers are turning to the benefits of cannabis to relax as they continue to navigate the pandemic.
SponsoredHow publishers are maximizing retention after the COVID-19 subscription surge
Michael D. Silberman, senior vice president of strategy, Piano For many publishers, 2020 was a good year for subscriptions, and the trend has continued into 2021. For example, over the last month, The New York Times grew active news subscriptions by 48%, and Insider has doubled its subscriber base to just over 100,000 in the […]
Member ExclusiveGlobal Publishing Summit Recap: prepare for a world without cookies
If you were listening in to our Global Publishing Summit on February 24-26, you’re probably still processing the wealth of insights, tips and strategies shared by all the speakers we heard from over the course of the summit. If you weren’t able to attend, fear not: we’re here to distill the key talking points from […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Buying Briefing: Black-owned media companies step to the forefront of the upfront
Mediabrands is bringing together a raft of its biggest clients — about 20 Black-owned and Black-targeted media players — for an Equity upfront.