ESPN Sessions launches Jan. 16

ESPN’s presence on Full Sail’s campus has provided a number of different opportunities for students in our Film and Sports Marketing & Media programs. Now, a new collaboration between ESPN and Full Sail promises to provide enrichment to students in even more degree programs.

On Jan. 16, Full Sail launches the first of its ESPN Sessions, short-term team projects that are open to students in all campus and online degree programs. The monthly sessions will help give students an understanding of how sports networks operate behind the scenes in the areas of technology, marketing, and production – and then challenge them to develop creative sports broadcast plans of their own.

“Not only are we going to talk about what’s going on in sports broadcasting, but we’re going to work on projects surrounding upcoming ESPN events,” explains Director of Undergraduate Business Schools Eric Saperstein.

Each session will focus on a particular type of sporting event, and for the first session on Jan. 16, students will look at how marathons are covered in broadcast media, since ESPN will be covering the 2013 New York City Marathon.

“We’re going to look at how other marathons have been covered, [such as] in the Olympics and the Ironman Triathlon,” says Saperstein. “The Olympics cover a lot of human interest stories, versus just the pure sport.”

Students will then break into teams that focus on technology, marketing, or production where they will brainstorm methods for covering the sport in new and innovative ways. Faculty members George McNeilly, Kate Hartig, and Marianthy Troupos – all of whom have experience working with ESPN – will lead each team.

For the New York City Marathon, Saperstein says student teams might look at things like creative camera placements, heart rate monitors on athletes, or human interest stories relating to the impact of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

“From a production standpoint, there’s 26 miles to cover,” he says, “The question is, how can you do it in a new, innovative and better way?”

Saperstein says the purpose of ESPN Sessions is to help students develop entertainment and media skills, but also to possibly affect how ESPN covers sporting events. At the end of each project, the teams will present their ideas as a proposal to ESPN.

“The goal is to do it far enough out so we can have an impact on this year’s coverage,” he says.