The Sports Marketing & Media program launched in 2010, after a Career Development-led sports industry study that found that sports teams and agencies were in need of a way to connect evolving technologies and new media strategies with the traditional sports marketing business.
“It’s pretty exciting, and I think one of the reasons the degree exists is because these organizations don’t really know yet what kind of positions they need, and they’re looking for solutions,” says Josh Mora, the Sports Marketing & Media Program Director. “Our graduates will provide the solutions.”
There are two ways to complete the Bachelor’s Degree program: a 32-month online-on-campus hybrid, with the first 17 months online and the last 15 months on campus, or a 21-month all on-campus program. The curriculum is the same, but the 21-month on-campus program moves at a more accelerated pace.
The courses start with engagement (History of Sports Media, Introduction to Marketing), then move on to content creation (Fundamentals of Digital Storytelling, Website Design and Editing) and then get into business (Sports Business Models, Sports Marketing Research, New Media Distribution Channels.) “The basic thrust of it is we teach them how to engage and how to create content, then we take those abilities and apply them to business models,” says Josh.
Besides coursework, students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities with sports companies that Full Sail has partnerships with, including ESPN, the Orlando Magic, and the Central Florida Sports Commission. Recently, students took part in small incubator sessions with ESPN and worked on ESPN’s First Take and Grantland during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
The first graduating class will receive their degrees in September 2013, after completing a Sports Marketing Final Project that involves creating a content-based marketing plan (like a sponsorship, sales, or branding campaign) to help inform a sports business of how they can extend their reach through new media and technology. After graduation, Josh sees students working on integration at a network or an agency, or being a jack-of-all-trades and developing interactive engagement platforms for a team or organization.
“As technology continues to evolve, [students] are going to enter the job force with this really unique skillset,” says Josh. “They’re going to be able to invent what comes next.”