FOX Sports University Teaches Students the Business Behind the Game

Dec 4, 2014 11:00 AM ET
After years of building relationships with top universities and their sports teams, FOX Sports saw an opportunity to become more involved in the classroom. In 2008, the company launched FOX Sports University, an academic program that gives college students hands-on experience in the sports business. The current academic year is the largest yet for the program, which now offers courses at 27 schools across the U.S.
"We had such success with the first two schools, Florida and USC, that we knew we were on to something," said Chris Hannan, Executive Vice President of Communications and Integration at FOX Sports. "We realized that this has to continue to be something that's impactful in terms of education and what we're providing with projects and the real-world experience."
By partnering with business and journalism schools, as well as sports management programs, FOX Sports University puts students in touch with FOX Sports executives to address a marketing, research, technology, or strategy challenge that the business faces. The executives outline the challenge, and by the end of the course, the students pitch their solution, be it an advertising campaign, a marketing strategy, or any number of additional projects.
"I see a real increase in students' marketing skills," Judy Foxman, Senior Lecturer of Marketing at Southern Methodist University, said of the program in a recent Forbes story. "Their confidence has grown exponentially in their communication ability and their professionalism... It's a rigorous, hands on, dress rehearsal of what you will be doing once you're out in the real world."