Sport media is a fast-growing field of study due to the ever-increasing popularity of sports around the world. New forms of communication brought on by advancing technologies have opened the door for many career opportunities. At Grace, the Sport Media major combines the study of sport management with the study of journalism and media communication to prepare students for such career possibilities. Students learn how to reach a mass audience using a curriculum that spans the media range and hones their communication skills through the Journalism/Communication major. Students completing the program will be involved in applied learning opportunities across campus and possibly with major sport organizations and events during their course work, taking advantage of opportunities such as practicums, volunteer opportunities and internships.
Examples of courses in this major:
An introduction to the field of sport management. This course allows the student to investigate the various career options and curriculum choices in sport management.
This course is the beginning course for the study of the business of sport. The course emphasis will be on business practices as related to the operation of sport organizations. Sport budgets and marketing will be key components of this course.
A survey of mass media in society, including newspapers, magazines, radio, recording industry, television, film, Internet, advertising, photojournalism and communication theory. This course covers the history, economic controls, governmental controls, problems, effects of research, and societal importance of the information and entertainment media.
Instruction and practice in writing for newspapers, including current news, features, sports, government, editorials, etc. Includes practical experience writing for the campus and local newspapers.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.S. in Physical Education, Grace College; M.A. in Physical Education, Kent State University; Ed.D. in Sport Sociology, The University of Alabama
Darrell Johnson is the Director of the Sport Management program. He is an active member in many professional organizations including AAHPERD, NASPE, AAPAR, IAHPERD and NASSM. He has presented at numerous state and national conventions and meetings on different sport management and physical education topics. Johnson is active in major sports events by volunteering, and he encourages his students to also be involved. Some of his recent experiences include the 2013 President’s Cup, the 2012 Super Bowl, the 2011 Big 10 Football Championship, the 2012 PGA Senior Championship and the USGA Senior Open. He regularly leads a group of students on a one-week trip to Atlanta, Georgia to study African-American culture and the rich history of African-American athletes. As a student, he was a pitcher on the Lancer baseball team and currently holds the record for the most wins in a career and the most wins in a season. In 2009, he was inducted into the Grace College Athletic Hall of Fame.
B.S. in Health and Physical Education, Grace College; M.Ed. in Physical Education and Exercise Science, University of Missouri
Grace College students are fortunate to learn from Jim Kessler, the head coach for the Lancers men's basketball team. “Coach K” has been at the helm of the Lancers basketball program and part of the school’s faculty since 1975. One of the winningest active coaches in the nation, Kessler is a graduate of Grace College, where he had a four-year playing career with the Lancers men’s basketball team. In addition to coaching, he teaches coaching courses for the Sport Management program and methods courses for the School of Education. Coach K and his wife, Susanne, have four grown daughters and reside in Winona Lake, Indiana.
B.M.E., Grace College; M.M.E., Indiana University; Ph.D A.B.D., University of Iowa; M.A., Indiana Wesleyan University; Ed.D., Indiana Wesleyan University.
Terry White has extensive experience in journalism. He was founder, editor or publisher of two magazines and three newspapers and publisher of BMH Books. He is former president of the Evangelical Press Association (EPA) and was honored by the EPA and the National Association of Evangelicals with top awards for his contributions to Christian journalism. He has recently authored a book on the centennial history of Winona Lake, called, "Winona at 100: Third Wave Rising".
B.S. in Communication and Business, Grace College; M.A. in Communication, Ball State University
Mike Yocum joined the Grace College faculty in 1999. He is the program director for the Communication Department and directs the theatre program at Grace. Yocum is also a professional actor, performing in four to five productions a year. In addition to his acting, he is a singer, lighting and set designer, director, production manager and writer. He is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) trainer and has led numerous workshops over the past 20 years.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
A sports reporter is someone who covers sports events or news for a newspaper, website or magazine. Sports reporters record information at games or conduct interviews with coaches and athletes, then relay that information to the public via the written word. They rarely use all the information compiled, but instead focus their stories on key moments of an event or interview. They must have not just an understanding of key elements of sports, but strong sentence structure and grammar. They must possess strong note-taking skills and write quickly, as many are expected to have their stories in within 30 minutes to an hour following a game. Sometimes, sports writers write more than one draft of the same story, updating it as more quotes become available.
A communications coordinator drafts press releases and contacts outside media outlets to print or broadcast their information. This includes writing, editing and distributing marketing materials, presenting information to the media or external clients, and ensuring successful campaigns to promote a brand or service of the organization. This can also include creating community or public awareness of the organization and its role in the community by sponsoring or volunteering for events that represent the organization's interests. External communications can play an important role in an organization's brand, products and services. If an organization introduces a new product, service or information that requires the attention of the entire organization, the communications coordinator will develop, distribute and broadcast the organization's introduction of the new product or service to internal employees. The communications coordinator ensures employees understand the benefits of the new product or service and creates excitement as well as positive internal and external marketing.
A sports talk show host involves running a “talk show” either on television or radio and invites guests to talk on a variety of subjects within the sports arena. A talk show host is all about personality: a candidate needs to have a good, well-groomed look and be able to catch the attention of their audience easily. Talk show hosts are often required to improvise, talking to the guests and sometimes the audience, and provide entertainment for everyone. A good talk show host may also have a special skill of their own with which to amuse their viewers/listeners.
Sports reporters who work for TV and radio stations, as well as websites with broadcast capabilities, must also know about more than the sports they cover. They need to have a firm grasp of video and audio editing equipment as well as how to download sound and video so that it can be seen and heard on the air. Because they spend a lot of time in front of the camera or on the radio or podcasts, sports reporters in the broadcast industry sometimes become as popular (or perhaps even more popular) than the athletes they cover. Sports reporters in all media must possess excellent communication skills, allowing them to decipher the information they have compiled while attending a game, and then present it to readers or the viewing or listening public. They should be confident, motivated, energetic and resilient when covering a game or trying to contact a source.
A sports radio producer is responsible for the making of a sports radio show. He or she is responsible for planning a show and keeping it on schedule; lining up and confirming guests; working with the marketing department to carry out promotions; conferring with the legal department to ensure on-air compliance with local, state and federal rules and regulations; screening phone calls during a call-in show; editing taped interviews and conversations; running the soundboard and writing scripts. A sports radio producer may also participate in the show as an on-air personality.
A sports information director (SID) handles the distribution of info regarding a college's athletic programs. Sports information directors attend sporting events and write recaps of the games before sending them to media outlets. During games, they distribute statistics and let reporters know if records were broken. They also update the athletics pages on their college's website, post and email schedules, statistics, coaching and player profiles. Sports information directors also write and edit press releases, provide credentials for members of the media, and arrange the interviews of coaches and athletes.
A sports editor is responsible for writing and editing sports and sports-related articles on behalf of the firm. Specific duties of a sports editor include keeping an eye on current fads in sports, gathering important information in the area of sports, collecting data from reliable sources, editing and proofreading the work, keeping abreast with the interests of the target audience and sports events, guiding sub-editors in the preparation of write-ups, imparting training to trainee editors, acting as interface between subeditors and the chief editor, working on special projects, participating in new business developments, and performing other tasks assigned by the chief editor. A sports editor typically reports to the chief editor or publications manager.
A sports marketer is involved in the process of buying or selling an athlete, team, sponsor or brand within the sports industry. Sports marketing involves the exchange or transfer of services from buyer to seller in order to raise awareness for both company and client. Sports marketing can be performed through a wide variety of mediums, including public relations, promotion, television and radio interviews, events, branding, placement, sponsorship, endorsement deals, commercials, and on-line efforts using social networking and blogging media. It's the sports marketer who works with the client to figure out their needs in order for the campaign to be executed in the best way possible, including creating a plan with tie-ins to musicians, music videos, video games, philanthropic and charity-related associations.
Sports promoters dream up live events and sell them to the public. Essentially, a sports promoter must explain the where, when, how and why of the event itself to as many people as possible in the market where the show takes place. The promoter secures the building and talent for the show and promotes all aspects of the show to the general public. Every promoter must put together a show he or she feels people will pay to see. The promoter constantly looks for fresh talent and negotiates with these persons on what they will be paid, keeps track of which fighters generate the most buzz in the audience, and attempts to feature these fighters as much as possible. To do this, he or she examines crowd response, merchandise sales and pay-per-view buy rate numbers. A good promoter will also participate in branding the company.
Sports analysts have to be well-versed in how to write and report. A major aspect of being a sports analyst is gathering information. This means talking to the coaches, players and front offices of the teams and leagues the sports analyst is covering. Once that's accomplished, the analyst must put what they have learned into simple—yet informative and occasionally entertaining—terms to help his audience understand his or her message. Writing is another skill a professional sports analyst will need, as well as the ability to discuss what they have learned. A sports analyst who sits in front of a TV camera must be a quick thinker and be prepared to defend his or her analysis should it come under question. Like a writer, a good TV analyst will have done research to back up his or her opinions. Sports analysts must know their sport and take care to be fair and accurate at all times, and must be aware of the nuances of the game if they are truly to be considered an expert.