by Claire Miller
Announcers at professional sporting events often supplement their play-by-play coverage with advertisements from event sponsors.
These audio spots, in addition to video ads that air during timeouts and between games, take time to create and must run on a certain schedule to ensure sponsors get the exposure they pay for.
During the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament in July, it was College of Education graduate student Jimmy Vance's job to "run the show," as he puts it, working behind the scenes to help manage the tournament sponsorships.
"I was in charge of making sure we fulfilled our contract agreements, determining when mini commercials would run on the Jumbotron during the breaks and handling the technical side of things," he explained. "I also communicated with the PA announcer to make sure we had the right pronunciation for players."
For Vance, a first-year student in the COE's Sports Administration program and an intern with U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Southern, the tournament was one of the major projects he's had the opportunity to work on since beginning his internship this spring.
He stayed busy in the first few months of his internship by writing stories, match previews and summaries about different tournaments in the southeast for USTA Southern's website; but this summer, his focus shifted to working with BB&T Atlanta Open's sponsors to make sure all the advertising was ready to broadcast and that each sponsoring organization’s contract was carried out over the course of the tournament.
"I've done a little work with sponsorships, but communicating with them to make sure we covered everything in our contract was new for me," he explained. "I’ve gained new skills that I didn't have previously when it comes to web content and running a show."
This internship, in addition to the previous internships he's done with the Atlanta Falcons, has given Vance the opportunity to put the skills and knowledge he's gained in his COE classes to the test.
His coursework at Georgia State University has covered everything from the structure of collegiate athletics to its hiring processes. And GSU's location in downtown Atlanta puts him in close proximity to the kinds of organizations he hopes to work for in the future.
"I wanted to come to Georgia State because Atlanta has so many opportunities to gain more experience in the sports industry – several colleges, sports teams and nonprofits are located here," he said.
Though Vance has at least a year left before he'll graduate with his master's degree, he's looking forward to the kind of experiences his internships and COE classes have afforded him.
"This is why I'm in the business – I love sports and working at events," he said.
For more information about the COE's Sports Marketing program, visit http://education.gsu.edu/KIN/kh_Sports_Admin_MS.html.