You can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting a Louisiana-based sports story.
• LSU is headed to the College World Series – again – hoping to add a sixth national title.
• The big winners in this year’s Triple Crown horse races were Louisiana jockeys: Kent Desormeaux won the Belmont Stakes and Calvin Borel won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (on different horses).
• The Zephyrs are in Memphis, having won six of their last nine games.
• The Saints are at minicamp, prepping for their first preseason game on August 14 (vs. Cincinnati).
• Even though it’s the off season for the Hornets, they’re still making news. Chris Paul’s CP3 Foundation recently handed out hurricane preparedness kits at the Arena.
• The Jesters, the area’s new professional soccer team, remained unbeaten as of June 6.
• The city will host the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2012 and the Women’s Final Four in 2013, as well as regional basketball in 2010 and 2011.
• Oh, and in case you’ve been out of touch the last few weeks, New Orleans was awarded Super Bowl XLVII (2013).
Why is all this important? In addition to the revenue these athletes, games and events generate, the wide world of sports brings positive attention to the state. And it provides jobs in PR, advertising and print journalism.
The SMC offers myriad opportunities to get involved in this convergence of sports and media. Interns and alums are working in sports with newspapers, TV stations, Web sites and with the teams themselves. (See the spring 2009 SMC newsletter for a cover story on students – past and present – involved in local sports/media activities.) Our student newspaper, The Maroon, boasts a number of awards for sports reporting, including the best sports story at the 2008 Louisiana Press Association’s annual awards.
And that’s not all. This fall, Les East will again teach Sports and the Media (CMMN-A394-002). It’s a very hands-on kind of class. According to Professor East – whose résumé includes considerable sports/media experience – students will work in teams to cover a Hornets game either as reporter, photographer, columnist or blogger. They’ll work as “interns for a day” at Loyola’s or Tulane’s sports information department and at a local sports media outlet like WGSO radio or neworleans.com. And they’ll get the chance to meet and learn from class speakers, like last year’s: Ken Trahan, sports director, WGSO, and general manager, neworleans.com; Jeff Duncan, sports writer, The Times-Picayune; Gil McGregor, CST color analyst for Hornets’ games.
You don’t have to be a jock, a budding sports reporter or have your own fantasy football team. This course will open your eyes and experiences to the opportunities available for those who want to put their communications skills to work in a sports-related industry. (Want more details? Contact Professor East at firstname.lastname@example.org.)