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Volume 24 No. 117
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Fox Sports University, Now 10 Years Old, Mixes Academic Exercises With Real Challenges

The Fox Sports University marketing initiative is 10 years old this week, and it now boasts a roster of 42 participating colleges from 11 conferences and a host of what its execs say are success stories. The program started at the Univ. of Florida, which designed an entire class around it, according to Lindsay Amstutz, who was recently named Senior VP & GM of FS West, FS San Diego and Prime Ticket. This semester, Fox Sports U launched projects in 16 schools, including Maryland, Xavier and Oregon. Projects focus on Fox Sports properties, including the '18 FIFA World Cup and the '18 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Fox Sports execs including President & COO Eric Shanks and Exec VPs Mike Mulvihill, Terri Hines and Craig Sloan have taken part in the initiatives. “These are academic exercises, but they are also real-life challenges,” Amstutz said. “It lets us connect with the next generation and tap into their creativity. It also teaches us about Snapchat and other social media platforms.” The initiative presents classes at the schools with a business-related issue, and students work on a plan to solve it. The NHL Kings used a marketing campaign developed by USC students for several years, Amstutz said. Earlier this year, for example, they had students from the Univ. of North Carolina come up with marketing plans around Fox Sports’ Procast app. Fox Sports used the winning campaign for some of its online marketing around the Super Bowl. “But sometimes the reality of the sports business gets in the way,” Amstutz said, referring to an SMU marketing campaign that was created for the Stars in '13, the season of the most recent NHL lockout. “That campaign didn’t go anywhere,” Amstutz said.