By Camey Crossley
If you’ve ever been to a Liberty North sporting event, you’ve probably seen the sports marketing students in action, whether you realize it or not. They create graphics, handle advertisements, cameras, and so much more. These kids go the extra mile working behind the scenes to make everything happen. I sat down with Bailey O’Brien, a junior at Liberty North and 2-year sports marketing student, to ask her all about the program.
What is sports marketing and how do you apply?
“Sports marketing is a class at Liberty North offered in some capacity to all grade levels. First, all students must take ‘Sports Entertainment Marketing’ which is the entry-level class available to any grade. You will learn basic marketing skills, event planning, sponsorship, and a variety of other skills. This class will help prepare you for Advanced sports marketing.
What types of jobs are there in sports marketing class?
“We cover every MHSAA sport and are in charge of making sure the games and accomplishments are shared through our social media, providing a game-day atmosphere online and at events. We do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for not only events but with sponsors, working with different companies to set our sporting events and complexes apart from other schools. Inside the class, there are tons of different jobs that we rotate and everyone has a specialty. We have people making all kinds of graphics, such as game day and score update graphics, that are posted to our various social media. At events we do a lot of jobs; this includes cameras, photos, graphics, a DJ, someone running the TriCaster system, as well as a producer who is in charge of the timing and is the main communicator for the event. We also have a floor person who is in charge of fan interaction, running games, and helping to communicate with the producers. Game days can be crazy!
What made you interested in sports marketing and would you recommend it to future students?
“I honestly originally just took Sports Marketing because my friends told me it was a fun class and I needed to fill up my schedule. Since then I’ve really learned to love the class and I think I have a real passion for it. I’ve made some great friendships which I didn’t initially expect. I enjoyed it so much that I have leveled up into Advanced Sports Marketing.
What have you learned?
“I have learned a lot from this class, like how to communicate with businesses and work in a professional but high-stress environment. It’s helped me learn how to work in groups, to complete a common goal and to make events as good as they can be. It’s really different working on a group project in a normal class versus working to plan a real-life event. There are so many different factors I didn’t anticipate, and if something goes wrong, it’s on you! But it’s so nice to be able to practice these skills in high school, where I’ve got teachers and administrators to lean on for help. They create an environment with high expectations but room for failure. We’re always working together and we’re able to help each other when we fail and problem solve. In addition, I’ve learned other skills like Photoshop and photo editing in general. It was pretty easy to get the hang of and I found I really enjoyed editing! This has been really helpful for other projects outside of class.”