Fox Sports taps students to design marketing campaign

A class of students at the A. B. Freeman School of Business delivered their final presentations on Friday (Dec. 6), but these projects were for more than just a grade. They were to see which team would earn the right to have its marketing campaign executed by Fox Sports.

In December, Freeman students pitched 360-degree marketing campaigns to executives with Fox Sports. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The presentations were the culmination of a semester-long project that took students in Professor of Practice John Howard’s undergraduate Advertising and Brand Promotion class and put them to work on behalf of Fox Sports New Orleans. The assignment? Create a 360-degree marketing campaign to promote the network’s coverage of Louisiana high school sports.

The students spent the semester conducting market research and developing ideas encompassing print, radio, TV and outdoor advertising as well as event marketing and social media. On Friday, representatives from Fox Sports and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) were on hand to see the results of their efforts and choose the winning campaign.

One team created a TV commercial that juxtaposed Louisiana imagery like wild alligators and flying Mardi Gras throws with football scrums and flying footballs. Another designed a clever campaign logo that added football laces to a fleur-de-lis.

In the end, after five hours of presentations and much deliberation, the judges selected “Louisiana: You Create Legends. You Make History,” a campaign built on the state’s reputation for producing future NFL stars, as the winner.

Mary Hyink, director of marketing with Fox Sports New Orleans/Southwest, said judges were particularly impressed by the team’s idea for an accompanying social media hashtag, #WheredYaGeaux, that plays on the local custom of identifying people by where they went to high school.

Winning team members show of their #WheredYaGo T-shirts.
Fox Sports New Orleans plans to use the campaign developed by a team of Freeman School students, above, to promote its coverage of Louisiana high school sports. (Photo by Mary Hyink)

“That really struck a chord with us,” said Hyink. “There were a lot of terrific presentations. I think for us, the true benefit is that not only did we have a winning team, but there were also other teams that we will probably pull an idea or tactic from to add to what we bring to life on air.”

The high school sports campaign was Tulane’s first project in association with Fox Sports’ Creative University program, which involves students in hand-on marketing and communications projects for the network. Tulane is one of 20 universities that Fox Sports has partnered with for the program.

“Our hope is that we’re giving students some real-life, real-client, real-world experience,” said Lindsay Amstutz, vice president of marketing for Fox Sports Networks. “For us, it’s a tremendous pipeline for potential talent. We’ve hired a lot of students who went through Creative University. It just really helps us tap into these young, creative minds.”