NBA, ESPN, RSL Professionals Talk Sports PR with UVU PRSSA
Professionals in Sports Comm. Share Advice with Students of PRSSA
OREM, UT - October 26, 2017 - Utah Valley University’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (UVU PRSSA) welcomed three of the top sports professionals in PR to UVU for the PRSSA October event, “A League of Their Own.”
Read more about UVU PRSSA at uvuprssa.org
Troy Fitz-Gerald, senior marketing and communications director for Real Salt Lake, Jonathan Rinehart, former VP of communications with the Utah Jazz and current president of the Salt Lake City Stars, and McKenzie Dean, freelance reporter for the NBA, came to UVU to share experiences of working with some of the top sports teams and companies in the U.S.
Rinehart shared stories of working with professional athletes of the Utah Jazz and facilitating communications for the team. Fitz-Gerald shared the experience of helping soccer become a popularized sport in a country where it was unpopular. Dean shared what is like being a woman working in a male-dominated community and what she did to set herself apart to be successful in the business.
“I got to learn more about the sports industry and hear from top named professionals about what it's like and what it takes to get there,” communications major senior Lexi Lewis said. “One thing I liked from the Jonathan was how he talked to us about preparing, get involved with as much as you can and gain as much experience as you can now don't wait ’til you graduate. Trey talked to me personally about what stepping stones I need to take to break out from the smaller internships and jobs.”
Each of the presenters shared a common theme about the importance of networking and getting experience now. Many of them were able to work their way up in the companies they work for currently because they understood the importance of getting experience early on and keeping contacts with people who had helped them in the past.
“Working the sports industry, you realize how small the community is,” said Rinehart. “Don’t worry about anything else when reaching out to people. Just focus on getting your foot in the door. Reach out even if you think there isn’t a job opportunity.”
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UVU’s chapter of PRSSA was established in October of 2009. In a short seven years, their chapter has more than 140 active students within the university and has received local, state and national recognition. In 2013 and 2016, they had received the National Outstanding Chapter award. In addition to holding monthly professional development activities and programs, UVU PRSSA has received four Golden Spike Awards, including Best of Show and Utah’sTop PR Industry award. UVU’s chapter of PRSSA is integrated within UVU and its surrounding communities through service projects and professional development excursions.
UVU PRSSA Editorial Committee