Wandering around the Arizona Center searching for the FOX Sports Arizona office on the afternoon of March 5, 2015, even sitting down in Brett Hansen’s, the Director of Marketing and Communications, office – I never imagined I would be sitting in my own cubicle in this office writing this blog post.
My name is Delilah Cassidy. I am currently a sophomore at Arizona State University, Barrett the Honors College. I am pursuing a double major in Sports Journalism and Sports and Media Studies and for the Fall 2015 semester, I have served as the Marketing and Communications Intern here at FOX Sports Arizona.
I was asked to write this blog post about “what I learned while serving as an intern here.” If I had the option to click ‘all of the above,’ I would. Before stepping into this office on my very first day, I knew a a few things about social media and writing. Stepping out on my last day, I feel that I could enter any position in the sports industry pertaining to marketing or communications and adjust to the obstacles faster than anyone else. That is something that my time at FOX Sports Arizona has given me that I am beyond grateful for and could have gotten nowhere but here.
Despite coming in with very little experience, I had a great deal of responsibilities and was trusted to perform the task correctly and efficiently. Brett never came to my cubicle and walked me through creating and filtering an Instagram photo that would be published for over 7,000+ followers and various other viewers to scrutinize. The hands on experience I have gained here has not only boosted my confidence but will prove valuable in my future.
The most important trait of a professional is to be knowledgeable in their trade. Once again, coming into FOX Sports, I knew nothing about the television production business. Thanks to Tom Elsner, our fantastic internship coordinator, I was able to have lunch with the Senior Vice President/General Manager, our Executive Producer, and the Director of Marketing and Communications. These lunches consisted of myself, the production intern, and the most knowledgeable person in the building in that department. I was able to utilize these opportunities to learn every component of the business from camera to cash. In addition, unless someone in the office is on a conference call – their door is open. The friendly and almost family environment here at FSAZ is unparalleled by any other place I have worked. I was able to speak with professionals from trafficking, accounting, sales, engineering, reporting, and production and learn about what and how they contribute to our final product. When I walk out of this building today, I feel as though I would be able to explain to anyone or any age the components of FOX Sports Arizona and the importance of each. This environment coupled with the dedication of the intern program coordinator has allowed me to develop into a knowledgeable professional in the sports television business.
Professionals are visionaries. When posed with the question, “What do you know about FOX Sports Arizona?” in my interview for this position, I immediately spoke to the freedom offered here. I heard that if you have an idea, you are able to run with it, develop it, mold it, and implement it with the support from your colleagues. What I had heard was an understatement. As the youngest person to probably ever work in this office, I was constantly turned to for ways to improve viewership for our social media. I helped to develop a daily Snapchat show (The Morning Buzz with FOX Sports Arizona) utilizing the features and updates that I knew were appealing to our target audience – which were around my age. Some days, I was simply told, “Okay, go do The Morning Buzz.” I was responsible for gathering information I thought people would want to know about and presenting it in an intriguing manner – on my own. I was trusted to run with this idea and continue to improve it from its infancy to keep people watching and our audience growing.
Additionally, this was my first ‘nine to five’ job. Working at an office for that long in addition to a thirty-minute drive to and from my apartment having stayed up studying all night for a test was a moment I never wanted to experience. However, even when I was forced to cram for an exam with little sleep or even when I was sick – there was never a moment that I can remember thinking “I do not want to go to work today.” That may come as a shock, “There are always days people do not want to work.” I would be lying if I agreed. I enjoy the freedom to explore and develop the tasks I was given here at FOX Sports Arizona and never once stopped to think “Is that drive worth it?” I hope that in the future I am able to find another company to work for that I will be able to say “I want to go to work no matter how sick or tired I may be,” because that is the experience I had here at FOX Sports Arizona.
The most enjoyable thing about working here at FOX Sports Arizona is the understanding from the top down that we are not just workers in cubicles. Every person in this office has a family and understands that emergencies happen and times get tough. About halfway though my time here, I received news that my grandmother had passed away. I will always remember the conversation I had with Brett and the level of compassion, understanding, and flexibility he provided me in this tough time. FOX Sports Arizona truly cares about its employees and I can tell you from first hand experience that interns are no different.
Logistically, the most I’ve learned in my time here at FOX Sports Arizona came from within my department. I now possess polished skills handling every form of social media from Facebook to Snapchat. My writing and research skills have experienced exponential growth from the feedback others have provided me by constantly reading my writing. I have learned the basics of promotion and planning. Additionally, I have learned step-by-step process of executing marketing plans such as our FOX Sports Arizona Fan Express and the FOX Sports GO app. Analytics play a much larger role in marketing that I ever thought or knew. While developing our weekly social media analytics report I can now understand the importance of crunching those numbers and apply them to provide insight into improving the posts I create every day.
I could write for day and days about all the things my time here at FOX has provided to me, but the most important thing is experience to grow and achieve future success. If it were not for this position, I would not be the sports industry professional nor the person I am today. Thank you FOX Sports Arizona.
Great moments truly do happen here.
Delilah Cassidy – Fall 2015 Marketing and Communications Intern