A sports marketing course debuted this fall at Vestavia Hills High School, offering students a chance to explore a myriad of careers in sports, entertainment, broadcast and marketing.
The class is led by Morgan Jones, who also runs the Vestavia News Network and helps run the Rebel Nation Sports Network. These student-broadcast productions create information packages, a morning information show, and the streaming of school sporting events.
Jones said that in recent years there have been efforts to make sports broadcasts more student-run, and she hopes the new sports marketing course will generate interest.
The 24-student class teaches sports marketing-related skills such as creating advertisements, building relationships with community sponsors, and broadcasting sports. Jones said the class would also offer more advanced career preparation skills, such as using social media in the world of sports marketing, preparing promotional items, planning events and managing sponsorships. . It’s currently available to students in grades 10 and up, Jones said.
“It will give them hands-on experience,” Jones said.
Due to the community’s overwhelming support for Vestavia education and athletics, Jones said it was generally not difficult to secure sponsors.
In the recent past, a student who broadcast and worked on the Rebel Nation Sports Network was able to showcase her work when she arrived at the University of Alabama and immediately joined their student broadcast network, Jones said. The new class, Jones said, is another attempt to help students market their work to colleges and future employers.
“My goal is for them to have a marketing portfolio once they leave the classroom,” Jones said. “… They can say, ‘This is what I’ve done before.'”
Because the class is new, Jones said she allows teachers and students to continue building it and decide where it goes from here, and it can be changed as needed. The class also offers students a chance to earn business class credit, which, based on their GPA, can help them enter the National Business Honor Society, Jones said. The company requires an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in three or more business courses.
The class could help students find jobs in various fields related to sports and entertainment, such as sports agencies, sports directors, broadcasting, sports administration, ticketing and event planning and graphic design. Jones said.
“These are skills that you can get straight from the classroom,” Jones said.
The class is made up of students from the broadcast classes, a few athletes and other interested students, Jones said, bringing “great variety” to the classroom.
While growing the class is a challenge, Jones said it is also the exciting part of the job, as well as working with a great team of leaders and students.
“We have the flexibility to do with it exactly what we want, which is really good,” Jones said.