Michigan State Athletics are known for their performance on the field. Given the national attention their athletes bring to the school, many forget about the process involved in elevating their platform. Behind these athletes and coaches is a team of marketing and communications experts who are constantly looking for new ways to promote Michigan State Athletics to the next level.
As an intern over the past year, we spent numerous hours assisting with the creation and activation of these promotions. While these actions are small, they don’t go unnoticed. Head coach Mel Tucker recognized the marketing efforts during the Spartan’s Spring Game. When asked about the naming of “Spartan Football Kick-Off” he said, “That was not me, I don’t have that type of creativity in mind, I think it was like our marketing.”
Events like these are important for promotion. It is also seen as an opportunity to revitalize the outdoors of campus after winter.
After a big win in January, head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo also noted the crowd’s engagement.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this, our crowd you know, and I think the things we’re doing marketing wise and [PA wise] while the horn was going, they kept the place lively and it’s helping us win games,” Izzo said.
Throughout game days, interns would arrive nearly two hours early to discuss the promotions and coordinate everyone’s position. After getting their assignments they prepare promotional items and giveaways.
During the week many of the interns work office hours as well. Here they gain an understanding for designing graphics and creating game scripts. These hours allow for more one-on-one time where interns can gain a further understanding of a typical day in the department.
One of the key takeaways from this experience was the intrigue of nationally televised sports. For instance, Michigan State Gymnastics, who had an incredible year on the mat, had one of the most exciting crowds seen at Michigan State. The fans circle campus from the Red Cedar Rowdies to the Izzone.
First-year intern Tyler Nelson believes the most valued aspect of his work is “the people and relationships you build.”
Working behind the scenes was a great learning experience for Nelson, who said he can see himself pursuing a career in athletics after graduation. Michigan State positions their interns in a collaborative environment where teamwork is heavily relied on.
Following graduation, many interns look to pursue careers in athletics. Others go on to become graduate assistants or coordinators within other athletic departments. Michigan State’s program is not only well organized but also puts students in a position to succeed.