MJ-school students launch ad campaign at Super Bowl Media Week in Houston

From classroom competitions to Super Bowl Sunday: These MJ-school seniors are living the advertising dream.

Five students from the UNC School of Media and Journalism won the 2016 Fox Sports University Challenge for Fox Sports PROcast in December. To launch the students' work, the Fox Sports network is hosting the winning team at Super Bowl Media Week in Houston. The students are part of Fox Sports University, an initiative taught by Professor of the Practice Dana McMahan in partnership with the MJ-school and the Fox Sports network.

During Fall 2016, Fox Sports University challenged McMahan’s copywriting and communications students to develop creative concepts that will grow excitement and awareness for Fox Sports PROcast surrounding Super Bowl LI. This assignment was the seventh year that UNC and FOX Sports U have worked together.

Students separated into four teams and developed research and creative strategies in response to the Fox Sports U prompt. At the end of the semester, Fox Sports executives returned to campus to hear the teams’ pitches and select a winning team. Team “This Just Got Real” was crowned the winner for the class and included seniors Wyatt Packer, Caroline Taylor, Casey Long, Will Schoeffler and Sarah Whitmore.

The winning idea introduced the tagline “PROcast Is...,” which celebrated the unique, behind-the-scenes look that PROcast offers into the lives of the world’s best athletes. This tagline is being implemented into the PROcast on-site strategy, which showcases iconic PROcast moments on a continuous loop and will be on-display through Radio Row activations in Houston. This on-site strategy is being used to educate fans, agents, athletes and potential sponsors about PROcast, and the video will also be used on social to promote the PROcast brand.

The Fox Sports University team will host all of Team “This Just Got Real” on-site during Superbowl Media Week for a behind-the-scenes experience with Fox Sports. Students will have the chance to observe their ideas brought to life on-site in Houston, along with the rest of the Fox Sports Super Bowl Media Week activity.

“The partnership with Fox has created some incredible experiences for our students in the School of Media and Journalism. But, there is simply no bigger platform for students of advertising to be a part of than the intense energy surrounding the Super Bowl. It is advertising’s biggest stage, and our students are on it,” said McMahan.

Fox Sports University is a nationwide partnership program developed by Fox Sports with 38 prestigious academic and athletic institutions from around the country. The program is designed to provide real-world experience to graduate and undergraduate students, while developing a pipeline of innovative ideas for Fox Sports properties.

Fox Sports challenges students with a semester-long case study that is timely and relevant to its business-needs, tasking students to develop solutions — products, concepts and campaigns that have the potential to be executed across Fox Sports businesses, giving students the opportunity to see what it takes to make their ideas come to life. Fox Sports executives take part in the education process, giving the practical element to learning whereby students produce research, campaigns and concepts for Fox Sports and our partners. Additional information, including examples of past projects, can be found at FoxSportsUniversity.com.