On Friday, Feb. 1, 2008, Citizens Bank Park hosted the third annual College Media Day. A year after the opening of the Philadelphia Phillies new stadium in 2004, Scott Palmer, Director of Public Affairs for the Phillies, decided to reinstate this event, which used to be held at Veterans Stadium. This occasion has grown from a low scale scene to become an eye opening experience for college students interested in sports careers.
Radio and news broadcasters, sports writers, editors, publicists, marketing personnel, photographers and others shared their experiences on finding their perfect job, their niche. In return students were encouraged to ask questions throughout the day. Those questions plus many others provided a lot of insight into having a competitive career in the field of sports.
Leslie Gudel, sports anchor for Comcast SportsNet, offered great advice for young women trying to break into a “male dominated profession.”
“You should know as much as you can,” Gudel said. “Use your feminine personality in ways men cannot. Men have been drilled with sports facts and numbers since age five, and you have to know what you are talking about.”
In another area of the media, Paul Luongo, Sports Producer for Fox 29 said to “enlighten with the unknown,” in reference to pitching the perfect story to the public.
“Think outside the box and create a story that your readers have not been told a hundred times over,” Luongo said.
Playing off of that advice, Todd Zolecki, sports writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer said to “put the game into perspective.”
“Why should we be reading a story when we already know the outcome of the game,” Zolecki asked the audience. “As a writer, one has the opportunity to tell why things happened, or to take history to create a new story.”
A lot of what the broadcasters and columnists said were to find unique angles, make your questions thought provoking and to really think about what will make your piece of information appealing.
Members of the Public Relations panels were able to explain how building trust between players and making good connections is all part of the job. According to them, a person must be honest, because like it or not, people remember when you are truthful and more importantly when you are not. Make the experience enjoyable for your client, but it is also important to separate business from friendship and have a respectable relationship.
Rusty Kennedy, photographer for the Associated Press, said, “Only five percent of people in the world wake up every day and love going to their job. I am one of those five percent.”
“I think everyone we have spoken to today is included in that five percent,” Scott Palmer replied, ” Do what you love. If you don’t, then get out and find your niche. The business of sports is one that will never cease to tire.”
For all of the students who may be interested in a career in sports, this experience was very worthwhile. If you are interested in finding an internship with the Phillies or any sports team, contact them. Show yourself and your personality; do not just assume they will know what you can do, show them. These are words of advice given from those leading us on the right path.
To learn more about College Media Day for next year, check out the Phillies website, www.phillies.com.
Gina DiDomenicis is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at GD609385@wcupa.edu.