Twitter in the Classroom

With school officially back in session, we wanted to dig into the archives and re-post a previous commentary on Twitter in the classroom…the post was an informal interview with Mr. Ryan Durrett, the sports and entertainment marketing teacher at Lake Oswego High School in Oregon, conducted by former SCC intern Griffin Booth (now with the LA Galaxy) and we explored Twitter as an educational tool.  

Be sure to follow SCC @sportsbized and @BizDRett!

SCC:  Thanks for taking some time to share some of your best practices with us Ryan.  If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you been teaching?

RD: I started teaching marketing seven years ago at Lake Oswego High School, eventually  helping to integrate a sports marketing class into the curriculum.  I also teach advertising, advanced marketing, and AP economics.

SCC:  How do you use Twitter as an instructional tool?

RD:  I started using Twitter about two years ago for my sports marketing class because sports and entertainment brands, specific artists, entertainers, athletes…they are all on there.  It is a huge media outlet for all of them and provides them with a great platform for connecting with fans (consumers).  I felt that, if that is where the industry is, that is where we need to be as well.

I primarily engage students by re-tweeting current events/developments within the industry and by looking for relevant stories that might be help illustrate some of the concepts we have explored in the classroom.

Students are always active with social media platforms. If you can have them have in contact with sports and entertainment marketing outside of classroom, that’s just more teaching for them beyond the normal class period.

SCC:  Do your students follow you on Twitter?

I don’t make them follow me because I don’t want to force interest from the students.  I think it’s important that the whole social media component is natural and authentic.  I’ve found that doing contests/fun trivia helps to really keep students engaged and active. I try to keep things pretty simple and avoid posting links to long articles, unless it is something I deem to carry particular relevance to whatever we’re currently discussing in class.

SCC:  What are the advantages and disadvantages to Twitter from a teacher’s perspective?

I think the biggest advantage is creating an outlet for continued communication with students, encouraging them to continue learning outside of class.  The number of students interacting with me on Twitter has grown tremendously. Three years ago, I asked my class of thirty two students to raise their hands if they were active on Twitter and only three raised their hands.  Two  years ago, that number jumped to over twenty. That’s when the foundation of interest and involvement really started.

The biggest disadvantage is definitely the issue of privacy.  I only follow those within the industry, and I don’t use it as a personal forum. Students follow me, but I don’t follow them because I don’t want to risk breaching their privacy. I also don’t use Facebook. It lacks valuable content and is used for more of a social forum.

SCC:  How do you think Twitter will impact the future of education (from a teaching perspective)?

It has already evolved a ton and will continue to do so.  While I’m not a fan of all social media platforms in the world of education, some can provide teachers with some real value, especially when used in engaging ways. With the way our students are right now, the amount of information you can retrieve from a mobile phone, we have to be a little more open minded on how to engage them, and not be afraid to put a spin on traditional education models.

To my knowledge, no other teachers within our school have adopted this style of teaching, which makes our class kind of unique. Obviously, subject matter can make a difference.  Tracking business industry trends via Twitter works for sports, business, marketing, etc., but it isn’t necessarily going to work for math teachers.

SCC:  What advice would you offer other teachers who are hesitant to embrace Twitter as an educational tool?

Perhaps the best advice I can offer is to not to be intimidated.  Once you create your account and get set up, it really isn’t much additional work. Even if you don’t need it (or want) to engage students, there will still be a wealth of information right at your fingertips which can be integrated into your curriculum and lessons.

When it comes to interactions with students, my advice would be to reflect your own personality. You have your own unique style and authenticity and don’t have to fake anything. Whatever your personal style is in classroom should translate to how you engage students with your tweets.

SCC:  Thanks again for sharing your insight with us Ryan.  I’m sure there are a lot of teachers out there looking for ways to get started on Twitter but aren’t sure where to begin so hopefully this helps them take that first step!

Griffin Booth is in his first year as Sports Career Consulting’s Blog Manager.  He is a recent Washington State University graduate where he majored in communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.  Booth began his career as an intern with sports radio 950 KJR in Seattle where he was responsible for managing the show’s podcasts.  He later gained experience as a news anchor, producer, and reporter for Cable 8 news in the greater Pullman area. In addition to his role with Sports Career Consulting, he is currently an intern with Washington State University’s Cougar Athletic Fund, helping to raise money for student-athlete scholarships.  Born and raised in Seattle, Booth is a huge fan of all Seattle sports. For any questions, comments, or feedback please feel free to contact Griffin by email at  You can also follow him on Twitter @gbooth6.

SCC’s Keys to the Game: A PERFECT Example

Thanks to Nick Fischer, a student at Los Banos High School in California, for his willingness to share his experience with us at the 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and to Joe Barcellos, the Athletics Director at LBHS, for sharing…nice job guys!

For those of you who have ever heard me present, you know how much I emphasize the importance of gaining experience.  Of my five “keys to the game“, this may be the most important.  Today’s blog post shares an example of one student who has heeded that advice and enjoyed a one-in-a-lifetime moment by volunteering to work at a major sporting event.

“Pebble Beach 2014″ by Nick Fischer

The idea of meeting an athlete such as Aaron Rodgers was only just a dream. The dream was turning into a reality when Coach Siemiller was contacted by the director of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM. We were selected out of 13 schools to be standard bearers for the golf tournament. A standard bearer is pretty much a walking scoreboard, and changes the score after every hole. Our spot as one of the 13 schools wasn’t locked in yet. We were on the waiting list. 3 agonizing weeks later, Coach Siemiller received the good news that we made the list. Coach Siemiller, 5 teammates, and myself were headed to Montterey. We stayed at  a hotel called the Sandcastle Inn in Seaside. Arriving at our hotel at about 8 o’clock P.M. on Wednesday. Knowing we had a long four days ahead of us. The first day we had to be at our tent at 5:30 A.M. With our hotel being approximately 20 minutes away, 4:30 A.M. was the time to leave Thursday morning. Phone alarm clocks nowadays, you can’t trust them. Mine and a fellow teammate’s alarms didn’t go off. With only 10 minutes to get ready, we hustled into our golf clothes and khakis. No harm, no foul as we made it in time for our meeting at Pebble Beach.

The Pro-Am consists of 3 courses; Monterrey Peninsula, Spyglass Hill, and Pebble Beach. Celebrities such as Tom Brady, Don Cheadle, Ray Romano, Aaron Rodgers, Wayne Gretzky, Jake Owen, and Peyton Manning were going to be there. Picking groups was similar to a draft. Teams coaches would pick out of a hat to determine the order. Our lowest pick was #5 and since I was the only senior on the team I got that pick. As the “draft” started, I saw my first choice, Tom Brady, go off the board. My pick was up and without any hesitation I picked the Aaron Rodgers and Jerry Kelly group. Also in the group was Rory Sabbatini and Blake MyCoskie, the creator of Toms. With a tee time at 9:45 A.M. I had almost 3 hours to wait until we went out. A few of my teammates had stars like Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, and Ray Romano. They went out earlier than I did so I was by myself in the standard bearers tent. My worst nightmare came true, there was a rain delay. In my head I was thinking ”will I get to meet Aaron Rodgers?” After an additional 2 hours, play resumed. Back on track it was only an hour away til my tee time. Waiting patiently it was time to go, my walking scorer came to pick me up. It was finally time to meet Super Bowl 45 MVP, Aaron Rodgers. First I met Jerry Kelly and his caddy, then Rory Sabbatini, and Blake MyCoskie.

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March Madness Bracketology…SCC Style!

Help us determine SCC’s March Madness Bracket…and we’ll reward the winning classroom with a pizza party!  

In our latest classroom competition, we asked our member schools to create a march madness style bracket to help us crown the greatest athlete of all-time. The school who created the bracket we end up using will win a pizza party for their class!  We will then submit the bracket on SCC’s Facebook page and, with your help, crown the greatest athlete of all-time.We have paired it down to three finalists and a big part of selecting a winner will require your help by voting for your favorite list of athletes. One additional criteria we added was requiring the class to use a single word that best describes the athlete, similar to the old school “motivational” athlete posters from the 90′s (see the image below)… Please help by voting for your favorite bracket by “LIKING” the grouping you like best!

Vote on SCC’s Facebook page by clicking here.

A big THANKS to all those who participated by submitting a bracket entry, it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to a top three!  Congratulations to the three schools who made the cut…now let’s see who can get the most votes and be the overall winner!

Good luck to our three finalists!

Summer High School Marketing Education Summit & Student Sports Marketing Boot Camp Announcement!

SCC will be hosting teachers for various marketing education workshops (including an “industry” tour for those curious about Oregon’s unique, eclectic culture).  We will also be hosting students for a summer sports marketing “boot camp” in which several sessions will run concurrently with teachers and then students will participate in workshops while teachers are on the industry tours.

We are requiring a $50 non-refundable deposit for all participants to hold spots.

For TEACHERS, the two (2) day event will feature (early registration cost $259):

Marketing workshops relating to sports, entertainment & fashion marketing, entrepreneurship, retail and advertising and tours of:

*  Nike’s World Headquarters

*  A visit to one of the World’s most successful ad agencies of all-time (they have produced spots for Nike, ESPN and many, many more!)

*  Moda Center:  Home to the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers)

*  Providence Park:  Home to the success story of both Major League Soccer (Timbers) Women’s Professional Soccer (Thorns)

The teacher’s event will also include:

* Tours of eclectic Portland, introducing you to the unique bicycle-crazed culture of the City of Roses (also affectionately known as Bridgetown, Rip City & Beervana among others)

* Social evening at a sporting event (ticket included with registration fee)

For STUDENTS, the two (2) day event will feature (early registration cost $219):

Sports marketing boot camp featuring tours of:

*  Nike’s World Headquarters

*  A visit to one of the World’s most successful ad agencies of all-time (they have produced spots for Nike, ESPN and many, many more!)

*  Moda Center:  Home to the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers)

*  Providence Park:  Home to the success story of both Major League Soccer (Timbers) Women’s Professional Soccer (Thorns)

The student boot camp will also include:

* Boot camp workshops covering a wide range of industry topics, led by industry professionals

* Social evening at a sporting event (ticket included with registration fee)


Hope to see you this summer!

Stadium Design Contest Winners!

We recently held a competition for students challenging them to design a sports facility or stadium.  The criteria we used to evaluate the designs included:

* Creativity…how unique is the stadium?  Is the architecture unique?  What does the stadium look like?  An image of the stadium design as well as answers to the following questions MUST be submitted to participate!

* Where is the stadium located?  Why?

* Is it in indoor or outdoor facility?

* Who are the primary tenants?

* What is the name of the stadium?  How was the name chosen?

* How will the stadium impact the overal fan experience?

* Will technology play a role?  How?

* How will the stadium design/features/amenities help to attract visitors?

Needless to say, we can’t tell you how impressed we were with the creativity, effort, and attention to detail that the students put forth.  From the integration of social media into a stadium name (hash tag stadium) to amenities impacting the fan experience like batting cages for fans, iPads in seats, special VIP recliner seating and unique sponsorships like a sponsored hot dog bridge, students were able to showcase much of what they have learned about the business of sports and entertainment this year…they were awesome!

Before announcing our winners, I would like to thank our industry panelists for spending the time to review the many submissions for the contest.  Your time and feedback is very much appreciated.  A very special thanks to Heather Lawrence-Benedict, a faculty member with the renowned Ohio University’s Sport Management Program.  She has a lot of facility experience and really helped lead the way with critiquing the designs from an industry perspective.

Ultimately, the response from panelists was consistent as well, there were NO entries that didn’t manage to impress on some level.  I received several comments that it was really neat to see some of the “outside of the box” thinking that went into the student designs.  While many would be impractical if not impossible to pull off, the “above and beyond” mentality is what will help students stand apart from their peers as they pursue a possible career in our industry.

Great job everyone and thanks again to those who participated in the voting process.

So, without further delay, here are our winners!

The top selections for SCC’s stadium design contest:

First Place:  Rio Tinto – Every industry panelist made a point to suggest the 3D nature of the design showed how much time was put into the project, as well as how thorough the students were in describing the thought process behind each aspect of the stadium build.  Integration of naming rights was key for all  industry panelists, but explaining how the partnership tied in with the franchise was crucial for those stadiums who earned the highest ratings.  Rio Tinto’s ability to use creativity in the design yet keep the project realistic helped push this one over the top, in particular the added element of an animal sanctuary fit with the industry’s trend toward building venues that will attract all types of visitors year round, on both game days and non-game days.  Panelists also appreciated the importance of “location” placed on the design, including ideas for accommodating (and limiting) traffic and parking.  Great job!

Second Place:  The Igloo – Conceptually, the Igloo idea rated as the highest among panelists, despite the logistical challenges that would face any builder trying to design a venue like this.  Either way, this was a very creative stadium idea that seemed to jive well with the selected market (Anchorage) for the facility.  The added value of building a second, connected dome to host a variety of additional activities (skiing, sledding, snowboarding) was also a major factor in ranking this design second in the competition.  The addition of a social media lounge (including revenue generated by selling naming rights to the space) provided a first class touch to this outstanding stadium design.  Really nice job!

Third Place:  Guinness Stadium – Guinness Stadium’s recognition of the importance of marketing (the design drew the 2nd most “likes” through the online voting process) helped propel this venue into third place in the competition.  The emphasis on an International venue also scored points among some panelists as the industry continues to grow as a global marketplace.  The naming rights to the stadium provided a great tie-in to the location and the rationale behind it was impressive:  “The name of the stadium is Guinness Stadium. Guinness is currently a well-known sponsor of The IRFU and is exclusive to Ireland. Guinness is a brewing company produced and sold in Ireland and it is available in many other countries. So, this stadium will improve sales due to the familiarity of the beer company.”  As one panelist put it, “It was different than the others as it took business development of the community into account in a major way.”  Very well done!

Honorable Mention:

Nike Field – This design scored well in part because of the selection of Las Vegas which has been a hot button conversation piece in the last few years within the industry  (it should be mentioned that this was not the only design to select Las Vegas as a market), but the creativity in developing a truly Vegas “over the top” feel in conjunction with the stadium (casinos, arcades, bright lights and shark tanks!) , but managed to provide exceptional and valid rationale for why the building would feature such amenities.  Panelists also felt the designer of this stadium provided one of the best, in-depth descriptions for the facility.  Good work.

Big Elk Stadium– Despite some obvious logistical challenges that would be present if they were to actually build, Big Elk Stadium provides another great example of a venue operator who wants to maximize revenue by creating additional revenue streams beyond the game itself.  The idea of a hotel and spa built right in to the stadium is unique with amenities and features that would make it an attractive venue that even out of town visitors would like to see.  Nice job.

Awesome Idea, Great Cause, Chance to win a prize! #GivingTuesday

This holiday season, Sports and Social Change is rallying sports fans to “Give An Assist” to those in need. Tuesday, December 3rd is #GivingTuesday and we’ve got a ton of ways for sports fans to get involved through Donations, Volunteering, Coaching, Fundraising and plenty more. Whether you can support with your time, ideas or a few extra dollars at intermission or halftime, we’ll coach you through all your options and make it easy to “Give An Assist” any way you can.

And best of all, you can team up with assist-givers across the US & Canada on #GivingTuesday 12/03 and enter to WIN a signed copy of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton’s new autobiography “Assisted” along with a $100 gift card so you can give an assist of your own.

Get all the details at

Wayne Gretzky gave 1,963 career assists.
Can you #GiveAnAssist on #GivingTuesday?

Student Stadium Design Competition

We challenged students to design their own stadiums as part of a competition. Once again, they amazed us with their creativity! :)  Please check out the designs on SCC’s Facebook page and vote for your favorite!

In addition to stadium design, students were told they would be evaluated on the following information:

* Creativity…how unique is the stadium? Is the architecture unique? What does the stadium look like?

* Where is the stadium located? Why?

* Is it an indoor or outdoor facility?

* Who are the primary tenants?

* What is the name of the stadium? How was the name chosen?

* How will the stadium impact the overall fan experience?

* Will technology play a role? How?

* How will the stadium design/features/amenities help to attract visitors?

We have five industry executives on a panel evaluating the designs to help crown a winner, but a Facebook vote will also help determine the top stadium designs. Please participate by liking your favorite design!

Students at a school in Green Bay, Wisconsin actually posted their designs and information about the stadium online. In those images, you will find a link to their stadium site. Please click through to learn more about each stadium…so much creativity and attention to detail…many of them even have links to social media! Great job to all students who participated!!!

Student Activity Winner – Top Grossing Halloween Films

In the spirit of Halloween, last week we asked students at our member schools to research the top grossing Halloween/horror films.  The first student to submit a correct listing was eligible for a prize.

Our winner is…Shaun Morey from Arlington High School in New York.  Congrats Shaun!  Here is his list along with his description of why the top three garnered such success as the box office.

Top 15 Grossing Halloween Movies

1. Jaws (1975) – $260 Million
2. The Exorcist (1973) – $232 Million
3. World War Z (2013) – $202 Million
4. What Lies Beneath (2000) – $155 Million
5. Gremlins (1985) – $148 Million
6. Blair Witch Project (1999) – $141 Million
7. The Conjuring (2013) – $137 Million
8. The Ring (2002) – $129 Million
9. The Grudge (2004) – $110 Million
10. Paranormal Activity (2007) – $108 Million
11. Interview with a Vampire: Vampire Chronicles (1994) – $105 Million
12. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) – $104 Million
13. Scream (1996) – $103 Million
14. Jaws 2 (1978) – $103 Million
15. Scream 2 (1997) – $101 Million

Top 3 Hallowen Movies


Jaws was a miraculous innovation when it came to thriller movies at it’s time. It is placed under the genres of Adventure, Horror, and Thriller, genres of which are popular during halloween season. Although Jaws is not the slasher movie usually thought of during halloween, it still packed a punch at not only the consumer, but the box office. With a gross revenue of 260 million dollars, it was a catch for thriller/horror movie fans around.

The Exorcist

This movie, like Jaws, was an unforeseen movie for its time. Due to the high level of gore and make-up usage, the movies scare factor was higher than any other in its genre was before. The countries youth was attracted to it because it was claimed to be the scariest movie yet, and due to word of mouth, it was known as the scariest movie among the public. It grossed $232 Million during it’s time in the theaters and was, and still today is considered a halloween movie. Although the release date was June 19, it was probably watched and most likely profitable during the halloween season.

World War Z

A lot of America, and the world, are fans of “zombie” movies. This movie was based off and book, and a movie about the walking dead. Movies based off of books are usually profitable, and with the zombie factor, and five star cast including Brad Pitt, it was an assured winner. It’s profit from the box office was $202 Million. This movie was ranked highly between the population due to its combination of movie factors all in high demand.

The infographic below depicts IMDb’s list of top US grossing horror films…The information is almost as accurate as Shaun’s list, however, IMDb inexplicably left the Exorcist off the list.  Other lists include films such as Jurassic Park, but the genre of such films are not considered to be horror films and were omitted from our research.  Anyway, congrats again to Shaun.  Great work on your findings!

Clash of the Titans

Today’s guest post features an infographic from Sophia Barber via, a leading online platform of education concerning business attributes of sports. The Sport Management degree guides and gives information to build a career in the field of sports industry and to achieve the unique positions within all sectors, including professional sports organizations, college athletics as well as in recreation management field.

For years, ESPN has enjoyed a stranglehold on the market as the dominant sports broadcasting company.  Fox Sports 1 aims to change that.  For an inside look at the competition facing Fox, please view the infographic pasted below (click here to see a full size image).  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out!  The spirit of competition is, after all, why they play the games… :)

Watching National Sports vs. Regional Sports Telecasts

The average sports fan who watches a few games on occasion may not notice any considerable difference between local and national broadcasts of sporting events, but for regular viewers the differences can be stark.

Watching sporting events becomes a ritual for many fans, and any change to that ritual can be unnerving at times. This is one of the reasons that some fans do not like national broadcasts, as they alter the standard ritual of watching the fan’s favorite team play a game. The announcers are different, the graphics are different, and somehow the whole experience seems a little different.

This does not always have to be a bad thing, especially depending on the quality of the usual cable tv deals, but it is certainly a different thing. So, what are the differences between local and national broadcasts, and is one preferable to the other?

Commentary Crews

  • In baseball especially, due to the sheer number of games played each season, the commentary crew for the local team becomes almost like a group of old friends to the fans who watch games regularly. Legendary voices like Vin Scully, Harry Kalas and Ernie Harwell have meant as much to the fans of their respective teams as the players on the field. This can lead to some discontentment for local fans, when they have to listen to an unfamiliar group of commentators from out of town. National commentators are also supposed to be objective in the way they call the game, which can dampen the excitement of the local fan that is used to the excitement of home team commentators.
  • It’s not just familiarity with the commentators, either. Even nondescript local commentators have an advantage over their nationally-based counterparts, since they have a deep, daily knowledge of the team on the field. The best national commentators are able to combat this with careful study of the teams that are playing in a given game, but not every national commentator makes the added effort. This can lead to misstatements which go largely unnoticed by casual fans, but which can drive the hardcore fan crazy. Even in cable tv deals, the quality of commentary varies greatly by market, but the issue becomes magnified during a national telecast.

The next time you find yourself calling the plays before the commentators, consider sports broadcasting as a career. Many affiliate broadcast, and cable tv deals encourage internships as a learning experience.

Production Values

  • Some sports telecasts, both national and local, have moved in the direction of providing all of the information, all the time. This can be grating for fans who just want to sit down and enjoy a game without all the added graphics and statistics. In football broadcasts especially, fans are constantly bombarded with information, social media updates and advertisements. Sports are a big business, obviously, but many fans appreciate the often more toned-down style of cable tv deals.
  • One advantage national telecasts bring is a general increase in production value. cable tv deals have grown by leaps and bounds in this regard, but national networks simply have the money necessary to go the extra mile. The differences are often subtle, but noticeable – more camera angles, better sound quality, improved picture, etc. In a sport like baseball, the differences can go unnoticed, but extra cameras in football and hockey can really make a positive difference in the viewing experience.

Broadcast Extras

  • Every national sports telecast seems to be preceded by a pregame show with a studio full of analysts and former players. These broadcasts are often interesting and stimulating for the casual fan, which can catch up on the latest information about the teams involved before watching the game. For the more dedicated fans, however, these shows can seem like a lot of noise, presenting information the viewer already knows well.
  • Many cable tv deals are also moving toward this model, but with more success in regards to the dedicated fan. The difference between a local and national pre- or post-game show is that the local show focuses in great detail on the local team, leaving out general information and league-wide statistics.

Overall, sports fans will watch sports, no matter what type of broadcast is presented. The differences between local and national telecasts can be boiled down to a matter of preference. Most fans are more than happy with a mixture of both.