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Center for Sports Communication

About the Center for Sports Communication

Marist’s Center for Sports Communication is a global leader in the study of and practice in sports communication, helping to prepare an enlightened and engaged group of future leaders in one of society’s most far-reaching disciplines. The Center has achieved national and international recognition for the unique educational experiences it provides to undergraduates. Marist student interns provide industry-standard support for the Center’s work under the guidance of dedicated faculty, allowing students unparalleled opportunities and access.  Some Center successes include creating and hosting a weekly sports show called “The Classroom” on ESPN’s radio network, partnering with both the Marist Poll and HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on sports-related survey research, building a unique speaker series that brings top leaders in the field to campus (including CBS sports broadcaster James Brown and Kevin Merida of ESPN sports blog The Undefeated), and serving as academic partner to the industry-leading Sports PR Summit.  The Center has also presented Lifetime Excellence in Sports Communication awards to HBO’s Bryant Gumbel and ESPN’s Hannah Storm.

Involvement Opportunities

Photo of student Gabriella Ricciardi photographing Jets game

Academic Opportunities

Marist's BA in Communication with a concentration in Sports Communication takes students beyond team scores and statistics. It requires that students read and analyze sports in new ways, critically examining the role of sports in society and considering such areas as gender, race, and public policy in the context of sports. The program combines ethical and theoretical depth with practical writing and public presentation skills. It further prepares students for careers in sports information and journalism by requiring an internship in the field.

 

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Journalist Michael Smith Will Be in Residence at the Center for Sports Communication

Smith, a 15-year veteran of ESPN, who was also a reporter for the Boston Globe, brings a wealth of broadcast and print experience to the role. He will teach a course for upper-classmen called "The Interview," focusing on in-depth interviewing techniques.

Additionally, he will host a symposium on a relevant cultural issue in sports and will also meet with larger groups of students through a campus conversation planned for this fall.

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Journalist Michael Smith Will Be in Residence at the Center for Sports Communication

Smith, a 15-year veteran of ESPN, who was also a reporter for the Boston Globe, brings a wealth of broadcast and print experience to the role. He will teach a course for upper-classmen called "The Interview," focusing on in-depth interviewing techniques.

Additionally, he will host a symposium on a relevant cultural issue in sports and will also meet with larger groups of students through a campus conversation planned for this fall.

Read More

Sports Communication Students Visit ESPN Studios

This fall a group visited the ESPN studios at South St. Seaport and were given an all-access tour by Around the Horn host Tony Reali followed by a lesson in TV theory. Reali had us in-studio for the taping of that day's show and introduced us to ESPN analysts who share the space. It was an incredible behind-the-scenes look at one of the most popular shows on ESPN.

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Sports Communication Students Visit ESPN Studios

This fall a group visited the ESPN studios at South St. Seaport and were given an all-access tour by Around the Horn host Tony Reali followed by a lesson in TV theory. Reali had us in-studio for the taping of that day's show and introduced us to ESPN analysts who share the space. It was an incredible behind-the-scenes look at one of the most popular shows on ESPN.

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Update from the Center

Marly RiveraThis has been a challenging semester, but the Center for Sports Communication has been taking advantage of the industry pause to nab guests who might normally be off traveling and calling games.

World Cup winner Julie Foudy hasn’t been to ESPN’s Bristol campus recently, but she was able to visit sports broadcasting professor Chris Riviezzo’s class on May 8 via video link. This was two days after interviewing professor Michael Smith had veteran basketball writer Jackie MacMullan followed by Katie Nolan in one class.

For students who weren’t taking those classes, many had an opportunity to sit in, and everyone has been able to take part in Tuesdays with the Center. We’ve had ESPN analyst Sarah Spain, Yankees beat writer Marly Rivera and NFL insider Dan Graziano via web conference to talk about their jobs and take questions from students.

Other industry professionals who have joined us are Maria Taylor, Jay Harris, Michael Eaves, Elle Duncan, Kevin Negandhi, Seth Wickersham, Adam Zagoria and Michael Holley.

Next up, The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch to discuss the sports media industry and jobs.

We are incredibly grateful to all of our guests. These conversations have been smart, informative and often funny, and helped ease the sense of isolation students might be feeling.

Sports will be back, but in the meantime, we can still learn from the best. Even though we can’t be together in person, the Center and the Marist community can still be here for our students.

Interview Expert John Sawatsky to visit Michael Smith class: open to all students

March 11, 6:30 p.m. at LT Theater, open to all students: Michael Smith is opening his class to all students to host John Sawatsky, an interviewing expert, on the art of asking a good question. Too often, reporters start with "Talk about" as a substitute for finding a question that will require a specific piece of information and miss the opportunity to get the most out of an interview. The first two rows of the theater will be reserved for Smith's class and then first come first serve. For more information, reach out to Center for Sports Communication Director Jane McManus, Jane.McManus@Marist.edu.

Michael Smith moderates State of the Unions event

State of the Unions

Adjunct Professor Michael Smith moderated the State of the Unions in the NYC Executive Center in February. With the WNBPA's executive director Terri Jackson, USWNT Molly Levinson and NFLPA Senior Director of Former Player Services Nolan Harrison, the discussion ranged from current Collective Bargaining Agreements to the unseen benefits players might try to negotiate for. Whether it is a 17-game season or child-care for players, students were able to ask about the intricacies hidden in these dense contracts.

Jane McManus to Take the Helm as Director of Center for Sports Communication

Following a comprehensive national search, Marist College has named sports journalist Jane McManus as the new Director of the College’s highly regarded Center for Sports Communication. McManus has had an illustrious career. She has covered New York sports since 1998, including 18 U.S. Opens, five Super Bowls, two NCAA Final Fours, and the inaugural season of the New York Liberty WNBA team. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News, The New York Times, and most recently on ESPN. She also covered Brett Favre’s stint with the Jets. Read the full article >

Featured Panel: The Future of Sports Media

On March 1, the Center for Sports Communication celebrated the opening of Marist’s New York City campus with a panel discussion on the future of sports media. Speakers included Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell, Chris Herring of fivethirtyeight.com, Deadspin’s Dom Cosentino and Marist graduate Ian O’Connor of ESPN. From various backgrounds, our experts will discuss the changing terrain of sports media, and what they anticipate in the coming years.

Featured Speaker: Jessica Luther

Jessica Luther, a freelance journalist who broke many facts in the Baylor rape story for Texas Monthly, spoke to students about covering sexual violence in sports on March 5. Luther is the author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape and a nationally recognized expert in breaking difficult stories and responsibly reporting on legal issues. Reporters and communications professionals in sports may not plan to cover these issues, but they are unavoidable.

Get in the game: Help produce Marist Athletics’ ESPN3 coverage

Learn to cut a replay in a live game setting and all the other skills that could one day get you in the control room for live events coverage. Contact Director of Multimedia Meghan.Graham@Marist.edu for more information.

Learning from ESPN’s top communications pro

ESPN’s Sr. VP of Communication Chris LaPlaca visited Marist on Feb. 20 to discuss corporate response to challenging issues, like when the President directs an angry tweet to one of your employees. LaPlaca was incredibly generous with his time on a snow day.