What’s the Score: A Panel Discussion on the Exciting World of Sports Communication

Sports communication has nuances, flow, and challenges all its own. Learn how to deal with them plus hear some great behind-the-scenes stories from major league practitioners of the craft.

Moderator

Rush Olson, Co-founder of Mint Farm Films and Principal of Rush Olson Creative & Sports

Rush Olson has spent his career creating inventive content and marketing/PR strategies, with an emphasis on sports-focused projects. He worked for local rightsholder TV stations as well as the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars before launching his own company, Rush Olson Creative & Sports, more than a decade ago. With Mint Farm Films, he’s formulated big-picture strategic initiatives while also directing and writing television and video projects, including last year’s FC Dallas club profile on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. He’s worked in and alongside the public relations profession for years and looks forward to exploring the sports PR world with some of DFW’s best.

 

Panelists

Mark Cohen, TCU Associate Athletics Director for Strategic and Football Communications

Mark has been at TCU since 2005. He serves on the executive team for TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeremiah Donati and is the athletics liaison with university communications and other offices on campus. He assists Donati with strategic initiatives and serves as his media contact in addition to handling all communications for the TCU football program and Head Coach Sonny Dykes.

The 2022 football season saw a $3.4 billion media value as TCU reached the College Football Playoff National Championship, receiving unprecedented coverage and exposure. The Football Writers Association of America recognized Cohen’s efforts by presenting TCU Football Communications with its Super 11 Award for excellence in all aspects of media relations.

During his time at TCU, Cohen has seen seven football student-athletes win a total of 10 national awards. In 2022, he oversaw Max Duggan being selected as the recipient of the Davey O’Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award while finishing as the Heisman Trophy runner-up. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson became TCU’s second recipient in three years of the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, while Derius Davis captured the Jet Award as the nation’s Return Specialist of the Year. Other national award winners were Jerry Hughes (2009 Lott IMPACT Trophy, 2009 Ted Hendricks Award), Jake Kirkpatrick (2010 Rimington Trophy), Trevone Boykin (2015 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award) and Tre’von Moehrig (2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award).

Cohen’s campus involvement includes serving as a College 101 mentor and on TCU’s Academic Appeals Committee. Nominated by student interns, he was a 2019 finalist for TCU’s Wassenich Award for Mentoring. He was selected to be part of CoSIDA’s first-ever Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Program in 2022 and was the recipient of a CoSIDA 25-Year Service Award in 2014. Cohen received the Scoop Hudgins Outstanding SID Award in 2009 from the All-American Football Foundation. He was TCU’s Athletics Department Teammate of the Month in November 2008.

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Andy Esworthy, Vice President of Communications, Broadcast and Marketing, Panther City Lacrosse Club

Andy has spent three seasons with the Panther City Lacrosse Club. A 10-year sports PR veteran, Esworthy joined Panther City in June of 2021 and oversees all aspects of the broadcasting and communications departments, including serving as the team’s spokesperson and main contact for all media inquiries.

Prior to joining Panther City, Esworthy spent time working with Roc Nation Sports in New York City, serving as a primary contact for the sports agency’s athletes, coaches, agents and business executives. Here he worked with athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, Premier League and broadcasters.

From 2016-2019, he worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the public relations department and was part of a staff that promoted the team that advanced to the 2017 AFC Championship Game and featured six Pro Bowl players. Esworthy has also spent time with the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns. In his five years in the NFL, he has also been a part of the public relations staff at three Super Bowls and two NFL Combines.

The West Chester, Pa. native attended Temple University in Philadelphia and spent his four years there working in the Athletic Communications office, including his senior year exclusively with the Temple Football program where he was the secondary media contact. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

Sponsor:

Fort Worth Sports Commission

Reality Check: Exploring the Ethics, Policies and Practices of Generative AI

You likely have personal standards for appropriate uses of generative AI in your work: Grammarly for a quick clean up on a news release, ChatGPT for brainstorming, Bard for a sample event write-up, and maybe even Sora for a placeholder video in a mock-up. Does everyone in your office practice the same standards? Is Generative AI usage disclosed to your clients and stakeholders? Should it be? In this session, explore ethics and possible policy updates through a guided brainstorming session and discussion. Walk away with actionable ideas for addressing the risks and opportunities of GenAI with your team and a framework for penning an AI update to your organizational ethical guidelines.

In this session you will

  • Hear about avoidable GenAI mishaps in the media
  • Discover research on common themes found in Fortune 50 Companies’ “Responsible AI” policies
  • Learn about highlights from the PRSA update on responsible AI usage
  • Brainstorm with your colleagues about appropriate use in our offices
  • Develop questions to consider as technology blazes forward
  • Receive a starter framework for continuing the conversation with your colleagues

AI Disclosure: Claude was used to brainstorm ideas.

Location

Tarleton State University – Fort Worth Campus

10858 Texan Rider Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76036

Parking is free and around the building. No permit is necessary.

Presenter

Sarah Maben, PhD, is an associate professor at Tarleton State University’s Fort Worth, Texas, campus. She has taught communication courses for 20 years at both public and private institutions, in hybrid, face-to-face, and online modalities. This semester she is teaching ethics and a new course on Generative AI.

Dr. Maben has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University, a master’s in journalism from the University of Georgia, and a PhD in higher education from the University of North Texas. She holds ACUE microcredentials in online instruction. Her research examines public relations, organizational listening, media ethics, and social media. Her work has appeared in Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, International Journal of Listening, Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, among others. She has written chapters for the following books: Organization Listening for Strategic Communication, Contemporary Media Ethics, Recasting the Disney Princess, and Strategies for Establishing and Sustaining Social Presence in the Online Learning Environment. She is also the founding editor of The Journal of Social Media in Society, an open-source peer-reviewed publication (thejsms.org).

Prior to academia, she was a public relations professional. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her family. She’s on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahmaben/.

Using Data Analysis to Shape Your Public Relations Message Strategies

In today’s fast-paced public relations leadership environment, making changes to your organization’s strategic messaging can’t be solely based on opinion or organizational history… messaging must be data-driven.

In this lunch and learn seminar we will consider the value of collecting various data types, the practical analysis/analytics of said data, and most importantly how to employ said data in the formation of stakeholder relationships and messaging strategies.

Finally, this seminar will offer practical data analysis take-aways from recent consultant-level case studies.

Generously sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies, Texas Tech College of Media and Communication.

Space is limited so register today!  – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/using-data-analysis-to-shape-your-public-relations-message-strategies-tickets-861717017797

Presenters

Dr. Coy Callison is Professor of Public Relations and Strategic Communication Management, and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, College of Media and Communication, Texas Tech University.

Dr. Callison is known among our faculty and students as a data-driven professor and considered one of our leading experts in complex data analysis and applied data decision-making. He is well-published in leading Communication and PR journals.

In addition to his academic and classroom leadership, Coy conducts regular consulting and applied communication research projects all over the nation. Previous clients include Southwest Airlines, the City of Sundown, Texas, Technomics, Inc., CBS affiliate KLBK, TTU Health Sciences Center, Midland Memorial Hospital, Brown University Department of Emergency Medicine, the USDA… and a long list of municipal water districts and clients in hospitality and gaming.

A native West Texan, Coy began his career working first for a large agency in Austin, followed by a stint in print journalism. After completing graduate school at the University of Alabama (M.A., Ph.D.), Coy returned to West Texas and Texas Tech University. He is celebrating 23 years with TTU where he has received numerous academic and administrative awards.

Coy spends what little free time he can find outdoors: fishing, hunting, and hiking. He and his wife also spend many quality hours at their daughters’ school-related events.

Community Garden Day

Spend time with your GFW PRSA friends helping a community garden. We’ll have tasks for all, so don’t fret if your thumbs aren’t so green. There are even a few painting projects that the garden needs tended to. This garden supplies fresh produce for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. Bring your gardening/work gloves. If you’re bringing the kiddos, please make sure they are at least 8 years old.

Your RSVP will assist the garden in prepping for our visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gfw-prsa-community-garden-day-tickets-856204309137

PR After Dark

Save the Date: PR After Dark

Please join us for the first PR After Dark of 2024!  We’ll gather for games and conversation at The Coupe, 314 S. Main St., Suite 110, Fort Worth, TX 76104 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., on Wednesday, March 20. See you there!