You never know where a classroom assignment might take you.
In the case of Kody Block, a 2015 graduate of Minooka High School, that assignment took him all the way to the National Sports Media Association Awards conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Block’s selection to attend the event came out his work as part of a team of students at the University of Missouri on a senior capstone project. Block was working toward his degree in strategic communication, which he achieved in May.
The project was one that worked in conjunction with FOX Sports University, a program that aligns academic programs with athletic programs. Each selected class works with a Fox Sports Media Group to attempt to address a marketing, research, technology or strategy challenge that the business faces.
“FOX Sports University goes into these different college, and they assign projects that kind of benefit some of the partnerships with organizations that they have,” Block explained.
The University of Missouri students were challenged to develop strategic campaigns to increase fan awareness, engagement and viewership of Premiere Boxing Champions (PBC) on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes.
A semester’s worth of work went into the project’s development, and when it was done, Block and his student group presented to FOX what they came up with. Shortly after, Block’s group was a selected as a winner, and Block was chosen to represent the group at the NSMA Awards Conference.
It gave Block an opportunity to confirm what he already knew.
“Getting to talk to professionals that work in the industry that I potentially hope to work in one day and having one-on-one conversations was really helpful,” Block said.
“While we won the project, they don’t necessarily use everything that we do, but they use portions of it. It opened my eyes to let me know this was something I wanted to do. I kind of knew of it, but it defintely made it more real.”
Block originally started at Missouri with the intention of going into sports broadcasting, but now he thinks he’s now found more of a distinct path that truly suits his interests.
“My dream job would be working for an MLB team in some capacity,” Block said. “I don’t 100 percent have a job title of what I want to do; there’s a lot of things I’m interested in.
Television producing is something I’d like. I’ve also done a lot in adverstising and promotions, and lately I’ve done a lot of video work with editing, and it is something I could see myself doing as well.”
Block’s attendance at the event certainly helped him gain some contacts and have some meet and greets, and Block was particularly pleased to have a few minutes to chat with hockey broadcaster Mike Emrick, one of Block’s personal favorites.
All in all, Block’s experience was one he won’t soon forget.
“It was pretty inspiring, and it was a good opportunity to see how far people have come and to see of these people doing great work in a job I hope to be in one day,” Block said.