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More than 200 Arizona State University students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are assisting the NFL and major media outlets, providing critical support and news coverage for Super Bowl XLIX.
With the Super Bowl generating record-breaking activity on social media channels, the Cronkite School is home to the NFL’s Social Media Command Center this week before it moves to the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. More than 150 ASU students are monitoring all activities and conversations on NFL social media channels to keep fans connected to Super Bowl-related news and activities.
Cronkite School Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan said the NFL housing its Social Media Command Center at ASU is unprecedented. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the NFL through its Social Media Command Center,” Callahan said. “This is one of several amazing opportunities for our outstanding students to experience the world’s premier sporting event as working media professionals.”
Cronkite News, the Cronkite School’s award-winning broadcast news and digital media outlet, will have a presence on Radio Row, the media epicenter of the Super Bowl. Broadcast and digital student journalists will report on breaking news and events from Radio Row at the Phoenix Convention Center.
As part of a new sports journalism program at the Cronkite School, students also produced Super Bowl-related multimedia content for news organizations, including Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, azcentral and FOX Sports Arizona. For Sports Illustrated, students developed an online interactive travel guide, highlighting Valley restaurants, outdoor excursions and other activities through videos and other multimedia content.
“It’s not your standard travel guide,” Sports Illustrated Executive Editor B.J. Schecter said. “I think it was a really good experience for the students, and the end result is something that they can be proud of. It’s really good content.”
Nearly 50 Cronkite students also are assisting with Super Bowl-related show operations at major television networks and production companies, including NBC, ESPN, CBS Sports, MSNBC and Dick Clark Productions. At NBC, students are serving as show runners for several programs, including “TODAY” and “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”
From the Cronkite News – Phoenix Sports Bureau, 30 students will be producing numerous stories on the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl for Cronkite News broadcast and digital outlets as well as Cronkite News media partners. The Phoenix Sports Bureau is a fully operational digital newsroom at the Cronkite School where students cover sports under the guidance of professional journalists.
The Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab will be working four NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl events, including the Taste of NFL, the NFL Gospel Celebration, the NFL Player Networking Event and NFL Moms “Baskets of Hope.” The Public Relations Lab is a strategic communications agency that puts advanced level PR students to work developing campaigns and strategies for major companies and nonprofits.
The Cronkite School also is hosting a weeklong sports journalism lecture series featuring ESPN columnist and “Pardon the Interruption” host Michael Wilbon, USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins, ESPN Senior Vice President Rob King and Mike Arnold, the lead game director of “The NFL on CBS.” The public lecture series kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. in the First Amendment Forum. The complete schedule can be found at https://cronkite.asu.edu/events/speaker.