On Oct. 16, several Klein students from a variety of departments added real-world experience to their portfolios, while working at the American Athletic Conference Men (AAC)'s and Women's Basketball Media Day held in Philadelphia. The work done by the students was part of over 6 hours of live programming for the event that aired on the conference's digital platforms. The entire show can be found on the American Athletic Conference Youtube channel, and the AAC website has additional student recaps.
Senior Media Studies and Production student Cole Audesirk, KLN '18, was one of the students who worked at the event. Audesirk said, "What I love about sports media is that you are the link between the team and the fan."
The students worked in various departments at the Media Day, which serves as a preview of teams, players and storylines for the upcoming season. It is meant to build buzz for the conference and give fans an idea of what's to come that year. Throughout the day, analysts interview players and coaches, predict how teams will fare and give out preseason awards. What made this event special for Temple was the involvement that Klein students had in its production. The only college with students working the event, Klein had 12 of its own help to produce and cover the event.
Seven worked in video production roles. Audesirk, journalism major Thomas Mintesnot, KLN '21, media studies and production major Laura Hutson, KLN '19, media studies and production major Sara Shields, KLN '18, media studies and production major Jimmy Freas, KLN '21, media studies and production major Melissa Payavis, KLN '18, and media studies and production major Ben Kamens, KLN '18, filmed interviews with players, coaches and analysts, and will continue doing so for AAC events all season. These pieces featured players, coaches and analysts from all the programs giving insight and answering questions about the upcoming season.
Broadcast journalism major Alexa Ross, KLN '18, worked as a reporter for the day, delivering a behind-the-scenes look at the event. Ross worked at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, and currently works as a junior reporter at Fox 29. Finally, media studies and production major Nick Roche, KLN '18, media studies and production major Ayanna Clark, KLN '18, broadcast journalism major Tracy Yatsko, KLN '18, and media studies and production major Ben Otte, KLN 18, worked with the American Digital Network as production assistants, where they handled social media accounts for the day.
"It really stretched my skin creatively. Being in the same spot for 5 hours forced me to try new things from a social media perspective. It was neat to check in to the AAC social media feeds and see your own content attracting attention," Otte said. He and the others ran the AAC Twitter account @American_Conf, posting updates throughout the day.
Klein has a number of advantages over other schools, including it's location and athletics programs.
"Temple has seen some marquee matchups in the past couple of years—football bowl games, the NIT Tournament at Madison Square Garden, NCAA Women's Tournament in Durham," said Audesirk. "Through Klein, we're able to get the opportunity to cover these events."
The AAC Media Day gave students the opportunity to get hands-on experience on a big stage, as well as network with professionals in their field. Shields got the opportunity to meet and film interviews with University of Connecticut basketball coach Geno Auriemma, winner of 11 national titles and 7 College Coach of the Year Awards.
Covering this major event and meeting sports legends wasn't only important work, it was a lot of fun.
Said Otte, "I wish the Media Day could be in Philly every year."