AdZou students score big with FOX Sports, FIFA World Cup

Fox Sports

A select group of students were given unique opportunity to compete for a campaign proposal with big time client

by Lexi Symonds

Students at the Missouri School of Journalism got a chance to make their mark on the world’s biggest women’s soccer championship, The FIFA Women’s World Cup. During the spring semester, four teams of students put the Missouri Method into practice for AdZou — the School’s professional ad agency that serves as a capstone course for graduating seniors —  by developing strategic and creative content to improve awareness of the upcoming 2023 World Cup.

Working with representatives from FOX Sports as part of the network’s FOX Sports University program, the students aimed to drive views toward matches on the network and increase consumption of post-game content like highlights and analysis. Taking on roles as account managers and strategists, they started by sending out a survey that received 652 responses nationwide, which helped the creative team come up with tactics and big ideas to present to the client.

“My team, Active Insight, conducted primary and secondary research, produced an array of creative executions and completed a 24-page plan book outlining every detail, all centering around our big idea, ‘Claim Your Turf’, ” said Elise Finn, who served as an account manager on the project.

 Students incorporated brand partnership concepts that included unique and innovative opportunities to partner with FOX Sports. Their intentions were to adhere to the client’s goals while simultaneously being realistic and creative. The term “thinking outside the box” was embedded in day-to-day work.

“As a strategist, this process really taught me how to balance conducting research while also helping generate ideas with the creative team based on what we thought would be beneficial for FOX,” said strategist Alex Foelsch. “Working with FOX Sports was incredible. When I learned that this was the client I was placed with for my capstone I was so excited because I had heard amazing things from past students on their experience and knowledge they gained from working with them.”

“FOX Sports was life changing for me,” said public relations specialist Ben Ramirez. “I went into our capstone with a clear idea of what I wanted to do post-grad, but this project opened my eyes to a new type of public relations that I wound up loving.“

After the research was completed and compiled into a comprehensive project, students presented their findings to FOX at the midpoint of the semester. In the time between this presentation and the final at the end of the semester, students continued to strengthen their work and tweak the campaigns based on client suggestions.

“After the presentation, about seven weeks were spent coming up with in-person events, out-of-home projects and different ways to integrate social media into our campaign,” said account manager Maren Douglass. “My team came together to come up with ideas that would resonate with our target and our client’s brand.”

At the end of the semester, a handful of FOX Sports employees flew into Columbia for the final presentation. This presentation consisted of a revised research presentation followed by each of the four teams displaying their individualized campaigns. This final overview of the project included ideas for advertisements, partnerships and content. Students capitalized on the opportunity to work alongside such an established brand.

“FOX Sports was life changing for me,” said public relations specialist Ben Ramirez. “I went into our capstone with a clear idea of what I wanted to do post-grad, but this project opened my eyes to a new type of public relations that I wound up loving. I’m so proud of the campaign that we put forward. We made a people focused campaign centered around the intangible need for us to connect to one another.”

The winning team, whose idea will be used for the 2023 Women’s World Cup campaign, will be announced shortly. Regardless of the outcome, students’ hard work and integral communication created a working environment they will never forget.

“This was our twelfth year working with FOX Sports University, and I have to say that it continues to get better every year,” said Scott Fuenfhausen, the AdZou instructor who led the FOX Sports lab. “Getting the opportunity to work on the Women’s World Cup 2023 was just an amazing opportunity for the students. FOX Sports University continuously brings great opportunities for the students to create innovative and effective campaigns. Having a partner like FOX Sports has been something special.”

Updated: June 27, 2022

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