Baldwin City, Kan. — Six Baker University students traveled to Atlanta during the holiday break to learn more about event operations and strategies connected to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and other organizations as part of an interterm course titled “Bowl Game Extravaganza: Sport Public Relations in Action.”
Drew Huttinger, Austin Johanning, Tye Hughes, Cooper Johns, Nick Patterson and Austin Keberlin joined Ron Christian, assistant professor of sport administration, the final week of December for the weeklong trip. The course was designed to provide the students in-depth analysis of public and media relations theories, strategies and applications within the context of the sport industry. Throughout the course, the students examined and applied the concepts of public relations, communications, corporate social responsibility, and media relations strategies to the problems of sport organizations.
“The interterm experience at Baker is so unique, and that’s the foundation that made this class trip possible,” Christian said. “The connections we have made are opening doors to a number of opportunities. Atlanta is a model sport community with a great support system. We had quite an experience seeing the different facets of public relations and event operations. We hope to continue providing this opportunity for students.”
In addition to attending the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Texas Christian and Mississippi, the group visited officials with the Atlanta Hawks, the Georgia Dome, the College Football Hall of Fame, CNN and the World of Coke.
“The Hawks welcomed us and provided an in-depth Q & A about their operations, as well as public relations and marketing strategy,” the Baker professor noted.
The College Football Hall of Fame recognized Baker University, one of the winningest NAIA programs. Charlie Richard, who compiled a 123-28-1 record in 14 seasons coaching the Wildcats, was inducted posthumously into the hall in 2004.
“One of the coolest things about the trip to Atlanta was walking into the College Football Hall of Fame and seeing the Baker University helmet on the wall along with all the other college football teams in the nation,” Huttinger said. “I also thought the College Football Hall of Fame was one the most incredible places I’ve ever been too. The virtual experience of the whole place is unreal.”
The students embraced the experience to interact with professionals in sport administration.
“Hearing tips and advice from senior VP’s was an amazing learning opportunity,” Hughes said. “It was unbelievable to work with and be a part of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, seeing firsthand many behind-the-scenes operations and gaining work experience with such a renowned sporting event.”