I probably sound like a broken record because I keep blogging after each class about well the class went the previous night. But, we really did have a stellar class last night — not ’cause of our lecturing but because of our special guest speaker.
The first half of the class was focused on current sports events — including the upcoming Super Bowl, NFLPA talks, Tim Tebow commercial, Gilbert Arenas situation, etc. We also reviewed the 10 greatest Super Bowl commercials — explaining why they were regarded as the best in history. This list included the famous 1984 Apple Mac ad, the Coke / Mean Joe Greene spot, the Michael Jordan / Larry Bird / McDonald’s spot, Terry Tate / Reebok, etc. We’ll see this Sunday if any of the commercials break into this all-time greatest list.
For a number of years, the rating of the commercials came out the following day in the newspapers — the USA Today meter was a particularly popular one — so was the one in Wall Street Journal. But, at AOL in the early 00’s, we changed the game. We started showing the commercials (after the quarter was finished) on AOL and AOL.com — and we had consumers vote immediately how they liked / disliked the spots. We rang up spectacular traffic numbers. We got the nation’s pulse immediately on what they thought of the commercial spots. Of course, once you have success, others will emulate. So, now, many of the other portals and sports sites also stage Super Bowl Commercial polls.
In regard to the guest speaker, this week’s class featured Christine Brennan. Chris is a rock star — she’s a columnist for USA Today; a commentator on ABC, ESPN, Fox, etc; a best-selling author; and an expert on Title IX, Olympics, etc. The sports industry is dominated by males, so it’s good to expose the class to someone who can speak from a different perspective. Chris is arguably the leading expert in the world on Women’s Sports issues — http://www.christinebrennan.com.
She’s covered the Univ of Miami Hurricanes, the Washington Redskins (first female sportswriter in an NFL locker room) and a myriad of sports topics for the Washington Post and USA Today. She’s about to head to her 14th Olympics Games — where she’ll be reporting daily for USA Today, its website and various TV networks.
Her time with the class flew by — discussing Title IX, Olympics, Tiger Woods situation, Erin Andrews, working with Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser and more. The students asked so many questions – I love when the students are so engaged. Once the class was over, she was surrounded by another 7 – 8 students who kept peppering her with questions.
As Chris and I headed to the Tombs after class for a quick catch-up, 4 students walked with us to continue to ask a wide array of interesting questions. It’s great to when we “connect” with the students. Thus, it really was another wonderful class (I can also judge it by the number of emails I receive from students that night and the next day).