Bob Costas visits sports marketing class virtually

Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at WashU Olin, shared this blog post about a recent visit from sports analyst Bob Costas’ visit to his sports marketing class.

Humbled, honored and uplifted. Thank you, Mr. Costas.

Mr. Costas was kind enough to spend 45 minutes with WashU students during our sports marketing class on April 21, 2020.

Kally Wendler, AB ’22, who is enrolled in the minor in the business of sports, said she was particularly interested in his response to a question about how sportscasters excite viewers and listeners about athletes they might not be familiar with—Olympic athletes, for example.

“He spoke to the importance of conveying the ‘drama, meaning, exhilaration, and disappointment of the Olympics,'” she said. “His argument that human emotions and narratives carry more weight than the nuts and bolts of the sports themselves is a reflection of what differentiates this industry—raw emotion and engagement.”

This has been a tough semester for many college students across the country, especially seniors who won’t be able to attend their graduation ceremonies with family and friends.

“Having Mr. Costas join our sports marketing class was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Jonathan Arenas, BSBA ’20. “Growing up as a Bulls and Cubs fan, it was staggering to see how well he recalled broadcasting both ‘The Sandberg Game’ and Michael Jordan’s Game 6 winning shot versus the Utah Jazz. It was as if the entire class was present for two of the most historic sports moments of all time.”

But to see the looks on my students’ faces while Mr. Costas was talking to them about sports and life, it was abundantly obvious the profound and inspirational impact he was having upon them at that moment…and will hopefully continue to have for years to come as the students reflect on his thoughtful and sage perspectives.

We talked about his time calling games for the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis, his recollections of calling Michael Jordan’s last game as a Chicago Bulls in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, baseball (future, present and past…including his wonderful retelling of the 1984 Sandberg game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals), his experiences hosting the Olympics, and the future of sports media.

“It was incredible to have him come speak to our class,” said Taylor Cohen, BSBA ’22. “The way he recounted such prominent moments in sports history, through his perspective as a broadcaster and inspiring storyteller persona, made it feel like we were hearing him ‘re-call’ the games for us on-air.”

In News, Teaching & Learning

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