SEATTLE, WA— (club release) Seattle Sounders FC, together with its charitable arm, RAVE Foundation, today announced the implementation of the Sounders FC / RAVE Foundation Sports Media Institute. This new program is set to provide a unique opportunity for rising seventh, eighth and ninth grade students in the Puget Sound region, as it focuses on using Sounders FC soccer as a vehicle for empowerment and early career exploration.
“RAVE Foundation was born last year out of our club’s desire to lead, serve and invest in the world around us, with a special focus on working with local communities to reach underserved youth,” said Sounders FC Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley. “As RAVE has blossomed, it has only furthered the Sounders’ commitment to these ideas and we are thrilled to introduce the inaugural Sports Media Institute, which we feel is an example of the kind of innovative and thoughtful programming that will provide lasting benefits to all involved. Our entire team is looking forward to working with this special group of students and delivering an inspirational and educational experience.”
Inspired by longtime Sounders FC and Seahawks Front Office executive Gary Wright – for whom the press box at CenturyLink Field is also named – the month-long program is designed to allow young students the chance to explore professional skills such as reporting, writing, editing, public speaking, problem solving and leadership under the instruction of various local sports media professionals, with the goal of helping students visualize future college and career opportunities.
“This program is a way RAVE Foundation and Sounders FC can use soccer as a vehicle to address underlying issues in our communities,” said RAVE Executive Director Ashley Fosberg. “Through our relationships with local school districts, we know that middle school students have the most success when they enter high school with a plan for their future. This Sports Media Institute is one way the Sounders can help. At the very least, we know students will gain valuable literacy and communications skills, but our real goal is for them to leave the institute with a sense of pride and a vision for themselves beyond high school.”
The program is scheduled to take place during the month of July, with three two-to-three-day sessions each week, including both a classroom and practicum day for each session. In addition, students will attend two Seattle home matches over the course of the institute, giving participants a chance to practice their new skills during the ultimate test of a matchday.
The 30 students selected to participate will learn about major categories of sports media – including print and digital media, broadcast media, social media and team media relations / communications – with help from local experts, including Wright, former Seattle Times columnist and local author Steve Kelly, in addition to talent and production from Sounders FC’s robust array of regional broadcast partners. What is learned in the classroom is then put to practice during the practicum days, where students observe team training sessions and are given the opportunity to write, report and work alongside both local media and team communications staff.
At the end of the month, projects that the class worked on throughout the institute are judged, and the winning student and his or her parent or guardian will travel to a Sounders FC road match for a chance to experience the sports media operations of a road contest.
Students selected for the institute are provided with transportation to and from every session, as well as lunches. All interested students are encouraged to apply, as individual challenges facing selected participants will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
Those interested in the Sounders FC / RAVE Foundation Sports Media Institute may apply online at http://conta.cc/2ngqqy1. Applications are open through May 15 and participants will be selected by the end of May.