Aniebiet Okon enrolled in URI as a marketing major, but quickly realized there was another degree path that would allow him to combine his passions for graphic design, branding, and sports: the Sports Media and Communication major housed in the Harrington School of Communication and Media. Designed to be an interdisciplinary program, this major offers students an understanding of sports media and how sports communication expertise translates into industries that span journalism, broadcasting, manufacturing, consulting, technology, management, and more.
As a sports media major, Okon is getting plenty of experience both inside and outside the classroom. A sports branding class helped him find his identity as a graphic designer in this realm, and he’s been able to pursue creative opportunities outside the classroom as well. “The sports media major highly encourages its student to get out-of-the-classroom experiences such as internships, and I’ve done this through working with the athletic department as a graphic design intern,” he says. “I’ve mainly worked with the football team where I’ve been responsible for building the team’s brand and social media reach by creating weekly in-season graphics and graphics for recruits.”
Immerse yourself in historical, critical, analytical, practical, and professional approaches to sports communications.
After graduation, Okon says he hopes to continue working in sports as a graphic designer and eventually lead his own creative department. As for advice for students who are interested in this field as well, Okon notes: “I would encourage prospective sports media majors to do two things: 1). get in-field experience as soon as possible and 2). network with people within the industry, whether that’s people working in the athletic department here at URI or people outside the URI community working positions you want to work in.”
-By Anna Gray