Corinne Simpson ’13 has traveled parts of the country through her love of her sports and her profession. Simpson talks about how she got started and what her roles are now at the University of Florida.
What is your current title and workplace?
I am currently a communications assistant at the University of Florida Athletic Association. I work primarily with the football program, cross country teams, men’s tennis team and assist with volleyball, men’s basketball and baseball.
How did you get started in the sports industry, and what keeps you busy in your current role?
Growing up my father was a coach/athletic director of the Police Midget football program and so with that I would go to every game and keep stats for him. This sparked an interest in working in sports. So I went to Oklahoma State for college. OSU has one of the only sports media major programs in the country which allowed me to earn a degree in entirely sports related courses. I learned how to produce videos and create graphics. I enhanced my writing skills and learned social media skills. I also got a minor in Sports Management, allowing me to learn the business aspect of the sports industry as well. Additionally, I chose to minor in Spanish because that allowed me to work with a very diverse group of athletes.
Initially, I went to college thinking I wanted to be an on-air reporter/sideline reporter but soon realized that the hours are awful, the pay stinks and most of the time, the athletes don’t want anything to do with you so doing any story with them involved was going to be a challenge. So I switched my focus to the communications aspect which allows me to work with the team as an internal component and enables me to work with the athletes and coaches in a positive manner to tell their story the way they want it told and build a trust and clear path of communication between the team and their fans.
In my role now, I serve as the liaison between the media (writers, TV stations, reporters, etc.) and the team. I have to build a connection with my athletes in which they trust me to get their story told when it is a positive situation and to run damage control when things go wrong. With that, all news that comes directly from the university and the team will come from myself. I run all the social media accounts and the website for the teams and coordinate with our marketing and video staff to create the best content for our fans of that particular sport and keep the content fresh, modern and fun! I am also responsible for all interaction between the NCAA and the SEC and our teams as far as inputting statistics, nominating players for weekly and national honors and submitting entry into regional and national tournaments. I also coordinate and run all press conferences and media sessions for my individual sports.
Tell us about recent experiences that have shaped the kind of work you enjoy doing most.
I have had so many opportunities in the sports industry, but my first internship was an unpaid internship at 93.7 the Ticket in Lincoln. This is a small sports radio station and I worked with their morning show guys to produce their show and put the podcasts on the website. I developed a friendship with those guys and still continue that to this day.
While in Oklahoma for school, I had the opportunity to work for Fox Sports and ESPN whenever they were broadcasting a football or basketball game in Stillwater. I usually was just a runner but it allowed me to be around the production and understand what goes on with national broadcasts.
One of the opportunities that attracted me to Oklahoma State was a club called Pioneer Media in which the media students worked with the high school athletic department to coordinate all social media, video, photography, writing and statistical content for the team. When I was a junior, football was the only sport that Pioneer Media worked with. I started covering baseball and led the Pioneer Media efforts for the next year and half through two baseball seasons and a football season. I was responsible for all social media coverage and coordinating all other media coverage as well as maintaining stats. I traveled to many away games for both baseball and football and also served as the liaison between the media (national, scouts, local and even other college students) and the high school athletes.
I also worked for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder in their Communications Department when I was in college. I was at every home game for the Thunder and distributed statistics and then coordinated and facilitated post-game interviews.
After graduation, I was hired as a post-graduate intern for the Seattle Seahawks PR department. There, I facilitated and coordinated all media during training camp and contributed to the weekly game program with creative components and also created the weekly media guide for the team. I also assisted in the media credentialing process for every home game and served as a game host to several different media parties. Post-game, I was responsible for all Seahawks post-game media sessions and transcribe all interviews for the Seahawks and the away team.
How did Pius X impact your college and career experiences thus far?
I feel like Pius X shaped me into the person I am today. High school is a very important time in the development of the mind, heart and soul. It is when you start to develop some of your values and morals, as well as your character. I know that Pius helped me find my character and personality. It showed me that it was perfectly fine to leave the state of Nebraska and follow my own path after high school. You also learn a lot of decision making skills in high school and I was very fortunate to go to high school where we were taught that God’s plan was the most important plan and to trust in his ways and they will never waiver.
Were there activities at Pius X that shaped who you are?
I played softball for two years in high school, but never suited up for a varsity game. My time on the softball team taught me that you aren’t always going to be the best in your field, but I was always taught that sports don’t build character, they reveal it. For me, I used sports as another tool to build up my work ethic and challenge myself and learn how to accept defeat.
It was through playing sports and being around sports my entire life, in which led me down my career path. I joined the X-Change (student newspaper) as a sophomore. My junior year I was the sports editor and my senior year I was named Editor-In-Chief and Sports Editor. Newspaper in high school gave me a leg up in terms of layout, design and writing ability when I got to college and even now in my career. I was able to refine and hone my writing skills that Mr. D (who played a big role in my career as well, shout out to him!) taught me but also enhance the photography, graphic design, layout design and writing abilities to serve whatever purpose was required for my job.
Initially, I wanted to be a reporter, so I also joined speech team to help me polish my public speaking skills. I never had a problem being outspoken or talking in front of groups of people, but speech helped me figure out verbiage, facial expressions, hand motions and posture as well. It taught me to speak with confidence and use passion and voice to express your opinions, because as soon as you do all of that, people will listen to what you have to say! (Another shout out to Mr. D for putting up with me during speech as well and letting me come back and help with speech practices whenever I am available)
What is your dream job or ultimate goal?
My dream job is to be the Vice President of Communications for an NFL or MLB team or the Director of Communications at a Power Five University or the United State Olympic Committee. But regardless of where I work, I want to be the main person in charge of all communications within that team/organization.
When not working, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy?
Wow, since I don’t get a lot of down time, I usually watch TV or sleep. But when I do have some free time, I love to travel and go see new places and experience new things. I also like going to sporting events and/or watching sports on TV … even if I have to work another sporting event in a few hours or the next day. I enjoying shopping and cooking as well.