GBL 205 IS THROUGH THE LENS OF ESPN: FROM BRISTOL TO BEYOND 4 S.H.
This course utilizes the history of ESPN as well as site visits to media organizations in the United States and abroad to examine the political, economic, and cultural influence of sports media on society around the world. It traces the evolution of ESPN from a small television company in Bristol, CT to an international multimedia giant, highlighting key milestones in the organization’s history in an effort to contextualize those events within the global media ecosystem. Students will tour ESPN facilities, meet with media executives from various organizations, attend sporting events, and apply theoretical concepts from both business and communications to timely and relevant sports media issues. While some site visits will remain static (e.g. New York and Bristol, CT), others will change year-to-year in an attempt to emphasize noteworthy events in the global sports calendar.
- Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
- Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.
This course does not have a Fall Prerequisite Preparatory Seminar. There will be a fall meeting in lieu of the Fall Prerequisite Preparatory Seminar.
Activity Level: Challenging
Activity levels are rated to fit into one of four categories: easy going, moderate, challenging and demanding. This program is rated as challenging, which means walking is the best way to get to know a new place. Be prepared for a good physical challenge and to spend the entire day on the move, whether it’s public transit, city streets or village cobblestones. At the end of the day, you will likely feel like you’ve had a real workout.
Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during registration for Winter Term.
To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.
This course is a Winter Term travel embedded course. The tentative travel dates for the program are January 3- 24, 2020.
While official flight itineraries are typically distributed in early September, the tentative group departure/return point is TBD.
Note: This information is subject to change based on airline changes and cancellations.
This course is a Winter Term travel embedded course. You will spend part of the course on campus at Elon, then travel to New York/Connecticut and an international destination for the other part.
Week 1: Elon
Through substantial reading and discussion, students will develop a foundational knowledge of a) the history of ESPN and b) the larger global sports media landscape. By applying theories from both communications and business, students will examine the ubiquitous influence of sports media organizations around the world.
Week 2: New York/Connecticut
The course will spend three or four days in New York City and one or two days in Bristol, Connecticut. Each day will incorporate either one of two “site” visits in order to engage with members of sports media organizations as well as a pre and/or post visit briefing in a classroom-like environment.
- Possible site visits:
ESPN Ad Sales and Marketing (NY); ESPN Headquarters (Bristol, CT); Univision Sports (NY); National Football League (NY); New York Yankees/YES Network (NY); New York Mets/SNY (NY); Major League Baseball or MLBAM (NY); Madison Square Garden (NY).
Week 3: International
For the third week, the course will shift overseas. Location will be dependent on the sports calendar and/or site availability. The purpose of the international component is threefold. First, the site visit will allow the students to interact with sports media companies in a different geographical region. Second, immersion within the country will allow us to use the country’s sports media landscape as a conduit toward an examination of larger economic, political or cultural themes. And third, exposure to another country’s media system allows for critical comparisons with our own system in the United States.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina – In anticipation of the 2019 Copa America, the course travels to the ESPN Production facilities in Buenos Aires. We analyze the synergy between the ESPN team in South America and the ESPN Deportes team in the United States and discuss the increasing importance of the Hispanic demographic to sports media organizations within North America.
Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.
Students will be housed in shared accommodations.
Costs for global study vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill).
Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet.
Basic cost information for all programs is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.
Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.
For additional information on scholarships or other funding for global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page or the financial planning section of our FAQs.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your program.
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for information on when this program will be accepting applications.
See the application instructions webpage
for more information on the application requirements and process.