The Wide World of Sports

The secret to Andy Clark’s presentation style lies in his ability to integrate messages of character and leadership while enthusiastically showcasing the many opportunities awaiting Midtown Center boys in the worlds of college and professional sports.

Clark, Director of Sports Management Programs at DePaul University and a long-time friend of, and professional contributor to, Midtown, recently spent an hour with students in Terrence McDaniel’s summer Public Relations/Communication Apprenticeship.  But his advice was not that sports- minded students focus on being in the arena but around the arena where positions in marketing, public relations and various supporting roles offer far more realistic goals.

The attention of the 16 young men in the apprenticeship remained rapt throughout Clark’s presentation, even as he provided a realistic view of the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed in the world of sports. He challenged the students with sports/business questions and rewarded correct answers with tchotchkes from Big 10 and professional teams.

More lasting impressions most likely will come in the inspirational quotes that Clark peppered throughout his talk:

“Education is what people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself.” Joi Ito, director MIT Media Lab.

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.” John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach.

And, finally: “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.”  Terdema Ussery, president and CEO, Dallas Mavericks.

Midtown student Danny Sanchez interviews Andy Clark for a story in the Midtown Voice newspaper.

Midtown student Danny Sanchez interviews Andy Clark for a story in the Midtown Voice newspaper.

While the day of Clark’s tutorial was hot and muggy, one suspects the lessons will stick far longer than the humidity.   

The Public Relations/Communications Apprenticeship is funded through a generous grant from the PRSA Foundation.