ESPN Goes PR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eleni Snider   
Monday, 08 March 2010 01:04

Busy woman Betsy Ross talks with
Cincy Chic about her sports communications firm, ESPN past and true love for all sports games. Read on to learn more about this PR all-star.
Can it be humanly possible to be a Xavier University professor, a Cincinnati Bengals' stadium announcer, a morning radio show host, a Fox 19 Sports correspondent, a University of Cincinnati women's basketball announcer, and a president and co-founder of a public relations firm? Yes it is, but only if your name is Betsy Ross. As a former ESPN sports anchor, Ross has taken over Cincinnati's sports PR world with her firm, Game Day Communications, which was formed in 2002.


After commuting back and forth from ESPN in Connecticut to teaching in Cincinnati for five busy years, Ross decided to team up with Jackie Reau to form the sports entertainment communications firm. It was more of a personal decision because she wanted to be closer to her hometown and family but also because she saw a real need for a company like hers, she says.


"There are a lot of companies who do PR. There are a lot of companies who work with sports, but there really wasn't one in our area that did both. And so we saw a niche there … It was born out of necessity more than anything else," Ross says.


0110Fence_INSTORY.gif Game Day's services incorporate digital media tactics, event marketing, a sports fan development institute, media coaching for players, and TV and radio play-by-play.


Some of Game Day's Cincinnati clients include: Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Bengals, University of Cincinnati and Xavier University.


Recently, Ross and her team have dipped their hands into the growing phenomenon of social media sites, which was mostly a push from their clients. Ross says that the client-driven social media aspect of her company is a major component in any company these days because it is really becoming the way that people communicate.


"Social media is not the exception anymore. It's kind of the rule," Ross says for how companies advertise and communicate with their fans and followers.


Game Day Communications has been teaching their clients to use the standard "big 4" social media sites, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also, for a little less than a year now, the firm has been holding once a month social media workshops through the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber to show companies and clients how to manage the social media sites.


Another service provided by the firm is the sports fan development institute that evaluates the fan experience of sporting events. This data shows who the fans are, why they come to the events and what interests them.


"I think everyone knows that the [sports] game is entertainment. The evening is entertainment, more than it is wins and losses. There is such competition for an entertainment dollar, especially in these times. Discretionary dollars are fewer and farther between … so everyone's out for that dollar. So how do you make sure that your event is the kind of event that people want to attend?" Ross asks about the sports fan development institute.


Ross and the Game Day firm compare sports events to their real competition: the new movie out at the nearest AMC movie theater. It's all about entertainment and how sporting events incorporate the fun, like having contests at time outs and shows during half time, she says.


Although Ross claims she was not always necessarily a good player, her mom sparked her interest in sports as a young child. Later, she received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Ball State and a master's degree in communication arts from the University of Notre Dame.


Ross' favorite sport to watch is college football because she loves not only the game, but also the tradition, pre-game and the campus atmosphere that accompany the sport. However, she also really enjoys covering the Cincinnati high school football and basketball games because she sees the students play with so much passion and heart.


Ross and her Game Day Communications team really know how to "team" any sporting event with pure, enjoyable entertainment for all.




Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Betsy Ross
Location: The McAlpin


Eleni Snider -

Eleni Snider is Cincy Chic’s editorial intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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