SPORTS COMMUNICATION

Natasha Reyes

Junior, Public Relations
Oregon Athletics Ambassador; Vice president, membership experience and communications, Warsaw Sports Business Club
Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Natasha Reyes no longer thinks twice about sitting down with one of her sports idols and tossing out ideas for a public relations campaign.

Lured by the Ducks' athletic success, the lifelong sports fan left her home state of Texas. She hardly dared to imagine she’d end up collaborating behind the scenes with Ducks football coaches and facilitating tours of the newly rebuilt Hayward Field as an Oregon athletics ambassador—let alone spending a summer strategizing with NBA players for the New York-based Excel Sports Management.

With close access to a prestigious university sports brand and global events like the upcoming Oregon22 World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field, the SOJC is unique in its ability to deliver real-world sports journalism and communication experiences to students who want to combine their love of athletics with their passion for storytelling. Fostering these types of cross-disciplinary experiences is a priority of the UO Sport and Wellness Initiative.

“Oregon is a huge national brand, which is why I was drawn to it. I could connect sports with my public relations major, and the SOJC professors really support both,” said Reyes, who networks with sports professionals as vice president of membership experience and communications for the Warsaw Sports Business Club. “They realize what a unique situation it is here to have such a great communications school and such a successful athletics program.”

“Working with athletes I’ve idolized, I get to use my skills and strategies to help them do a better job of telling their story and supporting their causes.”
Natasha Reyes

a student journalist poses with lots of gear at a football game

a student journalist poses in front of a US Olympic team sign

a student journalist interviews a USA track and field athlete

Matthew Knight Arena during a basketball game

Student Initiative Supports Athlete Marketing

College athletics has entered a new era: Student-athletes can now make money off their names, images, and likenesses (NIL). But not every athlete knows how to pursue partnerships with brands. So the SOJC joined forces with the Lundquist College of Business’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to launch the Oregon Accelerator, a first-of-its-kind, full-service, student-led marketing and branding collective to help UO athletes make the most of new NCAA rules. SOJC students will gain hands-on experience in creative strategy, content production, and the use of emergent and immersive media technologies.

Explore the Accelerator

Meet the Sports Communication Faculty

portrait of SOJC professor Henry Wear

Henry Wear ’12

Assistant professor of sports communication

Henry Wear is on a mission to understand the intricacies of how sports companies communicate to their audiences. The UO graduate focuses his research on the ways individuals interact with sports brands and how sports organizations can use their brands to shape behavior. Within the sports industry, things are always on the move—so he teaches his students how to be flexible, quick-thinking, and innovative when working in the fast-paced environment.

SOJC professor Lori Shontz points to a student during class

Lori Shontz

Journalism professor of practice

Lori Shontz’s one-of-a-kind Sports Bureau class, more commonly known as “Track Class,” combines classroom elements with real-world experience to give students a glimpse of what it would be like to cover track and field as a career. The Sports Bureau took students to Doha, Qatar, to cover the 2019 IAAF Track and Field World Championships, and gave students the opportunity to facilitate 392 post-competition media interview from the Olympic Track and Field Trials. Since 2015, Lori’s students have published 199 stories for 38 professional clients.

Dan Morrison instructs a student with a camera and long telephoto lens in the foreground

Dan Morrison

Photojournalism senior instructor

Dan Morrison has worked in over 31 foreign countries, including five war zones, as a writer-photographer for magazines. These days, he takes SOJC students to photograph high school sports for local news outlets and to cover newsworthy events like protests and fires. In addition to teaching at the SOJC, Morrison continues his freelance work, which includes producing multimedia clips for KVAL television’s website.

Neil Everett poses with the Oregon Duck

What our alumni say

Neil Everett Morfitt ’84

Co-host
ESPN’s SportsCenter

“If it weren’t for the SOJC, I probably would have spent much of my life making too many ‘Not Top Plays.’ SOJC provided the inspiration I needed to focus on a future in journalism and broadcasting.”

Watch Neil's Tribute Video