STAR is an organization designed to assist professional athletes and artists gain the necessary skills to advance their businesses and philanthropic activities. The program partnered with the George Washington University Business School to create a two year, intense EMBA program that provided education via online courses, trips to international economic hubs like Beijing, and classroom experience at GW. Courtney Flantzer Public Relations was hired by STAR to inform the public (both nationally and locally) about the program and how students were already using entrepreneurial skills to expand beyond the football field, director’s chair, and recording studio.
In February 2013 the second class of students joined STAR EMBA to begin earning their Executive Masters in Business degrees, following a successful first class that included current and former NFL players, a professional poker player, and an Olympic golfer. We began with a live interview on Fox 5 with former Redskin Derrick Dockery and Super Bowl winning former Indiana Colt Gary Brackett to talk about just why wealthy athletes should invest in their business education.
A great perk of being in Washington, DC is the proximity to Congress and our nation’s leaders. Our next step was to gain Capitol Hill coverage for the group’s visit with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
More politically-focused press immediately followed with Super Bowl winning Brendon Ayanbadejo’s interview on Bill Press’s nationally syndicated radio show. This appearance gave Ayanbadejo not only the opportunity to discuss the necessity of athletes and artists successfully managing their business portfolios, but also provided Ayanbadejo an excellent platform to discuss his support of LGBT equality, something he strongly felt was lacking in professional sports.
Flantzer PR was able to leverage STAR EMBA’s coverage in The Hill and the Bill Press Show to successfully pitch their story to the Associated Press and Bloomberg. Both publications were interested in specific ways students implement the tools they gain with the EMBA degree. For the AP, the writer was interested in Derrick and Emma Dockery’s charitable work for veterans and Will Witherspoon’s organic farm business. The story was picked up nationwide from the Washington Post to Yahoo! News.
As STAR EMBA also has a philanthropic focus, Bloomberg found former Baltimore Ravens Ovie Mughelli’s foundation which works to educate children about the environment. We partnered with the Truman Foundation, who brought veterans from a group called Operation Free for an evening party in downtown DC.
Once the students finished their two weeks in Washington Flantzer PR was able to leverage more local press to educate the audience about local students in the program. These included an interview with former Redskin Stephen Bowen, his wife Tiffany, and a GW faculty member on NBC4 and an interview on Washington Business Report with STAR founder Michael Lythcott and former pro-bowler Rocky McIntosh to talk about entrepreneurism after the NFL.