During any sporting event, fans are hungry for key highlights and replays. Sharing those moments of excitement is core to Elizabeth Swinton '18 and her work at Sports Illustrated (SI).
The College of Communication and the Arts alumna recently joined the well-known outlet as an associate social media producer. Well versed in the phrase "every second counts," Swinton is constantly on the lookout for those eye-catching video snippets found on SI's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.
"My focus is primarily on live games and events, and I look for any highlights that will gain interaction and grow SI's followers," said Swinton, who concentrated in Visual and Sound Media with a Journalism minor. "I also log and schedule video content that published on SI's TV platform and is pushed on separate social media accounts featuring award-winning SI originals, sports movies, documentaries and TV shows."
To find those highlights, Swinton constantly reviews materials and recent happenings to ensure she is up-to-date on the sports industry. While her night shifts are a bit unconventional, her schedule allows her to pay attention to the important games of the night to identify compelling clips and share any breaking news relevant to SI's stakeholders. In addition, sharing SI's trending news and in-depth stories is vital in her day-to-day duties, as she circulates the website's latest content on all social media platforms to be consumed worldwide.
Curating content geared toward sports fans is familiar territory to Swinton. As an undergraduate journalism minor, she developed her skills both in and outside of the classroom, taking sports media classes and joining Seton Hall University's student-run newspaper, The Setonian, as a sports staff writer and later, sports editor. She worked closely with Professional-in-Residence B.J. Schecter who helped her refine her writing and gave her the confidence to enter the field. "I'm thankful for the knowledge Professor Schecter relayed through his personal experiences and by bringing in accomplished journalists to speak to our classes," said Swinton.
Off campus, she also wrote for The Brooklyn Game, a blog dedicated to covering professional basketball team, the Brooklyn Nets, as a social media specialist. In 2017, she became the managing editor of the online platform which is affiliated with the YES Network, the most-watched regional sports network that owns the TV rights to the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Nets, and Major League Soccer's New York City Football Club (NYCFC).
"Coming from writing about sports at Seton Hall University with The Setonian and covering the Brooklyn Nets, I knew I wanted to work in sports media," highlighted Swinton. "At SI, the people I work with all love what they do. I love both social media and writing, and everyone encourages me to get involved." Recently, Swinton published her first article for SI titled "Her Time to Play" about a new Jr. National Basketball Association (NBA) initiative aimed toward young girls.
Beyond the fast-paced world of sports, Swinton's production work has also been featured locally in a collaboration with Sea Turtle Recovery, a nonprofit dedicated to the care of sea turtles at Essex County's Turtle Back Zoo.
As part of her Field Production II class with Faculty Associate William Pace, Swinton developed an informative video about the recovery center, its operations and the center's co-executive officers, Brandi Biehl and Bill Deerr. Today, her video is used in the center's exhibit area to teach visitors about turtles and the work being completed. The piece was also featured in the 2018 SOMA Film Festival and screened at the nonprofit's fundraiser, the Allie Colleen Benefit Concert. The center credits the video with helping to raise awareness and increase donations.
Swinton's position at SI relies heavily on her journalism background, and she is thankful for the opportunities she was presented at Seton Hall University. "We were given the technology, access and the platform to apply what we learned in class to the real world. We learned from professors who passed along their first-hand experiences and professional networks to the students," said Swinton. "I was grateful for how accessible my professors were, whether it be to undergraduate students or even alumni of the program."