Students share PR ideas with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker

May 25, 2010

Two students from the College of Communications met with Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley and shared ideas about gaining media attention and sponsorship for the athlete’s charity program this week.

Pittsburgh-area natives Casey Knapp and Sarah West, both juniors at Penn State, were part of two groups in a class taught by Renea Nichols, a senior lecturer in the Department of Advertising/Public Relations, that developed strategic communication plans for Woodley’s “Sack Attack Program.”

The Sack Attack Program, launched during the 2009-10 National Football League season, serves disadvantaged children in Pittsburgh and Woodley’s hometown of Saginaw, Mich., by raising money for every sack Woodley records. In its inaugural season, sponsors pledged $500 for every sack -- and he recorded 13.5.

Beneficiary organizations include: All Stars Helping Kids, Heroes for Kids, and the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania.

Nichols, who also grew up in Saginaw and wanted to help, incorporated the group work as part of COMM 471 Public Relations Media and Methods. During a special event to celebrate the first year of Woodley’s charity program, Knapp and West suggested additional PR options that included billboards, fan involvement, YouTube videos and more. All of the suggestions were also shared with officials who coordinate day-to-day operations for the Sack Attack Program.

  • Students Sarah West (left) and Casey Knapp (right) with Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010