Press Release
The Spark Features Athletics


Press Contact: Teri L. Sullivan
WKNO/Channel 10
(901) 729-8735
tlsullivan@wkno.org

January 9, 2014
For Immediate Release

“The Spark” on WKNO-TV Looks at the Role of Athletics in the Community

In this month’s episode of the monthly series The Spark, premiering Thursday, January 23 at 9:00 p.m., host Jeremy Park meets with three Memphian professionals to discuss athletic missions in the Mid-South. A co-production of WKNO with Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club (LPBC) and Media Source, The Spark airs the third Thursday of each month on WKNO/Channel 10.

The Spark is a monthly 30-minute series about business and community leaders who are fueling change by giving back to the Mid-South. Each month we showcase several of these hometown heroes who are affecting change and leading by example. Major funding is provided by Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, Data Facts, and State Systems, Inc., with additional funding from Baptist Memorial Health Care and Christian Brothers University.

The theme this month on The SPARK is “Athletics.” Host Jeremy Park sits down with Tom Bowen, Director of Athletics for The University of Memphis; Randy Odom, Chief Operating Officer for Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM); and Elliot Perry, former NBA player, minority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, and founder of Education Champions.   

Tom Bowen talks about how the intercollegiate athletics program has served as a focal point of civic pride for more than 100 years, boasting close to 400 student athletes, competing in seventeen sports. Bowen highlights how many of the skills learned on the field translate into the classroom and lead to student success. He provides a glimpse behind the scenes at how they are building up and investing in each of the seventeen sports and how that relates to a $45 million capital campaign poised to position The University of Memphis as a leader for years to come.      

Randy Odom discusses how MAM is working in under-resourced neighborhoods and using sports to develop youth into spiritually strong, productive adults. Odom talks about their after school and summer programs that take place in eleven neighborhood youth centers. Their sports programs play a key role in teaching valuable life lessons, like teamwork, preparation, self-discipline, focus, and respect. Odom highlights the synergy of their efforts and the success it is having in our community. 

Elliot Perry offers his personal story of how athletics shaped his life and is affording him the opportunity to give back. He founded Education Champions as an opportunity to focus on and share the positive efforts taking place around the Mid-South. Perry provides perspective on some of those successes and importance of mentoring and the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation TEAM UP initiative, along with some tips on how others can play a role in re-investing in our community’s future success.    

It airs Thursday, January 23 at 9:00 p.m. and repeats at 2:00 a.m. on WKNO/Channel 10. It also airs Saturday, January 25 at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 26 at 10:00 a.m. on WKNO. It will repeat the Saturday, January 25 at 3:30 p.m. on WKNO2, available over the air on Channel 10.2 and on Comcast Cable Channel 910.

About The Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club
The Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club is a privately-funded catalyst for the Mid-South, serving to enrich business leaders and impact the community. The organization hosts over 100 events each year, including a Signature Breakfast Series that brings together 400 business and community leaders who shape the Mid-South.

About Media Source
Media Source is a full-service corporate and broadcast television production firm based in Memphis, and was founded by Joe Incardona after his career as an award-winning on-air reporter for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City and WREG-TV in Memphis.

The company also provides local and national media monitoring services to a host of corporate and non-profit organizations nationwide.

Among its television production credits, Media Source has produced broadcast material for ABC News, PBS, CBS “60 Minutes,” CNN, CNBC, TV One, and national TV networks in Germany, Austria, Japan, and France. In addition, the firm has produced local broadcast TV shows and segments for Memphis Light, Gas, and Water, and Methodist Healthcare.  Corporate television clients have included Baptist Memorial Health Care, Hilton Worldwide, Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, Power & Tel, Cspire Wireless, and the City of Memphis.

About WKNO 
WKNO is a non-profit, private foundation serving the Mid-South for more than 57 years. An important community resource, WKNO uses the power of non-commercial public broadcasting to provide the Mid-South with quality educational and cultural programs that inform, entertain, and inspire. For more information: wkno.org

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