Two Ball State seniors will spend their summer interning at Barstool Sports Indy, co-founded by former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee.
Unlike ESPN, Barstool mixes comedy with pop culture and sports news.
Cory Craig, a senior journalism and telecommunications news major, and Tyler O’Keefe, a senior video production major, were selected as two of six interns from more than 500 initial applications. Craig and O’Keefe were both chosen as videographers.
Craig saw the application and the requirement of filming a 90 second video explaining why he should be chosen for a face-to-face interview.
“I was like, 'Yeah, why not apply?' I know how to do all of this stuff, I love doing it, it’s what I want to do with my life,” Craig said. “I wasn’t expected to get chosen … I work for NewsLink a little bit, I went to the Olympics with Ball State at the Games. I think that helped me a lot, having that professional experience I had there.”
Sixty-nine applicants were chosen for face-to-face interviews. Those who were chosen waited for hours in a basement before going into the interview alphabetically by first name. Even though Craig’s first name started with a C, he still waited for six hours.
When he got into the interview room, McAfee and his team watched Craig’s audition video with him.
“I didn’t even get to say a word before they moved me on to the next round … as soon as the video ended Pat looked around and said ‘I say we send him through,’” Craig said. “I said, 'I waited five or six hours to talk to you guys, I wanna talk to you.' We talked about cereal, beer, bowling and basketball. It was nothing like you’d actually get at a real interview.”
More than ten hours after O’Keefe arrived for the in-person interview, he finally got his turn and was the last person interviewed.
“They watched [the video] … they literally only asked me two questions. They asked me if I filmed everything myself and they asked me what kind of camera I used,” O’Keefe said. “[They said] if you can help us make something that looks like that, maybe not quite as serious … I think they want to do some funny stuff that looks like it was produced really well, and that’s where I think I want to come in. It’s pretty exciting.”
The final challenge gave the remaining 20 interns 24 hours to produce or be a personality in a three minute video showcasing Indianapolis. After McAfee and his team had watched all the videos, they called the interns in and told six of them that they had the internship.
“After that, Pat stopped and started going off on how this is the hardest part of his job and everyone’s like, 'Oh crap, we just got cut after spending all this time,' and then he said I'm just messing, everyone in this room is through,” Craig said. “We got so close that last day [so] I was real happy that everyone got in that was there.”
Both interns are looking forward to growing alongside Barstool Indy. The internship officially starts in June, but Craig and O’Keefe plan on producing content during the Indianapolis 500 in May.
“It’s still pretty weird to have that feeling that you’re one of hundreds and hundreds of people that applied and I was chosen out of it,” Craig said. “Knowing that I’m the first group in there that's going to put Barstool Indy on the map and get it started, and possibly be the starters of this company that’s going to take over the world, that’s the coolest feeling of it all.”
O’Keefe saw McAfee when he performed stand-up comedy at Emens Auditorium last year and is a longtime fan of the Colts. He hopes to work on military appreciation videos and connect with other comedians that McAfee brings to Barstool Indy.
“I think with my production skills and their funniness, that maybe we could make some solid barstool stuff with some solid production value … I’m in on the ground floor of Barstool Indy and I’m excited to see where it can take me,” O’Keefe said. “Their whole market is the fact that they’re just silly, but I think if they could also produce a couple of serious things, it’ll be more like it’s, 'Oh, it’s not just haha all the time, wow, they can really go out and produce something.'”
Whether it's serious sports news or jokes about pop culture, both Craig and O'Keefe are excited to get to work with Barstool Indy.