Anica Chavez, Media Studies '12
From Don to Giant
It Doesn't Get More SF
"USF provided me with the foundational knowledge necessary for the industry."
The media can be a tough field to break into, not to mention sports. But with a little persistence and a lot of hard work, Anica Chavez ‘12 turned her degree in Media Studies into a career as the Executive Producer for SFG Productions, the video production and marketing department for the San Francisco Giants. Her success story goes back to her time at USF.
As an undergrad, Anica interned relentlessly. Her experience ranged from an internship with KPIX Sports learning the ins and outs of television broadcasting, to freelancing as a utility or control room operator at many Bay Area professional and collegiate sporting events, to two years logging countless hours of footage while interning with the Giants. It was this last position that led to a direct hire with the Giants and steady succession of promotions to where she stands today.
Start by telling me about your job. What’s an average day at work?
One of my favorite things about my job is that there really is no average. The nature of professional sports is definitely unpredictable. And because we serve and work with the entire organization and many external partners, things develop quickly and unexpectedly. This is one of the things I truly love about my job, it is always interesting and keeps me on my toes!
The Giants have been a fixture in San Francisco and the Bay Area for over 60 years, and it is a brand that carries a lot of meaning for this community. Everything we do in SFG Productions contributes to maintaining that brand, encouraging fan loyalty, and just bringing joy to people’s lives. We help connect fans with the team through storytelling and entertainment, so they can feel familiar and close to the Giants. Nowadays everyone wants to connect to their favorite brands through video content, so it’s really cool to get to provide that direct pipeline.
Can you share a career highlight with us?
In 2018, Barry Bonds’s jersey number was retired and my team and I were responsible for coming up with the concept and executing the entertainment for the entire ceremony. We needed an impactful and exciting video to play before Bonds made his entrance to the field. My team and I came up with a concept that represented the greatness of Barry Bonds and what he meant to the Giants organization and the city of San Francisco. We needed the perfect narrator to deliver an epic performance. We were fortunate enough to have the amazing Danny Glover agree to be our talent. Working with him and directing him on this project was definitely a career highlight.
How do you think studying at USF impacted your career directly?
USF provided me with the foundational knowledge necessary for the industry. But I feel the greatest impacts USF had on my career were the networking opportunities. I received my first internship after attending an informal talk given by an alumni and speaking with him about internship openings afterwards. USF and the Media Studies department really put an emphasis on providing practical experience and connections within the industry beyond the classroom. Without this knowledge and assistance, I definitely would have had a much more challenging road to gain the experience needed to succeed.
You worked as the Sports & News Correspondent and Executive Sports Producer for USFtv?
Working at USFtv was was a fantastic experience! Getting to have the hands-on experience of coming up with concepts, executing them and getting the deliverables out was really valuable in my development as a professional. I learned how to work through the process as well as figuring out how to pivot if things didn’t go according to plan and still get a good final piece. These are all skills I use today on a daily basis in my current position. It was also really great working with the entire USFtv team, a really talented and supportive group in my time there.
How do you see USF’s mission playing out in your field?
As a professional baseball team and pillar in the Bay Area community, the Giants have a unique and powerful platform to promote causes and effect change. Players, coaches, and their families all have causes and community initiatives they support year round. And throughout the year the organization works with many community groups and support the causes. I am very proud to be able to bring awareness to these issues through the stories and content we create.
Anything we should keep an eye out for this season?
This season should be really exciting! We have relaunched the Giants YouTube channel and we are creating new, exclusive content for fans. I am particularly excited about the Spanish-language content my team and I are creating this year. We also unveiled a brand new video scoreboard on April 5th, the first 4K board in Major League Baseball. After 10 years with our old board, it’s going to be very refreshing for fans to see our videos in a much bigger way at the ballpark.