Students Elevate Tourism Blitz for Total Eclipse and NCAA Tournament as Destination Cleveland Interns

A once in a generation moment for the city of Cleveland — hosting the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four Tournament, and days later, being in the path of totality for a solar eclipse — became a launchpad into content creation, social media and public relations for two Kent State students in the School of Media and Journalism.

Senior public relations majors Mia Cadle, ’24, and Genevieve Krejci, ’24, joined Destination Cleveland as interns in early 2024 as the non-profit organization was kicking into high gear to position Cuyahoga County as a tourist destination for Cleveland’s big week. From April 4-8, Cadle and Krejci experienced the excitement as two major events and thousands of tourists converged in Cleveland — all while applying the skills they have been developing over four years.

“The experience gave me an outlet to apply all of the concepts and etiquette we’ve learned in our classes about representing an organization,” said Krejci, a content intern. “We had to familiarize ourselves with brand guides. I had to learn the voice and the tone of Destination Cleveland. It’s cool to see how these things work in real time and extend beyond advertisements and written content.”



Leading up to the two events, Krejci worked on blog posts and “know before you go” guides, ranging from where to watch the eclipse and park, where to get glasses and city guides for NCAA tournament spectators.

During the tournament and eclipse, her work shifted to Destination Cleveland’s “Social Media Command Center,” where, with a team of colleagues, she monitored and responded to social media conversations about the events and the city.

“Being able to do the command center with everybody makes me feel like part of the organization and not ‘just an intern,’” Krejci said. “It was fun to collaborate with other people, and it felt like we, the interns, were just as important. It was cool to be a part of it.”

Eve and Mia at Tourney Town

Cadle, a public relations intern, worked on media relations and welcome booths around the city. Destination Cleveland welcomed out-of-town guests to the city with branded welcome booths and signage at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. They also created team-branded décor and welcome booths for the hotels that each of the Final Four teams were staying at.

Cadle got to visit and help set up these displays. She also assisted with media interviews throughout the span of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.

"Working this week was such an exciting time," Cadle said. "Seeing all the hard work leading up to the event pay-off was such a rewarding experience. I’ve never seen Cleveland so busy with so many people excited to be in The Land. I’m so glad I was able to be part of it!."

This is CLE sign
POSTED: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 01:35 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2024 08:31 AM