Published on March 27, 2024 by Sofia Paglioni  
McKinley Johnston M79A7742

McKinley Johnston, sophomore marketing major with a sports marketing concentration in Samford University’s Brock School of Business, is gearing up for an exciting internship with the Savannah Bananas this summer. Known for their engaging fan experiences, the Savannah Bananas are loved by millions on their Tik Tok account for their choreographed dances and untraditional game of “banana ball.” Johnston will be going on tour with them as an entertainment and promotions intern and will assist the team in various marketing efforts.

During her summer internship, Johnston will be brainstorming new promotion ideas, picking contestants and coordinating the setup and breakdown of the team’s “Plaza Party.” Johnston said, “I'm excited to be a part of an organization like the Savannah Bananas. There are several new ideas being debuted at each game and no two games are alike. It's hard not to like the Bananas especially because everything is geared towards making sure the fan is having the ultimate experience possible.”

Johnston credits Brock School of Business for offering a foundation to launch her professional endeavors, specifically Professor Darin White and Kathryn Boyd, that have uplifted her over the past two years. She said, “Brock School of Business professors have given me advice on how to navigate this process and give me opportunities to grow my skills and stand out as an applicant in a competitive industry.” Johnston sees this opportunity as just the beginning of her professional journey.

Johnston’s career goal is to work in the world of sports marketing, specifically in the digital media space. As she steps up to the plate for her internship with the Savannah Bananas, Johnston hopes to hit a home run in revolutionizing the fan experience in sports marketing.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.