SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #3 Recap & Scores

Published by Chris Lindauer on

SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #3 Recap & Scores

We are already halfway through our annual fantasy football sports marketing competition and not seeing much separation at the top of the standings. This might be the most crowded we have ever seen the leaderboard at the midway point, and it looks like anyone could win the championship this year.

Points have been distributed for each school’s response to the Public Relations / Community Relations component of this competition (sports marketing challenge #3). Updated standings are below as well as a few individual shout-outs for particularly strong PR plans.

Blacksburg High School, Virginia (Austin Diablos)

Blacksburg High School students continue to rise to the occasion in this year’s competition, and they submitted a fantastic response to challenge number three. What really stood out were the specific examples of a plan for responding to potential crises, including the potential for weather-related concerns being based in Austin. This is consistent with the Diablos’ response to challenge #1 where they identified Austin’s unpredictable weather in the organization’s SWOT analysis, which demonstrates incredible consistency, one of the keys to winning this competition.

We also thought there were some great ideas for building support for the franchise throughout the community, including the “Diablo Dash 5K”, “Trick or Treat” event at the stadium, and “Best Buddies International”, the latter providing a great opportunity for the franchise to leverage its powerful platform to recruit volunteers to participate in a great cause.

Overall, another great challenge response from the Diablos front office.

Grant High School, Oregon (Mexico City Vipers)

Grant students pulled out all the stops in challenge number three, submitting an incredibly thorough and detailed communications plan.

Some highlights:

  • A sample media kit that included a compilation of news story highlights, roster with player bios and information, the organization’s mission statement, and details about the team’s donation to a local charity
  • In addition to answering the required questions, the Vipers front office submitted a series of press releases providing examples of how the team would address all communications channels, including an example of a crisis management-related release, and details about the team’s foundation
  • Sample press conference with an actual video that featured the team’s communications staff fielding questions from the media as they introduce the team for the first time

A job very well done by Grant High School students!

Capital High School, Montana (Boise Rattlers)

Capital High School appears to be in it to win it this year, with each challenge submission better than the last. Challenge #3 was no exception as the Rattlers put together an excellent communications plan.

What really stood out is how in-tune the Rattlers’ front office has been with tracking industry trends, tying them in with concepts from the textbook outlined in each challenge, and connecting the dots with other schoos in this competition. Case in point, the Rattlers included a sample of the team’s communications strategy promoting a rivalry game with another school participating in the competition with content that would be included in emails to fans and in the team’s media kit. Really clever promo, great communication, and a great example of how teams can use a variety of communications channels to disseminate information to the fan base.

We also really appreciated seeing how well Capital students applied the community relations strategies outlined in textbook, demonstrating a great attention to detail and application of the key concepts that are required to be addressed in challenge number three. For example, this excerpt from the Rattler’s communications strategy describes exactly how the franchise will implement communications strategies outlined in our textbook with PR strategies initiated by both the team, its players, the community, the league, and brand partners.

We look forward to seeing what the Rattlers’ front office comes up with for challenge #4!

Elizabethtown High School, Pennsylvania (Miles City Jedis)

The Jedis front office just continues to impress. With lots of creativity to support a firm grasp on the key concepts from this challenge, Elizabethtown students delivered another fantastic response to the sports marketing challenges in this competition.

One of the really standout ideas from challenge number three was the Jedis’ recognition of how a schedule release can provide a team with a valuable opportunity to generate positive PR. To do this, the team decided to initiate a publicity stunt. From the Jedis’ report: “As part of our unique communications plan, we plan to implement a different schedule release each year. To introduce our upcoming games for our inaugural season, The Miles City Jedis chose to have our mascot give people the option of a dollar or a mystery box. By doing this, people will be persuaded to see what our mascot is doing because money is involved, as is the opportunity for suspense because of the mystery box. The mystery box will contain The Jedis schedule, such as “At Patriots, Sept. 8th, 1:30pm, week 1”. It will be the opposing team’s logo with a picture of the stadium the game is being played at, as well as the date and time. Hashtags used will be: #WhichOne? #WhatWouldYouChoose? #TheJedis #MoneyorMystery #EmbracetheForce. These relate to our schedule, release plan, slogan, and team, which advertise our brand as well as spreading the word about when we play. The use of big block letters in yellow will catch the viewer’s attention, and the headline at the top will be the first item they see, so they will be informed about what our post is about.”

Overall, nice work from the Jedis front office!

Waverly High School, New York (Louisville Stallions)

Top to bottom, the Stallions communications plan was one of the best we saw in this round of the competition, and the crisis management strategy in particular was outstanding. A proactive approach to developing contingency plans for tackling negative publicity will certainly pay dividends should a crisis arise, and we appreciate seeing the recognition that such instances could occur both in-season and in the offseason. It is important to prepare for a communications plan all. year round.

Speaking of year round, we really liked seeing the Stallions’ plan for establishing a “12-month presence” for keeping the team front and center in the minds’ of the team’s fanbase. What really stood out was the advanced level of thinking to recognize that communications are important not only with a team’s fans, but also internally. The organization’s communication of its “12-month presence” strategy to all employees will be play a big role in help to build roots in the community as the franchise builds a presence in the Louisville area.

This was a next level comms strategy from Waverly students. Great job!


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Chris Lindauer

After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.