Sports Career Consulting Blog

  • SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #5 Recap & Scores

    SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #5 Recap & Scores

    With just one sports marketing challenge remaining (digital marketing) before we crown a champion in our 9th annual sports marketing competition, many schools remain in contention for this year’s SCC FFL title.  This one is coming down to the wire, and the season is shaping up to be the tightest finish in league history.

    SCC’s fantasy football competition requires students to not only demonstrate a firm grasp on fundamental sports business concepts, but also challenges them to show the creativity and effort they put into each challenge response.  Challenge #5, the ticket sales, promotion, and sponsorship challenge, offers a great opportunity to do just that. This year’s crop of competitors did not disappoint, incorporating elements from three different chapters of our textbook while demonstrating a ton of creativity.  There were so many unique and fun ideas this year, and we were very pleased with how students responded.

    Points have been distributed for each team’s Sponsorship, Ticket Sales & Promotion strategy. You can find the updated standings along with a recap of some of the highlights from challenge #5 below. 

    Capital High School, Montana (Boise Rattlers)

    It is always fun to see the various mock-ups that students create as part of the challenges. This one from students at Capital High School is a great example, with a sample of how a team’s corporate partner will activate its team sponsorship. In this example, Bank of Idaho will offer team-branded credit cards to fans. Capital students have created mock-ups like these throughout. The visuals are always fun to see, but it is the application that really counts, and this illustrates how well they are grasping a key concept like sponsorship activation.

    Overall, the entire Rattlers’ ticket, sponsorship, and promotion plan was really well developed. We really liked the promotional schedule, and the plan was detailed, thorough, and full of creativity. Another fantastic effort from the Rattlers!

    Elizabethtown High School, PA (Miles City Jedis)

    One of the features included in some of the stand-out responses to challenge #5 was the inclusion of benefits to ticket buyers to help incentivize purchases. While several schools introduced season ticket benefits, the Jedis’ front office took things a step further by offering group ticket benefits. Group ticket benefits are a common industry practice, and incorporating them as part of the Jedis ticket sales strategy demonstrates how Elizabethtown students researched ticketing practices and applied concepts from the textbook. They were one of just three teams to provide group ticket benefits. Great job!

    Waverly High School, New York (Louisville Stallions)

    What a phenomenal response to challenge #5 from Waverly High School students. They showed a lot of next-level thinking with their ticket, sponsorship, and promotions plan. This submission could legitimately provide a roadmap to success for an actual expansion franchise, it was that impressive.

    Highlights include:

    • Making sure to include some ticketing features as part of the team’s app
    • Offering both physical tickets for collectors and also tickets in a digital format
    • A detailed seating chart, including pricing and sponsored sections
    • An absolutely loaded promotions calendar, catering to every possible fan group to insure a sold out stadium each and every Sunday
    • A “pricing calculator” feature to help fans determine affordability of ticket packages, along with offering PSLs with a financing option
    • A wide variety of sponsorship inventory, with creative partnerships like UPS sponsoring the game ball delivery and a Duck Tape partnership with the tagline “Real fans stick together”
    • Highlighting a “Fan Appreciation Day” promotion, including a sponsor (Pepsi) that adds value for fans and for activation opportunities for the sponsor (free Pepsi products at the game on game day)
    • Unique mini package with the “Triple Crown Bundle” (a clever way to tie in with the iconic Kentucky Derby for a team based in Louisville) by partnering with University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky football programs
    • An advertising campaign, including TV, radio, and out-of-home (billboards) promoting season ticket sales beginning in the summer and leading up to the start of the team’s inaugural season
    • Community-driven promotions like Huddle for Hunger and holiday promotions that encourage sponsors to purchase tickets, then give them away throughout the community…a “win-win”
    • A number of great activation ideas and game day giveaways (sponsored)
    • An elaborate rate card including sponsorship prices program ads, stadium signage, media (radio ads, live reads/drops), promo giveaways, stadium seat covers, and more
    • Building different sponsorship packages that cater specifically to individual prospective clients

    All in all, this was one of the best ticket, sponsorship, and promotion plans that we have seen in this competition. SUPER impressive effort from the Stallions front office!

    Miami Valley Career Technical Center, Ohio (Gem City Warhawks)

    The Gem City Warhawks submitted yet another fantastic challenge response in this year’s competition, with a tickets, sponsorship, and promotion plan that was full of creativity and outstanding ideas. MVCTC students offered a variety of great ideas for ticket sales strategies that will keep fans coming out to games, and a fantastic execution of a sponsorship activation strategy. They also offered a great mock-up of both physical tickets available to fans and the digital ticket that will provide entry on game days. Smart strategy to provide an option for physical tickets for traditionalists and collectors, but also recognizing how technology has evolved in a way where digital tickets allows the organization to more effectively protect fans from counterfeit tickets and duplicate seat sales. Also, visuals really help to elevate challenge submissions (below), and the Warhawks front office was once again on-point in delivering mock-ups to help illustrate things they wanted to highlight in the report.

    We also really liked seeing an activation plan mapped out for each of the team’s primary sponsors, and incorporating social as part of that activation strategy was important. That was one area we felt teams missed out on in this challenge, so it was great to see MVCTC recognize the value in social channels and place an emphasis on utilizing the team’s platform to help maximize exposure for brand partners. Very well done!

    Wichita East High School, Kansas (Kansas Tornadoes)

    In one of the neatest ideas from this challenge, we loved the Drone Light Show promotion in conjunction with the Tornadoes’ Halloween Game from Wichita East students. We could see this as an idea that really takes off throughout the league. What a cool idea from Tornadoes front office!

    North Royalton High School, Ohio (Alabama Airmen)

    One of several submissions to create a full-year promotions calendar, North Royalton students dialed up a variety of ways to leverage one of the organization’s greatest assets in its home field. We loved some of the ideas in the Airmen included to make sure fans were engaged with the team even in the offseason, and potentially offering exclusively as benefits to ticket buyers and incentives for sponsors. The events will also provide the franchise with fantastic opportunities to generate additional revenue. A few of our favorites included:

    • Nerf Gun Battle/Obstacle Course at Airmen Stadium
    • Very on-brand promotion with an Airshow and community BBQ for Memorial Day
    • 4th of July “family night” Fireworks display and event, similar to something the Green Bay Packers offer for fans each summer
    • Hosting an outdoor college rivalry hockey event
    • Watch parties at the stadium for NFL Draft and away games
    • Community relations initiatives like food drives, blood drives and family events like Easter egg hunts

    Nice job from North Royalton High School students as they continue their strong showing in just their second year in this competition.


  • SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #4 Recap & Scores

    SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #4 Recap & Scores

    Entries are in for the fourth sports marketing challenge in this year’s competition. With just two remaining challenges and a crowded leader board at the top, this year’s competition is poised to result in a photo finish. 

    The fourth challenge is one of the most fun challenges to evaluate, in part because we see so much creativity with fan experience strategies, and also with the attention to detail that some of our competing teams go through in designing and creating their stadiums. As always, there were some great submissions this year.

    Points have been distributed for each team’s response to the Fan Experience / Stadium Design component of the competition (sports marketing challenge #4). Updated standings are below along with highlights. 

    Waverly High School, NY (Louisville Stallions)

    Another impressive showing from students at Waverly High School. The Stallions’ front office left no stone unturned, and delivered an incredibly detailed fan experience plans. Of the stand-out ideas presented in the team’s fan experience report, we really liked the idea of offering a “fan travel package”, and appreciated the analysis of how the stadium would be funded. Privately financing the majority of stadium costs to ease the potential burden on taxpayers will most certainly endear the new franchise to area fans, and that is the type of next level attention to detail that wins this competition. A job very well done by the Stallions front office.

    Some highlights:

    The Stallions’s “Ultimate Fan Travel Packages” (Prices vary dependent on Opponent)

    • Hotel Accommodations
    • Game Tickets
    • Pregame Tailgate
    • Pregame Field Pass
    • Family Friendly Options
    • Pregame Field Pass
    • Pregame Family Tailgate
    • Meet and Greet with Colonel the Mascot

    Other highlights from the Stallions fan experience plan:

    • Great idea to communicate behavior expectations with a Fan code of conduct
    • Nice seamless integration of tech at the stadium with features like contactless entry w/ facial recognition to improve safety and security
    • Excellent idea to solicit fan feedback with surveys at games to improve the overall experience and making fans feel valued
    • Loved the unique stadium amenities like the pickleball bar, virtual reality lounge, and FanDuel sportsbook, demonstrate how Waverly students have been following industry trends, and incorporating them into their fan experience and stadium development plans added a nice touch
    • Smart to offer fans a wide variety of concessions options, including items with local flare like the Kentucky Hot Brown Burger
    • Love the strategic plan for parking and traffic flow to ease congestion on game days

    Great job Waverly students!

    Lyman High School, FL (New Smyrna Sand Sharks)

    Clearly Lyman High School students had a lot of fun with this challenge, as evidenced by the fun creative brand extensions with the team’s fan experience and stadium planning. In particular, we liked the unique design of “Black Pearl Stadium” with ties to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, along with the food and beverage offerings like “Myrna Burgers” and popular local food like Grouper Sandwiches.

    Making several “Shark Shack” options available throughout the venue will ensure that fans have easy access and short lines and wait times for food and beverage on game days, and we liked seeing the physical replica stadium model that students created. Nice job Sand Sharks front office!

    Green Run High School, VA (Toronto Owls)

    The fan experience strategy from Green Run students was amazing, and absolutely loaded with creativity and unique ideas. It is always great to see students take what they have learned in class or observed as industry trends and incorporated them into a challenge response, and we saw that with the “Sphere” concept from the Owls’ front office, piggybacking on the new “MSG Sphere” entertainment venue that recently opened in Las Vegas. From the team’s report, “Located directly next to the stadium, the Toronto Owls Sphere will provide an extraordinary game viewing experience that will transport audiences inside the stadium through technology that ignites the senses and enables audiences to share experiences at a never before seen scale. Toronto Owls will feel the wind, the cold, and they will smell the grass and see through the eyes of the players all without ever leaving their world class viewing seats inside of the Sphere. When the Toronto Owls are not in town, the Sphere will be the hottest place in town for away games and concerts and movies.”

    Then there was this little gem: “The Quantum Series is the world’s best stadium and seating solution due to its structural integrity, competitive price and patented beam mount design. The Quantum Beam allows for the Owls to maximize seating capacity by up to 6% equalling more revenue when it comes to game day!” That is some really next level thinking from Green Run students.

    Additional highlights included:

    • “Toronto Tastings” – A dessert menu at the stadium featuring items created by a renowned pastry chef from Toronto featured on the show “Cake Boss”
    • A Virtual Reality game room at the stadium
    • The “world’s best stadium and seating solution”, as described by the Owls front office in their fan experience report: “BMO stadium has premium Quantum Series seats that arethe world’s best stadium and seating solution due to their ergonomic structural integrity, competitive price and patented beam mount design. These comfortable seats allow for more space and at least 6% more sports fans to watch the games in person. The Toronto Owls are set to provide a one-of-a-kind inaugural chance for fans to actively participate in the music, game, and overall experience, rather than merely observing as spectators. Through the incorporation of interactive components into the fan journey, this will enhance their bond with the team.”
    • Opening a TikTok shop to add a unique digital experience on game days with branded shop, allow to order online and pick up at the stadium on game day along w/ limited edition merch for season ticket holders and drone delivery of items purchased from TikTok shop to fans in their seats
    • A focus on sustainability in the stadium’s construction and operation, including water conservation, the use of recycled steel for construction
    • VR experiences provided in various areas around stadium
    • Mixed reality feature with the team’s mascot, Maple the Owl, flying around the field in mixed reality prior to kick off

    Overall, the Owls’ submitted one of the best fan experience plans in this challenge. REALLY well done!

    Miami Valley Career Technical Center, Ohio (Gem City Warhawks)

    MVCTC were dialed in once again, submitting a well developed fan experience and stadium plan. In addition to a plan that hit all the key fan experience variables, they also offered one of the most unique stadium “tours” we have seen in this competition.

    Click on the link below to take a virtual tour of Delta Stadium built by the Sports Management and Marketing class at MVCTC.

    Warhawks Stadium (Click link for tour)

    REALLY cool stuff from the Warhawks front office!

    North Royalton High School, Ohio (Alabama Airmen)

    We have really enjoyed seeing North Royalton students take a step forward in this competition this year. It is rewarding to see a school improve from one year to the next, and the Alabama Airmen have front office has been really impressive this season.

    We really liked seeing a breakdown of stadium construction costs, a budget, and a general analysis of how much it will cost to build the new venue. Great job researching the costs associated with other recent stadium projects and applying them to this challenge, including the addition of a retractable roof. In addition, it was really cool to see North Royalton students explain how the project will impact the local economy both during the construction phase and on game days once the season starts. Overall, a great job by the Airmen front office.

    Carl Sandburg High School, Illinois (Honolulu Tiger Sharks)

    We really enjoyed some of the ideas from Carl Sandburg students with their stadium design, including incorporating innovative new smart LED lighting features, glass construction to showcase the natural beauty of Hawaii outside of the stadium, and seating that keeps fans cool in hot weather.

    We also liked the idea of hosting pregame concerts featuring local musicians and bands at tailgates, which also feature plenty of local food options and activities tied to local culture. Communicating key information to fans in advance helps the team to proactively manage the game day experience, and the Tiger Sharks front office will do a nice job letting fans know what to expect at the stadium on game days.

    Great job Tiger Sharks front office!

    Five Star Magnet Academy, Florida (Utah Allos)

    Five Star Magnet Academy students did a fantastic job addressing every possible aspect of the fan experience. There were many highlights from the Allos front office response to challenge #4, and here are a few of our favorites:

    • Pregame – Great recognition of the impact pregame can have on the fan experience, both inside and out of the stadium, and creating enhancements at every stop, from tailgate parties, local food trucks, Kids’ Zones with face painting, etc., all catering to the interests of all types of fans
    • Premium seating – Nice job positioning premium areas as the “epitome of comfort and luxury” and recognizing the importance of creating a different marketing strategy for marketing to a higher income demographic
    • Stadium seating – Offering comfortable seating will keep fans wanting to come back game after game
    • Design feature – Including a giant Allosaurus feature outside the stadium is sure to be a hit with fans, and the photos and selfies are a surefire way to help maximize exposure for the franchise on social media
    • Fan safety – Prioritizing fan safety is paramount to a positive fan experience on game days
    • Food and beverage – From the Allos’ report: “From hot dogs and hamburgers to unique creations like Titanosaurus tacos and Allosaurus Angus Burgers, we cater to every taste”
    • Customer service – One of just a handful of submissions that put an emphasis on customer service
    • Tech – Using biometric technology like fingerprint readers will help shorten lines and wait times at the point of entry, and payment tech will help not only improve fan experience by making it faster and easier for fans to purchase food, beverage, and merch, but also help boost game day revenue

    One of the biggest highlights from this challenge was seeing the investment from the Allos in interactive experiences at the stadium for fans. From the front office’s Fan Experience report: “We believe in keeping fans engaged throughout their stadium experience. Our interactive smart boards provide information on everything, from finding your seat and concessions locations to VIP areas and player details. Fans can enjoy team-themed mini-games on these boards, adding an extra layer of fun and interaction. We also have a tweet board, where fan tweets and pictures can be displayed on the big screen when tagged with the stadium or team’s Twitter account. Scanning QR codes can lead to exciting rewards like free merchandise, tickets, VIP experiences, and even a chance to meet players and coaches.

    Great job Allos front office!

    Blacksburg High School, Virginia (Austin Diablos)

    No shortage of fantastic ideas from the Diablos’ front office once again, but some of the stadium design elements included in the fan experience and stadium report from Blacksburg students were an absolute showstopper. In addition to nailing every other aspect of this challenge, the stadium design blew us away, and we really liked how some of the on-brand design elements would draw attention to revenue-producing areas of the stadium, like the food and beverage stands and merchandise sales areas. Fantastic work from the Diablos’ front office!


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

    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!


  • SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #2 Recap & Scores

    SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #2 Recap & Scores

    After two challenges, the leaderboard remains crowded at the top. As expected, there is a very competitive field this year, and everyone is still in the mix for a run toward the top of the standings.

    The second challenge in this competition requires students to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of branding and licensing. This is one of our favorite challenges as we start to see some of the creativity from students really stand out. The logos, merchandise ideas, mascots, slogans, and other aspects of brand development for the expansion franchises are always on point, and this year’s submissions did not disappoint.

    Points have been allocated for challenge #2, and the updated standings are available at the bottom of this post. Every team offered some fantastic ideas for branding. Where most fell short was a lack of attention to addressing the licensing process and the importance of licensing.

    While everyone submitted a fantastic response to challenge #2, we wanted to highlight a few standout branding ideas in this post. We look forward to seeing what students come up with in the next round!

    Blacksburg High School, Virginia (Austin Diablos)

    Blacksburg students impressed once again with a fantastic response to the branding challenge. The Diablos nailed every aspect of this challenge, and are in contention for a championship yet again this season, as they almost always seem to be.

    One thing that always helps a team to score well is an attention to detail in the way they support the decisions made for each challenge. The Diablos front office did just that, building a brand with strong ties to community and, most importantly, in step with the team’s initial goals and objectives outlined in the marketing plan from the first challenge. Consider the team’s explanation for franchise colorways: “Our team colors support our intimidating yet inclusive brand. Red is a strong color. Additionally, red resembles the intimidation that the Diablos bring on the field. However, off the field, the Diablos bring inclusivity and solidarity. To represent this, we included black as one of our two main colors. As an accent, we used the color sand to resemble the ground that we stand on as a community. We have chosen the slogan “Bring the Heat” to further the intimidation factor.”

    We also really liked some of the ideas for building the brand on game days with activities such as:

    • During the night game we give out wristbands that glow fire (emulating the stands lit on fire).
    • During day time games we wave black and red flags during our intro and whenever we score.
    • To increase reach and brand engagement, fans will be able to visit our mascots (four horses) at Lone Star Ranch, Tri-Star Farm, and Kristull Ranch.
    • We provide red cowbells, nicknamed “Hell’s Bells,” and prompt fans to ring them for each big
    • Diablo hot sauce contest in the concourse on game days

    Another highlight from the Diablos’ report was the detail that went into establishing price points for the team’s merchandise offerings. Blacksburg students identified the cost associated with each item before assigning a price, recognizing the importance of margins when establishing prices. The Diablos’ front office absolutely smashed it with this challenge response.

    Wichita East High School, Kansas (Kansas Tornadoes)

    Wichita East, one of just a few schools who have participated in this competition every year, put together one of the best responses to the branding challenge in school history. We were thrilled to see such a fantastic branding strategy from Brandon Reith’s students.

    One thing that really stood out was the team’s decision on brand colors: “The gold color represents the wheat that resonates through the state of Kansas in the summertime.  The grey/black color represents the sky when a tornado is about to appear.” We also enjoyed the teams hashtag (#TornadoWarning) for the season on social media.

    We also really liked the team’s mascot. Interesting choice to choose a buffalo rather than something with tornado-imagery, but as the Kansas state animal, it works.  Wichita East students clearly did their homework, researching other teams and their mascots and taking a cue from Minor League baseball teams who feature mascots in the likeness of something other than the team’s nickname. To bring things fool circle, the Tornadoes front office opted for “Twister” as the mascot’s name. The franchise cheer team will be known as The Windstorm, named because it’s a synonym of tornadoes. 

    As icing on the cake, the Kansas front office will offer some really creative and unique branded merchandise items to fans, including Weather Radios, Tornadoes-branded Board Games, Tornado Emergency Kits, and Action figures including “Twister”, the team’s mascot.

    Fantastic job Wichita East students!

    Jefferson Forest, Virginia (Toronto Huskies)

    You wouldn’t guess that Jefferson Forest High School is a newcomer to this competition thus far, as they have submitted two really impressive responses to sports marketing challenges #1 and #2. Where the Huskies front office really thrived was a focus on protecting the brand by applying for several trademarks to use for selling licensed merchandise, incluidng “Toronto Huskies”, and “Pack to Pack.”

    We also really liked team’s logo which incorporated the image of a maple leaf, often a staple in Canada-themed brand initiatives.

    Overall, a really nice effort fom the Huskies front office.

    Five Star Magnet Academy, Florida (Utah Allos)

    Another “rookie” classroom in this competition making some noise so far, it was great to see the attention to detail that went into the development of the Allos brand from FSMA students, right down to the colorways used to create the team’s colors. According to the Allos’ branding report: “Our choice of colors reflects the essence of Utah’s natural beauty and its resilient spirit. Dark green signifies the lush forests, national parks, and scenic landscapes that make Utah unique. It represents the strength, resilience, and determination of Utah’s people. It symbolizes the hardworking spirit and dedication of the community. The red and gold accents add vibrancy and energy to our branding, mirroring the passionate culture and nature of Utah residents.”

    We also really loved the team’s mascot and slogan for the team’s inaugural season. The slogan, “Utah Allos: Unleashing Prehistoric Might,” represents the team’s unique identity and purpose and pays tribute to the region’s natural history with an Allosaurus mascot, demonstrating a commitment to blending the might of prehistoric heritage with contemporary sports excellence.

    Really nice start for the Allos front office, we look forward to seeing them build on their early success!

    Miami Valley Career Tech Center, Ohio (Gem City Warhawks)

    No surprise given the track record from Zach Gueth’s students in this competition, we saw some really fun branding from MVTC HS students for this challenge. Highlights include:

    • “Fly to the Top” as the team’s inaugural season slogan, a nod to the area’s rich aviation history and in line with the team’s nickname, the Warhawks (a World War II warplane on display at the Dayton Air Force Museum near the team’s headquarters)
    • Four different uniform combos, including home, away, alternate, and color rush
    • Introduction of a rewards program to build brand loyalty in the team’s inaugural season
    • Plenty of on-brand game day experiences, featuring photo ops with the team mascot and in one of two real Warhawk planes at the stadium, a halftime kids race in “drivable” planes, and charging stations onsite at the stadium

    Nice job Warhawks front office!

    Grant High School, Oregon (Mexico City Vipers)

    Grant High School delivered another solid response to the branding challenge, as the Mexico City Vipers front office clearly invested a lot of time and energy in the creation of a brand for the franchise’s inaugurual season.

    One thing we really liked was the collab with Nike to launch Vipers-branded Air Force 1’s as a limited edition merchandise offer.

    Also, we always see a few new things every year in this competition, and Grant students delivered another first with the introduction of a “mood board” to provide some insight to the inspiration behind the branding strategy.

    Really well done.

    Elizabethtown High School, PA (Miles City Jedis)

    Without a shadow of doubt, Justin Ivans’ students at Elizabethtown High School in Pennsylvania gave us the most unique city (Miles City, MT) AND the most unique team nickname (Jedis) that we have ever seen in this competition. We are anxious to see how they develop a marketing strategy around those decisions, and if the branding is any indication, the Jedis front office are poised to make a potential run at a championship this year.

    We loved the slogan, “Unite the Galaxy, Embrace the Force!” and appreciate how students tied this to the mission statement from the first challenge with a focus on inclusivity, and building a slogan around that theme. We also really liked the logo, and co-branded concessions offerings with Grubhub, including a unique Jedis-branded meal kit service, called Galactic Grub.

    Fantastic job Elizabethtown students!

    Waverly High School, New York (Louisville Stallions)

    The most comprehensive branding and licensing plan from this challenge, Waverly students have come racing out of the gate in this year’s challenge. By addressing the Stallions’ strategy for developing brand purpose, brand values, brand personality, a positioning strategy, and brand identity, they demonstrated a really advanced level of understanding of the branding concept.

    We loved seeing the group use a positioning map to illustrate the brand and positioning concept relative to other competing franchises in the market as well, another next level addition to the Stallions’ branding plan.

    Waverly students also showed how the brand would be used, including samples of team notepads, letterhead, staff badges, business cards and more. That’s the type of attention to detail that wins that helps separate teams in this competition.

    The plan as a whole was super impressive, including tons of merchandise options while including an inventory management strategy to boot. The Stallions’ front office has been really next level so far in this year’s SCC FFL. Can they keep it up? We are anxious to find out!

    Green Run High School, VA (Toronto Owls)

    As teams in this competition typically gravitate to the “fun” aspects of a challenge like logo development, mascot decisions, and creating a slogan, finding ways to demonstrate a clear understanding of the core concepts that define each challenge sometimes become an afterthought. Green Run students, however, never seem to miss a step, making sure to carefully address each requirement from each challenge. The Owls’ response to challenge #2 was no exception, and this group did a fantastic job recognizing the importance of licensing, and detailing each step of the licensing process, and why that is important to the merchandising efforts of a professional sports franchise.

    Green Run students also showed that they are plugged in to industry trends, tapping into the NFL’s recent “Toy Story” game broadcast and jumping on that trend, creating collabs with Drake’s OVO, Crocs, and even LEGO for Owls-themed stadium sets and characters in the likeness of Owls’ star players.

    We also really liked the logo strategy, along with the incorporation of a “hiddent” logo: “The Toronto Owls logo is wise and strong. The owl is like our football team: calm, cool under pressure, but ready to strike with razor sharp talons when the opportunity arises. Hidden within the logo is the number 6 which is a lucky number for Toronto and represents the various areas that feed into the city’s life.”

    From co-branding (like this credit card with sponsor TD Bank), creative brand extensions, cross promotions, and game day traditions, the Owls’ front office nailed this challenge. Fantastic effort!


  • SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #1 Recap & Scores

    SCC FFL 2023: Sports Marketing Challenge #1 Recap & Scores

    We have a lot of pedigree in this year’s SCC Fantasy Football League Sports Marketing Challenge field, our 9th annual. With five former SCC FFL champions and three previous champs from our annual spring case study tournament, we anticipate this being the most competitive field in league history. We look forward to seeing what they have in store for us this season.

    In the first sports marketing challenge, students were asked to develop a marketing plan for an expansion professional football franchise. The report required marketing goals and objectives, revenue and expense projections, and a profitability forecast. The responses were evaluated on how well students communicated an understanding of key sports business concepts, creativity, and the selection of an expansion city and team nickname.

    While there were some familiar choices for expansion markets this year, with four teams choosing to establish a new franchise in Hawaii, we saw several new areas represented this year. For the first time in the nine-year history of this competition, we will see teams in Miles City, Montana, a franchise in Wyoming, and teams based in Birmingham and Boise. It will be interesting to see how students plan to promote their franchise in these “new” SCC FFL markets.

    While all of our schools scored well in response to the first challenge of this competition, we would like to highlight several entries in particular.

    Miami Valley Career Tech Center, Ohio (Gem City Warhawks)

    We always looking forward to seeing MVCTC students getting the creative juices flowing early in this competition, and the runners-up in last year’s competition did not disappoint. MVCTC students submitted an exceptionally well-organized report, including a thorough SWOT analysis that showed how much research students did into the Dayton market, and realistic goals and expectations for a new franchise in an expansion season. They also did an excellent job addressing the marketing mix.

    Overall, another great start to the competition from Zach Gueth’s students at MVCTC! 

    Grant High School, Oregon (Mexico City)

    Defending back-to-back champs from Grant High School have rushed to another strong start and have already set the tone for a run at an unprecedented SCC FFL 3-peat. 

    As always, Grant High School students submitted an incredibly organized report in response to challenge #1, with a very detailed forecast for revenue and expenses. Students clearly did their homework on the Mexico City market, and offered a very thorough explanation on why the city will provide an excellent opportunity for pro football to succeed. Overall, the group’s marketing goals and objectives were very sound. Nice job.

    Elizabethtown High School, PA (Miles City Jedis)

    Without a doubt, the most unique and interesting submission comes from Elizabethtown High School. Not only did students select a really interesting city in Miles City, Montana, but also an incredibly unique nickname in the Jedis. From the Jedis’ report: “The Jedis, a groundbreaking addition to the world of American football, are set to carve out a niche in the sporting landscape, emphasizing inclusivity and charitable endeavors. Located in the rustic backdrop of Miles City, Montana, The Jedis draw inspiration from the rich world of science fiction, particularly Star Wars, to create a welcoming and diverse community of fans and supporters. With over 12 million Star Wars enthusiasts in the 18–29 age range alone, we aim to unite fans from all walks of life, breaking through gender and age barriers, creating economic growth, and promoting a spirit of equality within the sports industry.”

    In addition to an interesting choice for a location and unique nickname, the franchise is also being structured as a non-profit organization, another first for this competition. We are intrigued and can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out.

    Capital High School, MT (Boise Rattlers)

    With two seasons in the SCC FFL under their belt, we expect big things from Jessica Frazier’s class this year, and they they showed us in the first challenge that they will most certainly be a contender.

    In addition to a very well developed marketing plan, the Rattlers’ front office offered up some great graphics to highlight key information from the plan. Overall, a really nice job from Capital High students.

    Waverly High School, New York (Louisville Stallions)

    Perhaps the best overall marketing plan from this challenge, we really liked every aspect of the Stallions’ marketing plan. After a two-year hiatus from the competition, Bob Kelly appears to have his students ready to contend for a championship this year. This group did a really nice job explaining why Louisville is a market ripe for a professional football expansion franchise, explaining the opportunity it presents with its population, median income, number of large corporations and more.

    Waverly students submitted a marketing plan that was incredibly thorough, and detail-oriented. We look forward to more of the same from the Stallions’ front office this season.

    Green Run High School, VA (Toronto Owls)

    While Green Run might be first time participants in the SCC FFL, they are no strangers to our competitions in general as two-time champions of our annual spring case study tournament. Given the pedigree, there was no surprise to see an incredibly detailed and thorough response to the first sports marketing challenge. In particular, we really liked seeing the detailed approach to identifying each revenue stream that will help to bolster the team’s finances in year one, and also a plan for executing the marketing plan. It is one thing to have a plan, it is another thing entirely to successfully execute the plan, and it was great to see the Owls’ front office recognize the importance. Great job!