Sports Career Consulting Blog

  • SportsBiz Madness 2024 Case Study Tournament: We Have a Champion!

    SportsBiz Madness: 2024 Case Study Tournament (Championship Round Results)

    We have a champion! 

    Green Run High School in Virginia and Downers Grove North High School in Illinois, both former champions, faced off in the final round of this year’s case study tournament. This year’s ultimate challenge tasked students with creating a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) driven campaign for the rapidly expanding energy drink brand, Celsius. This case study was the most demanding we have introduced in the history of the competition, yet both schools delivered exceptional responses.

    Students from both Green Run and Downers Grove North navigated the legal and ethical complexities of a NIL campaign for the controversial energy drink brand, Celsius. Extensive research into NIL regulations and the Celsius brand was evident in their submissions. Ultimately, Green Run High School emerged victorious, securing their second consecutive championship and their third national title in the SportsBiz Madness case study competition over the last four years. Under the guidance of teachers Chris Jacobs and Keri Sabo, the team demonstrated exceptional preparedness for the challenge, continuing to build a dynasty in classroom competitions.

    Highlights include:

    • Compliance and Education: Demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) regulations, ensuring Celsius is a compliant choice for college athletes by identifying potentially problematic supplements that could trigger NCAA violations.
    • Engagement Tactics: Employed a range of activation strategies to boost product usage, including influencer partnerships, sports event sponsorships, pop-up events, and exclusive discounts targeted at college athletes.
    • Strategic Partnerships: Collaborated with high-profile NCAA athletes from various sports to introduce themed flavors such as Lemon Livvy (Olivia Dunn, LSU volleyball), Tropical Travis (Travis Unter, Colorado football), JuJu Berry (JuJu Watkins, USC women’s basketball), and Peachy Paige (Paige Bueckers, UConn women’s basketball). Utilized Q scores to optimize athlete selection for maximum brand visibility.
    • Publicity Stunt: Orchestrated a unique publicity stunt featuring Celsius ambassador Olivia “Livvy” Dunne, who led a march with LSU student-athletes to the U.S. Capitol. The campaign aimed to lobby for changing the U.S. temperature measurement from Fahrenheit to Celsius, while creatively promoting the brand.
    • Esports Integration: Leveraged the brand’s existing partnership with the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team for the “ESports Better For You Day,” involving university visits where students competed in Gran Turismo 7. The event concluded with PS5 prizes for the top performers, enhancing campus engagement and promoting Celsius.
    • Competitive Analysis: Conducted a SWOT analysis of direct and indirect competitors like Monster, Red Bull, Gatorade, and Mountain Dew to refine strategies that enhance engagement and drive sales.
    • Social Responsibility: Endorsed the Homeless World Cup to differentiate Celsius and support a significant social cause. This sponsorship not only boosts brand visibility across a diverse audience but also enhances the brand’s image by associating it with social responsibility.
    • Ambush Marketing Strategy: Recommended an ambush marketing campaign during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, to promote hosting the Homeless World Cup concurrently. This strategic move aims to capitalize on the publicity surrounding FIFA and its partnerships, particularly with Gatorade, to enhance Celsius’s visibility and align the brand with meaningful social impact.
    • Performance Metrics: Identified key performance indicators to accurately measure the campaign’s return on investment (ROI), ensuring the effectiveness and financial viability of the marketing strategies.

    Overall, this was an exceptional case study response. Congratulations Green Run students, you have done it again!

    2024 SportsBiz Madness Case Study Tournament Bracket

  • SportsBiz Madness: 2024 Case Study Tournament (Moving on to the Final Four Round)

    SportsBiz Madness: 2024 Case Study Tournament

    In the “Elite Eight” round of our annual case study tournament, students were asked to leverage the addition of flag football to the 2028 Summer Games program in Los Angeles in a way that helps the NFL to grow its global brand. Through market research and a SWOT analysis, they were asked to provide a recommendation for how the NFL can maximize this opportunity to attract new fans from international markets.

    Congratulations to the four schools who are advancing in this year’s tournament.


    Green Run High School, Virginia

    Defending Case Study Tournament champion Green Run students developed an exceptional marketing plan, and conducting a significant amount of market research will help the NFL establish a sound strategy for reaching international fans. Studying fan behavior and preferences of some of the most popular global sports that will also take the stage in the 2028 Games, like cricket, rugby, and baseball, was a great idea to help identify opportunities to attract the attention of those fans.

    Students also introduced a wide variety of activations leading up to the Los Angeles Games that would not only help to increase the visibility of the sport but also knowledge and understanding of the game by encouraging participation. In addition, the group conducted a detailed and thorough SWOT analysis, which helped explain the rationale behind the decisions presented in the marketing plan.

    For example, they recognized that while many American fans are less enthusiastic about flag football than its traditional tackle football counterpart thanks to its lack of contact, a safer sport has advantages from a positioning perspective when marketing to international fans who are less familiar with the game.

    Congrats, Green Run! You have a spot in this year’s Final Four for the fifth straight year!

    Flower Mound High School, Texas

    One of three previous champions to advance this year (Flower Mound students took first place in the inaugural edition of this competition), Flower Mound High School students demonstrated a firm grasp of the importance of marketing research when building a marketing plan. For example, this group of students planned to use both primary and secondary research as tools to help segment the international market and determine the best possible target audience.

    Students also introduced several unique ideas for connecting with fans worldwide, including the launch of a mobile game and developing a strong social media presence. They also submitted an actual TikTok post as an example, which was really cool to see.

    Really impressive stuff from Flower Mound High School!

    Downers Grove North High School (Period 4), Illinois

    Winners of this competition two years ago, students at Downers Grove North look locked in and ready to compete for another championship as period four advances to this year’s Final Four. In addition to excelling in each of the areas of evaluation in this case study, such as market research and social media marketing, this group also incorporated a branding strategy to give the marketing plan some additional direction.

    Creating an “NFL Come Play” platform to serve as a hub for all flag football marketing activities was high-level thinking. It allows the league to establish flag football with its own identity. The slogan “One Game, One World” will help position the sport as a global game.

    Downers Grove students also impressed with their recognition of the importance of engagement to a social media campaign. Curating and creating compelling content is the key to interaction, and the strategy from these students will boost interaction with fans, allow for measurement and evaluation, and capture fan attention.

    Great job!

    Blacksburg High School, Virginia

    There was much to like about the case study submission from Blacksburg High School. It was clear how much research and effort went into creating their flag football marketing plan. Identifying the NFL’s current international marketing initiatives and piggybacking on those really helped with a very effective SWOT analysis. They also were wise to tap into existing fan clubs and other football leagues in different countries to help establish building blocks leading up to the 2028 Summer Games, which aligns with this group’s grassroots strategy. Appointing flag football ambassadors as part of the marketing program was another great idea. Blacksburg students were among several groups that identified which current and former NFL players have roots outside of the United States and recruited those players to participate in the league’s marketing. This group submitted a fantastic marketing plan and an excellent response to this case study. They will be rewarded with a trip to the Final Four.

    Way to go Blacksburg High School!


    Congrats to those students who advanced to the Final Four round of the competition and good luck!

  • SportsBiz Madness 2024: Case Study Tournament (Opening Round Results)

    SportsBiz Madness 2024: Case Study Tournament (Opening Round Results)


    Thank you to all who participated in the opening round of the competition. Your students submitted many great ideas for creating a charitable 5k race event. While only eight teams can advance, you should be proud of the work your students put forth in this tournament.

    The teams moving on managed to separate themselves by introducing unique ideas and practical execution plans. One area that prevented a few groups from advancing was a need for more focus on the many logistical challenges that events like these present. From volunteers, weather, participant, and spectator safety to ensuring sponsors are happy, event management professionals need to focus on delivering the best experience possible to everyone involved, including area residents and community members.

    Here are some highlights from the groups who will be advancing to the “Elite Eight” bracket round of our competition.

    “Virginia is for Lovers Run” (Green Run High School, Virginia)

    The teams that performed the best in round one of this year’s case study tournament excelled in at least one of the following areas:

    1. Offered a unique idea, theme or location
    2. Supported those ideas with effective and practical marketing
    3. Developed execution strategies in preparation for any of the event’s logistical challenges
    4. Applied classroom learning and concepts from the textbook

    Students at Green Run checked each and every one of those boxes. With a unique theme (tying in with the state’s tourism motto instantly provides awareness with local residents who represent the target market) and fun location (Virginia Beach’s ViBe Creative District known for its buildings and streets
    portraying artwork from different artists), they will no doubt see strong registration numbers, especially with their price point relative to target audience.

    Partnering with the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund will support a cause that resonates on a local level, meaning almost every area resident could feel compelled to either participate or come out to the event as a spectator to rally behind the community.

    Green Run students clearly did some homework as well, recognizing the “virtual participation” trend offered by many races around the country. By incorporating an application of the 5 P’s of Event Marketing and the Event Triangle, they demonstrated a strong understanding of key concepts from the textbook as well.

    All in all, Green Run earned an A+ for effort, and would have been the top seed if this tournament was seeded. Either way, they seem poised for a run at another trophy in our annual case study tournament. Great job!

    “Battle of the Branches” (Downers Grove North 6th Period, Illinois)

    Students at Downers Grove North knocked it out of the park with the “Battle of the Branches” 5k event. With its theme focused on Military appreciation, an event staging a competition between each miltary branch allows the event to bring a broad level of awareness and support to the Wounded Warrior Project. By incorporating specific KPIs, they offered measurable goals (nicely demonstrating a firm grasp on concepts from the textbook) with an excellent strategy for reaching them.

    Highlights from the report included:

    • Sound messaging strategy
    • Multi-channel approach to marketing
    • Registration incentives
    • Sponsor outreach
    • Community engagement

    Really well done!

    “Run for Rescues” (Wichita East High School, Kansas)

    The “Run for Rescues” 5k event from Wichita East students had a LOT of great activations that would support the group’s charitable partner, Kansas Humane Society. The activations would not only be engaging and raise awareness and donations, they would also help the organization to achieve another goal: Finding homes for shelter pets. The “puppy parade” idea would showcase shelter pets looking for homes, and finding ways to bring some fun to the event is always key to attract interest and participation both with runners and spectators. In the case of the “Run for Rescues” event, spectators will be just as important to its overall success as participants. Activations like allowing pets to participate in the race (along with preparing for any potential logistical nightmares that could occur as a result), costume contests for pets and owners, obstacle courses for dogs, and a pet-theme photo booth will most certainly attract a crowd.

    Wichita East students also strategized to leverage its marketing of the event as a communications tool as well, by educating the public about public about animal rescue issues, responsible pet care, and the importance of adoption.

    Great marketing ideas, a sound event management plan, and application of key concepts helped to push Wichita East into the bracket round of this competition. Way to go!

    “Run Wild 5K” (Blacksburg High School, Virginia)

    Blacksburg students put in the research, and determined that Los Angeles has the second most runners per capita in the Country (via Strava), leading them to host the “Run Wild 5k” in L.A.

    The research also suggests L.A. residents have a love for wildlife, which led to a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness for the protection of freshwater resources, landscapes, and wildlife in six continents as well as 350 cities and counties. Hosting the event at the L.A. County Arboretum offers a unique venue that is on-brand with the 5k theme.

    With lots of engaging activations throughout the course, both spectators and participants (after they finish the race) will have opportunities to learn more about the cause. Incorporating digital interactions like QR codes will help to amplify those messages, resulting in support for the cause both through donations and awareness and education.

    Blacksburg students also took full advantage of the opportunity to submit supplemental materials, including images of the course map, locations of education stations, race-branded merchandise, and more.

    Overall, a really nice effort from Blacksburg High School.

    “Bamboo Blitz” (Grant High School, Oregon)

    One of the key criteria evaluated for this case study was creativity. We wanted to see unique ideas for a 5k event, whether theme, location, or anything else. Grant High School sure delivered! Welcome to the “Bamboo Blitz” 5k, in China, raising awareness for Panda conservation. Funds raised through the event will help with the construction of more Panda preservation habitats and improvements to existing habitats throughout China.

    From the group’s report: “On April 10th, 2024, amidst the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Great Wall of China, runners from around the world gathered to participate in a thrilling 5k race. The event, set against the breathtaking scenery of one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, will attract both seasoned athletes and enthusiastic amateurs eager to test their endurance on this challenging course.”

    More importantly, students also recognized that an event at the Great Wall of China would come with significant logistical challenges, including permits and government permission. The group emphasized they would go to incredible lengths to make sure they would do everything necessary to protect the Great Wall, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and that the event would be unlikely to get off the ground without serious measures in place to preserve the iconic area.

    Impressive work from Grant High School!

    “Gatorade Race for Colour Blind Awareness” (Elizabethtown High School, Pennsylvania)

    One thing that was really fun with this particular case study was to see all the different causes being supported. Partnering with “Colour Blind Awareness” was one of the most unique. What was really captivating about this entry from students at Elizabethtown High School was how well they managed to bring a sponsor into the fold that could offer a unique activation with Gatorade. From the group’s report: “This color run is different from the average color run 5k. Gatorade will sponsor this event, and in order to complete the race, you must stop at all the Gatorade “checkpoints”. There will be 6 check points, where Gatorade will market their different products in the order of the rainbow! For example, checkpoint number 1 will have a red Gatorade, then stop number 2 will have Gatorade’s orange energy gummies… and so on.”

    With the “Gatorade Race for Colour Blind Awareness”, both the cause and the sponsor come out as winners, thanks to the variety of colors featured in Gatorade’s wide-ranging product lines. Adding value for spectators with free sampling stations throughout the course shows how students focused on application of the event triangle, and demonstrates an understanding of a key concept from the textbook.

    They also did a great job with event management and finding creative solutions to logistical challenges that the event could present. For example, the race would take place at and around the Fairgrounds, chosen for its feasibility, space, and local accessibility. By using this venue, there is no need to close down main roads. The event is scheduled for May 4th, which was specifically chosen before the peak tourist season, allowing event marketers to focus on the community to maximize participation and attendance.

    Great job Elizabethtown High School!

    “Holiday Ugly Sweater Run” (Downers Grove North 4th Period, Illinois)

    The most successful 5ks are the events that create a fun environment that encourages participation, using themes and holidays or unique destinations. This one from Downers Grove North checks all the boxes. In support of Toys for Tots, during a festive time of year and a season of giving, Downers Grove North students chose to host a “Holiday Ugly Sweater Run” in Chicago.

    This group of students demonstrated a strong plan for event management, including contingency plans in case of inclement weather if safety were to become a concern. The marketing included efforts to attract participation (including holiday gift bags for everyone who registers) and spectators with holiday-themed attractions throughout the course. At the core of all the marketing strategy was a focus on encouraging donations of both toys and money to help support the cause. And with an event route that highlights notable sights like Navy Pier and the Navy Pier Christmas Tree, the Chicago Skyline, Lakeshore Park, Bennett Park, Northwestern Campus, Historic Lakefront trail, and Lake Michigan, what’s not to love about this event?

    REALLY nice job from Downers Grove North, 4th period students.

    “NYC Fast & Fur-ious 5K” (Flower Mound High School, Texas)

    Best Friends Animal Society was another unique charity, and the choice of a cause to support by students at Flower Mound High School. The venue, Central Park in New York City, is also unique. But what really stood out was an incredibly thorough and well developed SWOT analysis that keyed in on things like traffic, and finding ways to build community support in a city with 8.5 million people.

    Flower Mound students exceeded expectations for each of this case study’s evaluation criteria, and went above and beyond with supporting documentation, including things like an event logo, detailed graphics displaying race route with check points and volunteer stations, mock-ups of mock-ups of event gear that will be sold to help raise even more money but also promote the cause, a mock-up of the race t-shirt included with registration, sample marketing materials, an Instagram post promoting registration, even a TikTok video!

    Fantastic job Flower Mound!


    The eight teams advancing in the tournament will compete in a head-to-head style format for the opportunity to be crowned champs of the 2024 case study tournament. Teams were not seeded, the bracket pairings are drawn at random. Good luck to our participating students in the “Elite Eight” round!

  • Super Bowl LVIII Promotions Student Competition – Winning Entries!

    In conjunction with Super Bowl LVIII, Sports Career Consulting hosted a student competition that challenged students to create a point-of-purchase promotional display representing a consumer goods brand tied to the Big Game.

    We had a lot of highlights this year, with quite a few submissions that offered pretty cool interactive engagement opportunities. Students offered creative packaging and display ideas that featured QR codes, sweepstakes promotions, hashtags encouraging social media interactions, and more. We expected to see more promotions with Taylor Swift tie-ins. Still, several submitted displays were a little too Swiftie-centric, forgetting almost entirely about leveraging the Super Bowl to promote the product.

    Thank you to all the schools who participated. We hope you and your students enjoyed the activity. Entries were evaluated on creativity and how well students demonstrated an understanding of promotion. We more than one hundred entries, but the winning submissions came from students who not only found creative ways to promote a product but also developed the best strategies and plans for boosting product sales. The top submissions also did a great job tying the display they created to additional activations that would support the marketing campaign.


    First Place: Gatorade “Pour Your Prediction” (Grant High School, Oregon)

    Congrats to Nate and Tristan at Grant High School in Oregon for winning SCC’s Super Bowl LVIII Promotions Competition!

    Creative, engaging, memorable…there was a lot to appreciate with this year’s winning display. According to Nate and Tristan, the goal was to “combine the past with the future” with this Virtual Reality point-of-purchase display. Grocery shoppers can simulate the experience of the iconic “Gatorade Shower” in-store, powered by VR. Positioned near the entrance of the store so shoppers can’t miss it, the display experience is described as “As one enters the display, they’ll notice several cardboard cutouts of players on the 49ers and Chiefs posing in action, only to have their football replaced with bottles of Gatorade. Next to them will be signs prompting shoppers to enter the #PourPrediction challenge. Behind the cutouts will be lines of refrigerators hosting the new San Francisco Squeeze and Kansas City Quench flavors. There will also be several of the famous Gatorade jugs placed around the booth for fans to purchase, which will be bundled with the limited edition flavors in powder form. The virtual reality experience will be located in the middle of the supermarket, and the software will be designed to function without an attendant.

    Within the virtual reality experience, fans will get to experience what billions have dreamed of doing since the first jug was dumped. The simulation will start by prompting users to select one of the two competing teams. After this, they will take the place of the selected team’s head coach and will choose a game-winning drive from a virtual playbook presented to them. Each play will have a special Gatorade-themed name. After the play is completed, the player will get to simulate having Gatorade dumped on them, which will change color depending on the play.”

    What makes this work is not only the increased engagement that the display will no doubt create but also the leveraging of the promotional opportunity to sell an entire line of Gatorade products, not just its traditional sports drinks. The display would also feature Gatorade jugs, powdered drinks, and other Gatorade-branded products, including two limited-edition flavors created just for the Super Bowl. The attention-to-detail in making sure the display is self-sufficient enough to function without the need for an attendant or staff was a nice touch, and the inclusion of a sweepstakes promotion and use of a hashtag that encourages fans to post on social media really helped to tie everything together.

    This was really well done. Congratulations!

    Runner Up: “George SKittles” (Grant High School, Oregon)

    This was such a fun idea from Oscar and Ryan at Grant High School, who took second place in this year’s pop display competition. Pairing one of the game’s biggest stars, 49ers tight end George Kittle, with Skittles for a special edition Super Bowl package was such a clever idea that we are surprised this didn’t actually happen!

    Oscar and Ryan developed Super Bowl-themed packaging for Skittles candy that featured the face of the 49ers star, with an “X” through the “S” in “Skittles”, along with a color scheme (red and gold) that aligns with the San Francisco 49ers’ brand colors.

    They also included a sweepstakes promotion by including 10 “golden tickets” in Skittles packages with a chance to win Super Bowl tickets and an autographed George Kittle jersey. The in-store display featured a life-size cutout of Kittle, positioned at an end cap where fans could buy Skittles candy in both the limited-edition packaging and traditional packaging and from a candy machine. Because Skittles is a NFL sponsor, Oscar and Ryan wisely leveraged the league’s wide reach to promote the campaign through the NFL’s social media channels.

    This was fantastic!

    Third Place: Reese’s Mini Cups (James River High School, Virginia)

    The third place finisher in this year’s competition is from James River High School in Virginia. Similar to the George “Skittles” promotion, Savannah’s concept also included a sweepstakes with a hidden prize inside select packaging. However, her version, designed to increase sales of Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, included a hidden replica Super Bowl ring.

    Savannah also created limited-edition Super Bowl packaging to help attract the attention of shoppers, and we thought it was a really smart decision to expand the number of displays beyond just grocery and into big box stores, convenience stores, and other retailers, pretty much anywhere Reese’s mini cups can be purchased. There is no question that this would help to increase sales.

    While the additional promotion elements were fantastic, what helped this display earn a top-three finish was how much Savannah prioritized the details of the display. After all, the main focus of this competition is to encourage students to create something that captures the attention of shoppers, and the attention to detail in colorways, branding, etc. in this display would definitely accomplish that goal.

    Great work!

    Fourth Place: Papa Murphy’s Vending Machine (Desert Pines High School, Nevada)

    This year’s competition was initially intended to reward the top three entries, but we made an exception and will award a prize to the fourth-place finisher based purely on how unique the idea was. Quitzia, a student at Desert Pines High School in Nevada, recognized the importance of this event (the Super Bowl) to pizza brands. It was such a fun concept that we had to give some props.

    The goal of this competition is to create a promotion that will leverage the Super Bowl to drive sales. Quitzia came up with a solution that could help automate the pizza-making process in a way that would increase efficiency and help maximize the number of pizzas sold by introducing a pizza-making vending machine at Papa Murphy’s. Not only would this “functional” display capture consumers’ attention because of its uniqueness, but it could (in theory) double the production on game day.

    The way it would work is consumers would enter the store and have the option of getting in line the same way they traditionally would order a Papa Murphy’s take-n-bake pizza, OR step up to the vending machine, select their toppings, pay with a credit card, Apple Pay etc., and the machine would produce the requested pie in a Super Bowl box. Love it!

    Great idea, Quitzia!

    Congratulations to the students who finished in the top four! We have gift cards coming your way!

    While only four students won prizes, we wanted to recognize a few more students for a job well done.

    Honorable Mention:

    Verizon Promotion – Danny at Guilderland High School in New York hoped to tap into the power and influence of celebrity by aligning with Taylor Swift and Anna Frey for a display that featured a goal post shaped like the Verizon check mark. The displays would be placed in stores, malls, and any other retail spaces where consumers could be shopping for mobile devices and services.

    Pringles Promotion – Elijah, Preston, Bryce, Carson, and Eyan from Galax High School in Virginia also found a creative brand-centric design for a football goal post with a Pringles promotion that used the iconic Pringles mustache as the crossbar with the posts built from cans of the popular brand of Chips. In addition, the group decided to cross-promote with Little Caesar’s, offering a coupon code for 25% off the purchase of a pizza on the bottom of the chip packaging.

    Stanley Promotion – Lily and Grace from Deep Run High School in Virginia tapped into the latest viral product craze with a display featuring licensed Stanley cups. The promotion included cups featuring logos from both Super Bowl teams, and a third option with the NFL logo for fans of all other teams.

    Kleenex – Students in Mrs. Fields’ classroom at Memorial High School in San Antonio introduced one of the most unique brands as part of the promotional display in this competition…Kleenex. Why Kleenex? They’re needed during the emotional Super Bowl ads. Such a clever product idea, and they also did a great job with the actual display.

    Pepsi Brands – Maijae at Chavez High School in Arizona included several really fun elements as part of a campaign promoting a variety of PepsiCo brands, including MTN DEW, Pepsi, and Brisk. The display features a stadium designed using the brands soda boxes with cardboard cutouts of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Maijae strategically introduced the displays in stores a full month prior to the Super Bowl to maximize sales opportunities, and included a variety of digital marketing aspects like QR codes, a microsite, social media components, and text messaging.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods – Another group of Grant High School students, Erin, Malina, and Dagny, chose to create a display at Dick’s Sporting Goods promoting Kristin Juszczyk’s new clothing line. Kristin is the wife of 49ers’ player Kyle Juszczyk, whose designs have found their way to players on the Kansas City Chiefs, the Detroit Lions, and the Green Bay Packers, and celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Brittany Mahomes, and Simone Biles. This was a really unique spin on this project.

    Flat Screen TVs – Parker and Zavier from Hinsdale South in Illinois did not specify a specific brand of TV as part of their promotion, but they offered one of the best reasons for choosing this product category…because “every fan who broke their TV watching needs to buy another one”, a reference to all the viral videos after the Big Game of people breaking TVs after the game’s outcome didn’t turn out in their favor.

    Starry – To promote Pepsi’s newest flavor, Starry, students from Parsippany High School in New Jersey (Kenny, Nick, Joe, Darren, and Jerin) teamed up with Ice Spice to help draw attention to the product in stores. With speakers built into a Super Bowl display with several shelves containing cases of the product, Ice Spice music would help to attract consumers. The promotion would also include product samples, which is a great idea considering this is a relatively new product.

    Thanks again to those who participated. We look forward to seeing what your students come up with next year!

  • SCC FFL Sports Marketing Challenge: 2023 CHAMPS!

    With the final scores tallied, we have a winner in the ninth season of SCC’s fantasy football sports marketing challenge. However, before announcing this year’s winner, we would like to express how impressed we were with the effort from all of our participating schools, and we hope everyone enjoyed the competition.

    Without further delay, we would like to congratulate Robert Kelly’s class at Waverly High School in New York for winning our 9th annual fantasy football sports marketing competition!  Despite the most competitive field in competition history, the Louisville Stallions led wire-to-wire, securing the championship trophy that has eluded Waverly students for years. After two top-three finishes and a runner-up in previous competitions, the championship trophy will finally find its way to Waverly High School.

    The Boise Rattlers front office, comprised of students from Capital High School in Montana (coached by Jessica Frazier) finished in a close second with a really strong finish. Blacksburg High School students, representing the Austin Diablos front office (coached by Jessica Catley), took third place after gaining the highest score possible in the sixth and final sports marketing challenge.

    To celebrate the championship, Waverly students will receive a championship trophy to proudly display at school.  Both the Stallions’ front office at Waverly and the Boise Rattlers front office at Capital High School will be rewarded with a classroom pizza party. Congrats to both schools on a job very well done, and a shoutout to Blacksburg High School who narrowly missed a tie for runner-up.

    We also have a few individual school shout-outs for the response to the digital marketing challenge below…


    Waverly High School, New York (Louisville Stallions)

    Once again, the Stallions front office submitted an incredibly advanced response to our sports marketing challenge. This, the sixth, tasked students with developing a digital and social media marketing strategy. The Stallions’ plan was on-point, and demonstrated some really next level thinking, as they have consistently done throughout this year’s competition.

    We really appreciated seeing this group prioritizing a premium on better understanding of their core fan base by learning as much as possible about fan behavior, preferences etc. The recognition of how digital and social can help provide the team with valuable fan data underscores how well Waverly students have applied key concepts from our curriculum to each of the sports marketing challenges. As a result, the Louisville Stallions set a record for the highest point total in the competition, earning 599 points of a possible total of 600. Really, really well done.

    One of the really fun things about this competition is seeing the creativity from participating students, and every year we see lots of unique and clever ideas. However, what matters most is taking that creativity and applying it in a way that helps the team to reach organizational goals. Waverly students offered a very organized and balanced plan with strategies designed to meet very specific franchise goals. For example, one goal was to increase fan engagement. To reach that goal, the front office developed a gamification strategy, offering unique ways for fans to interact through the team’s app and social media with a variety of offerings like trivia, games, and more. Other goals included:

    • Brand positioning: The Stallions want fans to view the franchise as a “fun” brand, so they introduce games and stadium experiences like the “Virtual Reality Lounge”
    • Generate revenue: Waverly students recognize the importance of revenue, and enhanced digital offerings create opportunities to expand sponsorship inventory, including the opening of a FanDuel sponsored sportsbook lounge at the stadium, also demonstrating how much research they did on industry trends
    • Build brand loyalty: To help build a loyal fan base, the Stallions created a rewards program, offering a variety of perks to incentivize fans to not only sign up, but also regularly interact with the team on the website, through its app, and social media while also encouraging the purchase of game tickets and merch
    • Establish year-round connectivity: To further build a connection with fans and a sense of community, Waverly students made certain to expand programming beyond the regular season and into the offseason

    The Stallions front office also included several very creative ideas. Again, kudos to the amount of research this group put into the project, recognizing Hawkeye Technology as a provider of digital and tech for stadiums around the world. Really cool idea to utilize the company’s tech to embed chips into first down markers and the goal line to provide fans using the app with a “Hawkeye View” of whether a player gains the first down or crosses the goal line into the end zone. We also liked the “Stallions All-Access” premium app exclusives that take fans behind-the-scenes with views from the player tunnel during pre-game, drone views of the parking lot to help find where friends might be tailgating, and locker room tours.

    Congratulations Waverly HIgh School, you are SCC FFL champs!

    Capital High School, Montana (Boise Rattlers)

    The Boise Rattlers submitted a fantastic response to the sixth and final sports marketing challenge, as they have done all year. Capital High School students served up a variety of really great ideas, and again, while the creativity was superb, it was the execution of ideas that really helped propel them to a perfect score for the week.

    For example, the Rattlers’ were one of just two teams to recognize the importance of push notifications, not only from a communications perspective, but also the marketing value in capturing fan information and the engagement required with a call-to-action like an opt-in. We also really appreciated the idea of creating a calendar to help organize the content the team will share on social media feeds. This is a technique used by lots of social media professionals in the industry, so we loved seeing an adaptation of that in our competition.

    Last but not least, we thought the Rattlers’ metaverse plans were great. It isn’t enough just to say, yes, our team plans to have a presence in the metaverse. To score well in this competition, students need an implementation plan. The Rattlers’ front office offered a plan that included interactive games, simulations, behind-the-scenes content for fans, and much more. Well done!

    Congratulations on a very close runner-up finish Capital High School!

    Green Run High School, Virginia (Toronto Owls)

    Kudos to Green Run High School for a really strong finish in this year’s SCC FFL. The Toronto Owls’ front office submitted a digital and social plan that was absolutely loaded with great ideas.

    Highlights inlcuded:

    • A partnership with Netflix to provide a docuseries with the team, leading up to the first-ever NFL live game broadcast between the Toronto Owls and an opponent
    • Pop-up ads on the team’s digital platforms to remind fans about watch parties, ticket sales opportunities, and merchandise offers
    • Strong plan for establishing a presence in the metaverse
      • Loved the metaverse-based rewards and the “VR fantasy football draft” feature
    • Smart idea to incentivize fans to download the app, and exclusive merch offers (espeically the personalized heated stadium chairs) would most certainly do the trick!
    • Revenue-generating opportunity with microstransactions in the metaverse allowing fans to outfit their avatars with team-branded gear
    • Unique idea to offer digital trading cards, could be used as a game-day giveway (possibly sponsored?) and/or merchandise available in the team store…don’t think we have seen that idea in this competition before!

    Overall, a fantastic effort from the Owls’ front office. Great job!

    Blacksburg High School, VA (Austin Diablos)

    Blacksburg students gave it all they had, that’s for sure. It is a bummer they came up just a bit short, as the digital and social plan they submitted was exceptional, probably the best one we have seen in the history of this competition. There is no shame in a third-place finish, however, especially with a loaded field like the one we had this season. Major props to the Diablos front office for a job well done.

    There is so much to love here, and highlights include:

    • The creation of a live, functional website with lots of cool information and features (
    • VR technology to aid fans in ticket buying decisions to preview seats before clicking “purchase” on the team’s app
    • An app with tons of features to improve the game day experience, like directing fans in real-time to find available parking areas, in-seat delivery etc.
    • E-mail newsletters to fans with a focus on building the team’s database for marketing purposes
    • A weekly podcast, both for the fans and a paid version to generate additional revenue with exclusive features like uncut content and more exclusives for subscribers
    • Hologram stations at the station for fan photos and to encourage the ever-valuable UGC content
    • Helmet-cams with footage being live-streamed exclusively on the app
    • A Fortnite skin collaboration, including an “Austin Diablos bundle” available in the Fortnite item shop, featuring the team’s mascot
    • Timely and relevant social media posts on every platform, like Instagram to showcase Diablos’ players’ “My Cause, My Cleats” initiatives (nice job weaving a current event in with your social strategy)
    • Custom Spotify playlist featuring some of the Diablos’ players’ favorite music

    Overall, just a really amazing, and incredibly comprehensive, digital and social media marketing plan from Blacksburg High School students. Great job!