Halfway through our annual fantasy football sports marketing competition and we are starting to see some movement in the standings with several new teams making a midseason charge toward the top.
Congrats to Karen Russo’s class at Hinsdale Central HS in Illinois for vaulting into the top spot in this year’s competition. Students in Kim Radford’s class at Blacksburg HS in Virginia slipped into a close second, separated by just a few points, with Zach Gueth’s class at Miami Valley Career Tech Center in Ohio moving up four spots this week into third place. Ed Lapp’s class at Pequea Valley High School in Pennsylvania jumped six spots in the standings to claim fourth place after the third challenge, with
Nicole Ruschâ€™s students at Pine Island High School in Minnesota dropping from third place to fifth. Needless to say, with three more sports marketing challenges to go, it looks like we are in a for a fantastic finish this season!
Overall, ALL of our participating schools have done a fantastic job with this project thus far. The responses to our sports marketing challenges have been incredibly impressive and the league office is looking forward to seeing what the students come up with for the remaining challenges! Follow along via our blog (or @sportsbized on Twitter) for updates as the season rolls along and be sure to encourage and support those schools in your local area!
Points have been distributed for each teamâ€™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 â€œshout outsâ€ for particularly creative, unique and strategic franchise branding ideasâ€¦keep up the great work everyone!
Keystone Mountaineers (Dallas High School, Pennsylvania)
Really liked the Adopt a highway â€œKeystone Mounts Highwayâ€ community program to help keep the area clean and the investment in a cause to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint.
One of our favorite PR stunts in this challenge was the promotion of â€œThe Officeâ€ night and have the actor that played â€œDwightâ€ make an appearance at a home game. Encouraging fans to dress up like their favorite characters for the game could be a fun twist as well.
Toronto Owls (Blacksburg High School, Virginia)
Students at Blacksburg High School keep bringing fire for this competition, clearly working hard to become the first back-to-back champs! Lots of really cool initiatives in the Owls’ community relations plan.
Also, always appreciate seeing classes that go above and beyond the requirements for each challenge, in this case submitting multiple press releases (rather than just the one that was required) detailing all the team’s community relations efforts for the season. The attention to detail throughout this competition is one of the main reasons the Owls’ front office continues to excel and remain atop the standings. Let’s see if they can maintain that lead with several other teams in hot pursuit!
Omaha Haymakers (Hinsdale Central High School, Illinois)
An absolute haymaker from the haymakers as they vault into first place in this competition on the heels of a fantastic response to the third challenge.
Hinsdale Central students created several perfect press releases with unique community twists (loved seeing them printed on team letterhead too…great branding). Great job doing the research on team demographics and creating an event that caters to your fanbase with a fishing tournament, donating all proceeds to charity obviously a great gesture by the franchise and connecting the team and event with a sponsor like Bass Pro Shops was a great decision.
Really liked seeing the franchise participating in a NFL themed PR campaign as well, great job doing the extra research. The #MyCauseMyCleats campaign will certainly engender some goodwill within the community, and the league’s support of the program will provide tons of additional publicity for the Haymakers’ campaign. Awesome job!
Birmingham Bombers (Kellam High School, Virginia)
Really cool idea to host a fan fest to build excitement for the team as it joins a new community…this is something teams do all the time, great thinking Kellam students! Some highlights from the program:
- Team meet and greet with Bomber fans with photo opps and autographs
- A field goal contest against the Bombers’ kicker
- Dunk tank with chance to dunk Bombers’ players
- Opportunity for kids to learn a dance from the “Bombettes” (dance team) along with view a live performance from them
Well done Bombers’ front office, keep up the good work!
Kentucky Reigns (Pequea Valley HS, Pennsylvania)
So we have seen some pretty creative media guides and press kits in the past for this competition…but NEVER have we received, in the mail, an actual hard copy of a media guide…OR two complimentary tickets to one of the team’s games.
Seems the Reigns PR department is really focused on forging a positive relationship with local media for the team’s inaugural season. Really well played by the Reigns front office, so many impressive components here, including a staff directory assigning front office roles to all the students in class.
Such an impressive response to the PR/community relations challenge in this competition…standing ovation for Pequea Valley sports marketing class!
Kansas Nightmare (Wichita East HS, Kansas)
It is always fun to see unique ideas in this competition, and the Nightmare provided one of the most unique community events we have seen. Hosting a community pickleball tournament is a great way to engage your fans, and enlisting two of your star players to participate will no doubt generate a ton of publicity for the franchise. Nice job tying two challenges together by recognizing pickleball as a family-friendly sport, fantastic synergy with the family friendly branding strategy from the previous sports marketing challenge. Good stuff from the Nightmare front office!
Portland Pioneers (Colleyville Heritage HS, Texas)
Really liked the “Children’s Day” event supported by the Pioneers’ front office, the commitment to consistent visits to the local children’s hospital will go a long way in bringing smiles to local children each and every month.
Also thought the “Simpson’s Day” promotion was a pretty cool idea, definitely would generate some buzz in the community and opens up some creative ways to engage fans. Nice job Pioneers!
Omaha Bandits (Crook County High School, Oregon)
Wow! What an impressive response to this challenge from the Bandits front office! Some really cool ideas here, including a community BBQ to raise money for a charity, featuring team personnel and players, at a sponsors’ location. Smart on several levels. Also thought the football camps were a fun idea, and loved the “cleat design competition” for area youth as part of an education initiative. Lots of great stuff here, but the delivery is what really sold this, ultimately helping the Bandits’ achieve one of the highest scores for this challenge with a live video of a team press conference announcing these programs. The kicker? The team even included a branded press conference backdrop. Again, attention to detail in this case was off the charts. REALLY well done Bandits! Looks like your front office is making a late season charge toward the top of the standings!
Honolulu Hammerheads (Montgomery County, Missouri)
Some fun ideas here from the Hammerheads, love the consistent focus on the brand, tying several of your community driven programs to the team’s original branding strategy. Pre-game community luaus could be a big hit with your fan base, and really thought the recognition of the important role social media has on public relations efforts was a great demonstration of how well MC students are grasping the key sportsbiz concepts.
Last but not least, loved the idea of a weekly e-newsletter…great recognition of how content marketing can help communicate key information to fans and the value of content marketing. Really well done Hammerheads…don’t sleep on this front office, they could be making a late season run!
Dayton Cruisers (MVCTC, Ohio)
For those who are new to this competition, look no further than MVCTC to see how much your class can improve year-to-year in this competition. In one of their best challenge responses to date, the Cruisers’ front office developed a fantastic PR strategy/communications plan.
- Groundbreaking event for new stadium
- Not only implementing breast cancer awareness events, but creating a line of merchandise to help generate revenue to donate to a worthy cause
- Recognition of ways social platforms can amplify the community involvement message
- Donating both time and money to help aid victims of tornados that have ravaged the community (#DaytonStrong)
- Connecting with NFL’s Play360 community programs
- Dayton “Triangles” publicity stunt in celebration of the NFL’s 100th season
- An ACTUAL, FUNCTIONAL website to help answer fan questions and communicate information relating to the team’s efforts within the community, including a bio for every player and team schedule…clearly Cruisers staff put a lot of time into this challenge!
Amazing to think this is the first time a class has come up with the idea of a “groundbreaking event” to help build enthusiasm for the new team within the community (to our recollection anyway) but what a savvy decision from the Cruisers front office. Keep up the great work Dayton front office and you’ll keep cruisin’ up the standings!
UPDATED STANDINGS (INCLUDES POINT DISTRIBUTION FOR RESPONSE TO SPORTS MARKETING CHALLENGE #3):
|Team||Previous Points||Challenge #3||Total|
|Las Vegas Dynamix||1196||546||1742|
|Las Vegas Blackjacks||1210||523||1733|
|Hollywood Gold Diggers||1186||521||1707|
|Las Vegas Leopards||1171||532||1703|
|Grand Rapids Loggers||1135||534||1669|
|Las Vegas Aces||1132||524||1656|
|Las Vegas Spades||1092||544||1636|
|Grand Rapids Riptide||1146||1146|
|OKC Young Rich Nation||1098||1098|
|New Mexico Mustangs||671||671|