SCC FFL Sports Marketing Challenge #5 Scores & Review

With just one sports marketing challenge remaining (digital marketing) before we crown a champion in our sixth annual sports marketing competition, the standings have been updated as we kick off the post Thanksgiving break week. 

One of our favorite things about this competition is seeing not only how well our students grasp fundamental sports business concepts, but the effort, enthusiasm and creativity that goes into each response to our sports marketing challenges.  One of the best challenges for demonstrating that creativity is the ticket sales, promotion and sponsorship challeng and this year’s competitors did not disappoint, incorporating elements from three different chapters of our textbook while demonstrating an understanding of the importance of the sales and service function in managing a professional sports franchise.  There were so many unique and fun ideas.  We also loved seeing the mock-ups of actual tickets that their franchise would be distributing to fans…several pretty cool designs this year!

Some highlights:

There were some great giveaway, sponsor and game day promotion ideas as well. Here were a few favorites:

  • Orlando Trash Pandas (Lyman HS, Florida): Lego Set Giveaway: First 150 fans will get an exclusive log set of Randy Roadkill
  • Keystone Wolverines (Dallas HS, Pennsylvania): First Responders Game- First responders eligible for half price tickets and a free post-game stadium tour experience
  • Portland Pioneers (Grant HS, Oregon): “Spooky Sunday” Halloween Promotion (Sponsored by Tillamook Creamery), a massive haunted house that wraps around the entire stadium while inside, fans can navigate a corn maze and scavenger hunt
  • Louisville Ridgerunners (Randolph HS, Wisconsin): Luxury Seat Giveaway – Text 67778 with your final score prediction by game time for a chance to win luxury seat tickets to an upcoming game
  • Little Rock Badgers (Richardson HS, Texas): Merry Christmas, Badger Family! First 3,000 Fans get a Football themed Santa Hat at a December home game

As we have seen throughout the competition, another fantastic job by all of our competing schools!

Here are a few highlights from the ticket sales, promotion and sponsorship challenge:

Louisville Ridgerunners (Randolph High School, Wisconsin)

As highlighted in the section above, the Ridgerunners offered a pretty cool digital marketing game day promo. Love the gamification concept and this looks like something fans would certainly enjoy, boosting levels of fan engagement. Here is the promo that stood out: “Luxury Seat Giveaway – Text 67778 with your final score prediction by game time for a chance to win luxury seat tickets to an upcoming game.” That said, the Louisville front office developed a fantastic promotions schedule, no doubt creating enough enthusiasm to fill the stands on game days. Well done Randolph High School!

Portland Pioneers (Grant High School, Oregon)

Another strong showing from the newcomers to this competition. Loved seeing the team find a sponsor for each home game, some really great ideas for engaging fans as well. Really cool to see the Pioneers’ introducing a live, functional website to showcase some of the team’s promotions as well. Really impressive work from Grant High School…well done!

San Antonio Sentinels (Blacksburg High School, Virginia)

Where to begin? Yet another incredibly thorough, comprehensive response to this year’s sports marketing challenges from the Sentinels’ front office. As cliche as it may sound, Blacksburg HS students checked all the boxes for what was required for this challenge and then some, including some strategies we felt were “next level” in terms of what we traditionally see in this competition. A few highlights:

  • Loved the explanation of how PSLs will benefit not only the franchise but also the benefits to your ticket holders…more than anything, we loved seeing how students had a firm grasp of the concept, really impressive!
  • From the sponsorship side, we loved seeing not only a breakdown of inventory but also a rate card and sample sponsorship package / proposal…not sure we have seen something that detailed in this competition before!
  • Our favorite sponsorship in this competition: Waffle House sponsoring player introductions with the tagline “Our Receivers are Open 24/7”
  • Some great game day promotions, loved seeing most of them attached to a sponsor

Overall, a fantastic ticket sales and sponsorship plan. Great job Sentinels’ front office!

Salt Lake Phenoms (Kent CTC, Michigan)

Credit the Phenoms’ front office for coming up with some of the most unique and creative ides in this challenge…they earned a perfect score as a result. Really liked seeing an out of the box approach once again from Kent CTC students. A few of our favorite ideas:

  • While logistically there would be some major challenges bypassing RSN rights and league broadcast deals to offer streaming service, but love the Phenoms’ “Stay Home Streaming Service”, not only by providing live game coverage, but the yearly VIP membership that offers premium insider content, practice sessions (another logistical hurdle but great concept) additional camera angles on game days, and a virtual tour of team facilities
  • Loved the on-brand sponsorship with local resort that allows for tons of co-branding and cross promotion, will certainly help bring in new fans and build loyalty with an emerging fan base as the team takes the field for its first season
  • Partnering with local colleges and universities for a think tank is an absolutely awesome idea…brilliant!

All in all, a super impressive response to the ticket sales and sponsorship challenge that keeps the Phantoms in the running for this year’s trophy. Great job Kent CTC students!

Orlando Owls (Little Elm High School, Texas)

We thought it was a really smart strategy to highlight the Owls’ biggest rivalry game and go all out promoting it to help build excitement in the team’s first season. Great idea from the Owls’ front office. Also, enjoyed seeing some consistency from Little Elm HS students throughout this competition with a focus on charitable work and cause marketing intiatives, culminating with a midseason charity event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Nice work to continue the work with a team’s key corporate partner (Disney) with a continued community relations effort. Nice job Orlando Owls!

UPDATED STANDINGS:

SchoolTeam NameStateTotal Points
Blacksburg HSSan Antonio SentinelsVA1243
Grant HSPortland PioneersOR1241
Lyman High SchoolOrlando Trash PandasFL1228
KCTCSalt Lake PhenomsMI1226
Montgomery CountySan Antonio Honey BadgersMO1216
Dallas High SchoolKeystone WolverinesPA1209
Little ElmOrlando OwlsTX1207
Carl SandburgMexico City AztecsIL1200
Richardson HSLittle Rock BadgersTX1197
RandolphLouisville RidgerunnersWI1197
Wichita East HSWichita MatadorsKS1197
Kellam High School Virginia Beach SharksVA953
Stafford HSMiami SharksVA475
Victor J AndrewChi-Town Chargers IL470
HCHS College & Career AcademyHonolulu StingraysGA463
KIHGrand Rapids RogueMI236

SCC FFL Sports Marketing Challenge #4 Scores & Review

Entries are in for the fourth sports marketing challenge in this year’s competition with just two to go!  Congrats to Blacksburg High School in Virginia for taking a slight lead in the 2020 SCC FFL Sports Marketing Challenge! Grant High School in Oregon is just two points behind with quite a few schools still in contention.

Every year, this is one of the most fun challenges to evaluate, in part because we see so much creativity with fan experience strategies, but also with the attention to detail that some of our competing teams go through in designing and creating their stadiums. Obviously this year there as an added wrinkle as team’s had to determine whether to allow fans at games, along with determining appropriate protocols for keeping fans, staff and players safe and healthy. 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 thecompetition (sports marketing challenge #4). Updated standings are below as well as highlights featuring several particularly creative, unique and strategic stadium designs, amenities, and fan experience strategies.

San Antonio Sentinels (Blacksburg HS, Virginia)

The Sentinels’ front office absolutely knocked it out of the park with this challenge, dazzling us with really cool ideas for enhancing the fan experience at every turn.

One such idea was an elevated take on a popular feature many sports teams and venues include with team-branded apps by helping to direct the flow of foot traffic at stadiums and arenas. The Sentinels’ front office will provide specific results to help guide fans, including the number of people waiting in line for bathrooms and at each concessions / food area along with an estimated wait time. We can totally see how this feature would improve the game-day experience for fans.

In addition to the app feature, the “many” bathrooms were designed to include TVs so fans won’t miss a second of the action or any big plays, including monitors on the floor in bathroom stalls.

Blacksburg students also introduced some great strategies for utilizing technology as a way to influence the fan experience, including contactless ticketing and concessions, a social media board and interactive scoreboard that display fans tweets and pictures taken during the game using the hashtag #GuardTheFort, and a really cool Virtual Reality game day experience where fans can access an on field exclusive experience through VR from designated VR spots throughout the stadium.

The Sentinels’ front office was not shy about spending money to improve the experience either, announcing plans to sink $500 million into a stadium renovation project. Students created a 3D rendering video highlighting some of the features and amenities that fans would enjoy at home games during the team’s inaugural season. Well done Blacksburg High School!

Orlando Trash Pandas (Lyman HS, Florida)

Absolutely LOVED the stadium design model created by students at Lyman High School, just check out the attention to detail! It is clear the Trash Pandas’ front office put a lot of time and effort into this challenge. Really cool stadium!

We also thought there were some fun ideas here for building traditions on game days at that stadium which offer a great way to enhance the fan experience. Some highlights include:

  • Sounding a “semi truck horn” after every first down
  • Having the team’s mascot “Randy Roadkill” fly across on a zipline across the stadium
  • Great brand extension with the stadium design by creating the home team’s tunnel (where players run out of) in the shape of the team’s logo

Really nice job from the Trash Pandas front office in response to sports marketing challenge #4!

Keystone Wolverines (Dallas HS, PA)

Some pretty cool fan experience ideas from Dallas High School students in this challenge, including a unique spin on concessions ordering which will allow fans to order food for a specific time during the game and have items delivered to the seats. If the Wolverines’ front office could make that a reality (lots of logistical hurdles here), it could be a game changer in terms of how fans choose dining options during games.

Also, really liked some of the brand extensions in terms of food menu offerings, including:

  • Keystone Kettle Corn which comes in all the colors of the Wolverine team
  • The “Cascades Cookout” BBQ restaurant on-site that has ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and brisket
  • “Curly Claws” (curly french fries)
  • Wolverine Bites (boneless chicken wings)
  • Wolverine Bones (bone-in chicken wings)
  • A sandwich named after the team’s mascot (“Wally the Wolverine) called the “Clawesome Club” sandwich

All in all a fantastic effort from Dallas HS students. Nice job!

Portland Pioneers (Grant HS, Oregon)

Once again, Grant High (newcomers to this competition) brought a sensational effort. The Pioneers’ front office submitted a very thorough response to the fan experience challenge.

One thing that really stood out is how well the franchise has been consistently positioned as an industry leader in everything they plan to do, and the team’s fan experience strategy was no different. For example, according to the team’s report, this is how the franchise intends to be environmental leaders: “With Portland located near the Cascadia Subduction Zone—an area prone to seismic activity—we will hire the world’s best architects and structural engineers to design the stadium to withstand earthquakes of any level. Since we are also situated on the Willamette River, we will take steps to avoid potential flooding at all costs. This will look like some type of barrier built next to the river to protect the stadium, and drains throughout the grounds in the case that the barrier is breached.” Incredibly forward thinking, very impressive!

Also, the concept of “location is everything” was not lost on the Pioneers’ front office. They recognized the importance of a convenient location that is accessible through mass transit, but also placing a venue in a location that offers ambiance and connects with the city. No doubt the team’s decision for an urban location for the stadium will have a significant impact on the overall fan experience on game days!

The VR features (each player’s helmet will be fitted with a built-in camera and mic, allowing fans to experience scores or highlight plays from a player perspective) was icing on the cake. Cool idea to have VR “pods” for viewing these experiences throughout the stadium, and great idea to extend some of those features to the team’s app to allow fans at home to enjoy some of the same experiences.

Fantastic job Grant High School students!

Salt Lake Phenoms (Kent CTC, Michigan)

Perhaps the best setting for a stadium in this year’s competition, along with coolest stadium amenity, goes to the Salt Lake Phenoms front office. The downtown location, surrounded by mountains, would definitely attract fans to the stadium on game days and even non-event days, especially with the awesome idea of adding a ski lift feature to the venue. No doubt that will be a popular attraction with fans!

We also appreciated the efforts to build the most high tech stadium in all of sports…an expensive endeavor no doubt, but one that should build loyalty with your fan base and encourage fans to pack the house every game and event day. Really great stuff from Kent CTC students!

The Salt Lake Phenoms new football stadium, surrounded by the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, will feature a ski lift amenity allowing fans to see games from a whole new perspective

Orlando Owls (Little Elm HS, Texas)

One of our favorite initiatives in this competition, not just in response to sports marketing challenge #4, but the ENTIRE competition to date, is the Owls’ focus on catering to a female audience. Not only is this long overdue in our industry, but it is also smart marketing. Here is how the team plans to connect build a loyal following with a female demographic as the team kicks off its inaugural season in Orlando: “Women’s Sports:  We will also be the first team to have a women’s professional football league “The Orlando Owl”. One of the major emerging trends in sports is the growth of women’s athletics and we believe the NFL needs to lead in this area.  We are determined to give female athletes the exposure they need and deserve. We will also be coming out with a women’s fashion line for both teams now women no longer need to wear that baggy jersey and can wear something a bit more comfortable and fitted. We have teamed up with Nike to make this happen and our fashion line next year.” Absolutely loved this idea!

Aerial view of the Orlando Owls’ new stadium, the “Disney Mouse House”

Another great idea from Little Elm students as part of their fan experience / stadium design plan was both on-brand an environmentally friendly as the franchise announced plans to build a solar power roof in the shape of one of the most recognizable brands in the world, Mickey Mouse. This partnership with Disney also helped the Owls’ front office to net the largest naming rights deal in league history at $1 billion for 20 years (according to the team’s report).  According to the Owls’ front office, “Fans will watch the Owls feast in the Disney Mouse House.” Love it.

Excellent job Little Elm High School students! Bravo!

Wichita Matadors (Wichita East HS, Kansas)

I think we will just let the stadium renderings designed with legos that Wichita East students created in response to sports marketing challenge #4 speak for themselves…love the creativity and attention to detail from the Matadors front office in response to stadium design. Totally unique and fun approach to this challenge, don’t think we have ever seen this before. Impressive work from Wichita East students!

Updated Stadings:

SchoolStateTeam NameTotal Points
Blacksburg HSVASan Antonio Sentinels993
Grant HSORPortland Pioneers991
Lyman High SchoolFLOrlando Trash Pandas983
KCTCMISalt Lake Phenoms976
Montgomery CountyMOSan Antonio Honey Badgers975
Little ElmTXOrlando Owls970
Dallas High SchoolPAKeystone Wolverines969
Carl SandburgILMexico City Aztecs959
Kellam High School VAVirginia Beach Sharks953
Richardson HSTXLittle Rock Badgers953
RandolphWILouisville Ridgerunners952
Wichita East HSKSWichita Matadors951
Stafford HSVAMiami Sharks475
Victor J AndrewILChi-Town Chargers 470
Richardson HSTXLittle Rock Badgers463
HCHS College & Career AcademyGAHonolulu Stingrays236
KIHMIGrand Rapids Rogue235

SCC FFL Sports Marketing Challenge #3 Scores & Review

Halfway through our annual fantasy football sports marketing competition and we are still seeing quite a crowd at the top of the standings.

Congratulations to Matt Kazba’s class at Grant High School in Portland for (narrowly) holding on to the top spot in this year’s competition thus far. The Portland Pioneers front office lead Kim Radford’s students at Blacksburg HS in Virginia by just one point, and hold a seven point lead over Brandi King’s class at Lyman High School in Florida. The top ten schools are all within thirty points of one another. 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 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 creative, unique and strategic franchise branding ideas, keep up the great work everyone!

San Antonio Sentinels (Blacksburg HS, Virginia)

Love to see not only a sound plan for addressing COVID-19 and the safety precautions necessary to make fans feel safe, but the communications plan for making sure the message is clearly conveyed to your fan base. This was, after all, the sports marketing challenge requiring a communications plan so very well executed by the Sentinels front office staff.

Loved seeing the mock press conference video with Sentinels’ star QB Lamar Jackson, nice job going way above and beyond what was required for a response to this sports marketing challenge…and the actual website that communicates all safety precautions and team policies relating to the pandemic was absolutely fantastic.

Fantastic response to the first challenge from Blacksburg High School! Well done.

Keystone Wolverines (Dallas HS, Pennsylvania)

One of the more creative ideas for generating publicity for a franchise came from the Wolverines front office with a mobile team-branded vehicle outfitted as an actual Wolverine (and the comparison to the dog car from Dumb and Dumber really helped to paint the picture for us lol). Also loved the idea of designating the area entertainment district (Wolverine Fan Plaza) as not only an area to sell team merchandise and fan experience opportunities like virtual reality experiences, but also as a centralized area to enage in community relations activities like meal distribution for the needy, meeting point for green-initiatives like tree-planting in the community etc.

Some really great ideas presented in response to the third sports marketing challenge from the Wolverines front office. Nice job Dallas HS students!

Portland Pioneers (Grant HS, Oregon)

A second community outreach strategy that we plan to have will be inspired by our crosstown neighbors, the Timbers. The annual “Stand Together week” that the Timbers put on is a week focused on players going out into the community and helping youth, the environment, and social equity. We plan to do  something similar, but to an even larger extent. We will have “The Extra Mile” weekend every month. Our players and coaches will go out in the community to plant trees, pick up trash, and “Go the Extra Mile” for our community. These activities will create a bond between the city and the team that will produce many lifelong fans.

Orlando Owls (Little Elm HS, Texas)

Really liked the “on-brand” community relations initiative of fundraising for burrowing owls, the team’s mascot and an animal on the verge of extinction, and partnering with Disney to host fundraising and awareness events at the popular “Animal Kingdom Oasis Exhibit” theme park attraction seems like a very natural fit that would most certainly capture the attention of your fan base. Making the fundraiser event a fun experience for fans (especially liked the scavenger hunt idea) along with including the team’s players to support the cause and take photos with fans will certainly help the cause as well.

Last but not least, appreciated the attention to detail in researching the local Orlando area news outlets and identifying the best channels for communicating all the team’s community relation efforts. Really nice job from the Owls’ front office. Keep up the good work Little Elm students!

Mexico City Aztecs (Sandburg HS, Illinois)

Nice job researching a worthy cause for the team to support by Sandburg HS students…from the Aztecs’ front office as part of their response to sports marketing challenge #3: “After the sudden Earthquake in Mexico City in 2017, thousands of Mexico City residents were left homeless and are still today due to the fact they don’t have enough money to rebuild a new home.

This fundraiser will give homeless people a place to live for as long as they need to and food to eat. The homeless people won’t need to worry about rent for 6 months, it will all be covered through this fundraiser that is supported by the Mexico City Aztecs. $100,000 will be donated to multiple shelters in the city to help the homeless out after an uncontrolled earthquake. This fundraiser will take place on the property of the Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. This is a well known park in Mexico City. It is right near the Chapultepec forest. Everyone will gather around the park at 9 am on Friday, October 16th and will continue a walk throughout the park to raise money for the homeless until 12 pm. Homeless people will be at this park during this time to enjoy the company of many friendly residents.”

Really nice job identifying a cause that will most certainly have a positive impact on the community, and determining a solution for creating real impact to address the homeless crisis in Mexico City following the catastrophic earthquake. Not only will your franchise donate necessary funds to support shelters, but also providing a place to stay and offering emotional support with a genuine human interaction will most certainly make a positive impact. These are kinds of community relations efforts that will definitely build a bond with your fans and will go a long way in building long-lasting brand loyalty for the Aztecs brand. Great job Sandburg HS students!

Wichita Matadors (Wichita East HS, Kansas)

One of the more creative community relations initiatives came from students at Wichita East High School with its “BOOTACULAR” event to benefit Alzheimer’s. With the platform available to professional sports teams, a franchise can make a profound impact on a cause in more ways than just monetary donations. In this case, the Matadors will help raise not only money, but awareness, for a fantastic cause.

With a family-friendly event like BOOTACULAR, fans of all ages can enjoy a fun team-branded experience, while generating necessary funding to support Alzheimer’s and raising awareness with young fans. Matadors’ fans would no doubt show up in droves to participate in this event. Well done Matadors front office!

SchoolTeam NameTotal Points
Grant HSPortland Pioneers743
Blacksburg HSSan Antonio Sentinels743
Lyman High SchoolOrlando Trash Pandas737
Montgomery CountySan Antonio Honey Badgers735
KCTCSalt Lake Phenoms726
Little ElmOrlando Owls725
Dallas High SchoolKeystone Wolverines724
Carl SandburgMexico City Aztecs718
RandolphLouisville Ridgerunners713
Kellam High School Virginia Beach Sharks710
Wichita East HSWichita Matadors705
Stafford HSMiami Sharks475
Victor J AndrewChi-Town Chargers 470
Richardson HSLittle Rock Badgers463
HCHS College & Career AcademyHonolulu Stingrays236
KIHGrand Rapids Rogue235