SCC FFL Sports Marketing Competition – 2019 Champions

What an amazing finish…without a doubt, this was the most competitive season in the history of Sports Career Consulting’s Fantasy Football sports marketing contest.  Despite some separation in the standings in the final few weeks, the top ten teams were legitimate contenders to win this year’s championship and a standing ovation is in order for all of this years participants.  It is safe to say that a new bar was set this year, however, as we received the most elaborate, creative and comprehensive responses to the challenges that we have seen in this competition…overall, such an impressive group of kids, no doubt the result of the efforts of some outstanding sports marketing teachers.  Kudos to all for a great season!

That said, we did have a few standouts, particularly with the final challenge (digital marketing).  Congratulations to Karen Russo’s class at Hinsdale High School in Illinois for winning our 5th annual fantasy football sports marketing competition!  This is the second time they have won the competition, making them the first two-time champions in league history. Way to go Omaha Haymakers front office!

Hinsdale Central students managed to hold off last year’s champions (Kim Radford’s sports marketing class at Blacksburg High School in Virginia) the last few weeks to win the competition, no easy task considering how well the Toronto Owls’ front office performed in the sports marketing challenges . Both the Haymakers and Owls will be rewarded with pizza parties to celebrate their accomplishments and the Haymakers will get another trophy to proudly display in class.  Congrats to both schools on a job very well done.

Ed Lapp’s class at Pequea Valley HS in Pennsylvania (Kentucky Reigns) also had a great season, taking third place (highest finish in league history for a first-time participant in the competition) while Bob Kelly and his students at Waverly HS in New York (OKC Tornados) landed in fourth.  Zach Gueth’s class from Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Ohio (Dayton Cruisers) managed to hold off a late season push from Ricole Rusch’s class at Pine Island HS in Minnesota (Oregon Mountaineers) for fifth place. 

Richele Falloon’s class at Montgomery County HS in Missouri consistently performs well in this competition and this year was no exception as they were a top ten team all season, nice job from the Honolulu Hammerheads front office finishing in 7th place. John Smulowitz’s students from Dallas HS in Pennsylvania also turned in an impressive “rookie” performance as the first-time participants (Keystone Mountaineers) took 8th place. Steve Hodges’ students at Crook County High School in Oregon had their best performance ever as the Omaha Bandits front office cracked the top ten, finishing in 9th place. Rounding out the top ten was the Portland Pioneers front office, led by Stephanie Neal, as her students at Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas turned in another solid performance throughout the competition. You can visit us at masterspokerclub.com

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

FRONT OFFICE “SHOUT OUTS” FOR CHALLENGE #6 (DIGITAL MARKETING):

Toronto Owls (Blacksburg HS / Virginia):

Every team had a solid digital marketing strategy in place, quality app, easy-to-use website, social media presence etc. One of the things that really stood out about the Owls’ digital strategy was recognizing the value of digital not only for sales, marketing and communication, but also for service. For example, the team developed a stadium experience survey to be deployed via the team’s app and team’s website (image below) to gather fan feedback to help meet and exceed consumer expectations on game days. Loved the proactive approach and recognition of all the ways digital can benefit from the franchise.

We have preached the importance of attention to detail throughout the competition, and nothing screams ATD like not only creating ACTUAL social media handles, YouTube channel (with REAL videos) and a website, but also smack talking the only team ahead of them in the standings through the team’s official Twitter account like the Owls did. Like every challenge response this season, the Owls’ front office did an amazing job. Congrats on a fantastic season!

Las Vegas Leopards (Wheatley School / New York):

Again, attention to detail is key, and one thing that we thought was really cool with the Leopards digital strategy was the recognition of the importance of sales. Great idea to have pop up ads for ticket and apparel specials, making sure that you are providing a value to your app users above and beyond the fantasic and robust features already included. Nice job Wheatley School students, congrats on a successful first season in SCC’s fantasy football competition!

OKC Tornados (Waverly HS / New York):

Fan engagement is the name of the game with digital, and the Tornados front office developed some fantastic strategies for connecting with fans through a myriad of different programs. Our favorite idea, among the many described, was the implementation of in-game contests like “Do You Want to Challenge the Call” through the team’s app. The contest will encourage fans to choose decisions they think the Tornado’s head coach will make throughout the game (like throwing a challenge flag) for a chance to win prizes and discounts on stadium concessions and items from the team store. Really well done, and another amazing season from Waverly high school.

Toronto Wolverines (Richardson HS / Texas):

Another great example of using digital for more than just sales and marketing, thought it was a great idea to feature the Wolverines’ mission statement on the team website. Effective communication with your fanbase is challenging, and dedicating space online to share your team values and commitment to the consumer is a smart strategy. Well done Richardson HS!

Oregon Mountaineers (Pine Island HS / Minnesota):

Lots of clever brand extensions here with the Mountaineers digital strategy, loved the creativity. Also, one of only two teams that recognized the importance of developing a distribution strategy for the app (Mountaineer Mobile) by making it available on the Apple store and Google Play store, along with a great price point (free) and commitment to content marketing.

Direct fantasy football integration seems like a natural fit, not sure why more teams don’t do something like this, and the wide variety of themed photo filters to appeal to multiple demographics seems like a great way to engage as many fans as possible.

Another successful season in the books for Pine Island High School, great job as always!

Kentucky Reigns (Pequea Valley, PA):

Loved seeing the focus on development of “interactive elements” as a strategy for boosting fan engagement from the Reigns’ front office. Also, the focus on capturing fan data was some really advanced stuff. Lots of great ideas here and an amazing run the last few weeks to shoot up the standings and finish in the top three, particularly for a school participating for the first time. Really well done Pequea Valley students!

A few highlights from this challenge response:

  • Gamification strategy with the “You Make the Coin-Call” promotion, a digital marketing tactic used to engage fans and capture fan data through the team app (sounds like fun!)
  • Digital scavenger hunt encouraging fans to connect with the team through social channels, including everything from Facebook to TikTok to maximize reach
  • Cause related campaign through social media in partnership with Ronald McDonald house for “Baby Food Challenge” (including the awesome video of you guys actually DOING the challenge…and while we appreciate being nominated to attempt the challenge, we have to pass on eating the carrot flavored baby food on camera)

Dayton Cruisers (MVCTC / Ohio):

Lots of great ideas here from the Dayton Cruisers front office, including a fantastic hashtag to share through social with #cruizetovictory, along with podcasts, trivia games on the app (what a great way to boost fan engagement levels) and pro bowl voting functionality, but our favorite was the introduction of Cruisers branded emojis, particularly the mascot. Brilliant work! Nice job all season by MVCTC students…

Omaha Bandits (Crook County HS / Oregon):

Another week, another perfect score on a sports marketing challenge for the Omaha Bandits front office who came on strong at the end of the year…unfortunately for Crook County students, they had too much ground to make up to find their way into the championship conversation. Such an impressive showing from the Bandits though…can’t tell you how impressed we were with the response to challenge #6. Way to go Bandits!

Some highlights:

  • “Dashboard Analytics” using an algorithm to capture fan data to improve their experience as they interact with your digital marketing efforts
  • Fan of the week nominations through social, great way to boost fan engagement levels
  • Player “take over” days, most definitely will increase the number of followers and keep fans engaged with team-branded content
  • Integration of augmented reality like photo ops w/ virtual players
  • Digital “scratch off” ticket program through the team app
  • “Bandit Banter” podcast show
  • Team branded trivia and “riddles” on the team’s website

Hollywood Gold Diggers (Flower Mound HS / Texas):

One of only two teams to recognize the importance of an “opt-in” with digital marketing, the Gold Diggers front office created a sms messaging marketing campaign for its fans. The key to a successful campaign like this one is content, and sharing a variety of stuff ranging from inspirational quotes from the team’s players to discounts, ticket specials and unique videos will definitely keep fans interested and engaged.

Smart strategy to feature the #TheGoldTheBold hashtag on all messaging, and love the concept of the gamification strategy on the app allowing fans to “bet” on challenges being performed on the half-time show. Overall, nice job from Flower Mound students this year!

*** SCC FFL 2019 FINAL STANDINGS ***

Important reminder for teachers:  No matter where you finished in the standings, please be sure to reiterate what a great job your students did this season.  You all made evaluating each challenge very difficult as the ideas were so creative and everyone demonstrated such a fantastic understanding of the business of sports throughout the competition. Again, this project goes above and beyond what most schools are doing in class and your students all deserve to be commended for a job well done. At the end of the day, all we really hope to accomplish with our fantasy football project is a fun way to teach sports marketing.  Hopefully we managed to do just that.  Congrats to you all, great work.

Hope to see you all again next season!

TeamPrevious PointsChallenge #6 PtsTotal
Omaha Haymakers35463453891
Toronto Owls35023503852
Kentucky Reigns34953473842
OKC Tornados34793483827
Dayton Cruisers34603453805
Oregon Mountaineers34583393797
Honolulu Hammerheads34493193766
Keystone Mountaineers34243183742
Omaha Bandits33483503698
Portland Pioneers33133353648
Toronto Wolverines32763223598
Las Vegas Dynamix32453193564
Las Vegas Aces32313053536
Las Vegas Blackjacks31993053504
Birmingham Bombers31643053469
Kansas Nightmare31013173418
Orlando Lizards326503265
Las Vegas Spades294402944
Las Vegas Leopards26183122930
Hollywood Gold Diggers25353222857
London Knights253802538
Grand Rapids Riptide251102511
Grand Rapids Loggers248802488
New Mexico Mustangs217002170
Oregon Flood207902079
Winnipeg Lumberjax135301353
OKC Young Rich Nation127101271
Anchorage Anchors8720872
WLHS5010501

SCC FFL Current Standings – Challenge #5 Point Distribution

With just one sports marketing challenge remaining (digital marketing) before we crown a champion in our fifth annual sports marketing competition, the standings have been updated as we head into the weekend and Thanksgiving Day NFL games.  It is shaping up to be a photo finish!

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 challenge…and the students 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!

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

  • Oregon Mountaineers (Pine Island HS, Minnesota): Team branded goat stuffed animal in partnership with the Oregon Zoo
  • Portland Pioneers (Colleyville Heritage HS, Texas): “Simpsons” theme night (one of several teams to offer a Simpsons’ themed promotion) with a fun twist on a popular giveaway item: The first 20,000 fans in attendance receive a Patrick Mahomes/Simpson themed bobble head (also, all concessions will sell the famous Simspon’s pink donut with sprinkles and there will be a donut hole eating contest during breaks)
  • Kansas Nightmare (Wichita East, Kansas): A bedroom makeover giveaway sponsored by Ashley Furniture
  • Honolulu Hammerheads (Montgomery County, Missouri): Pepsi sponsoring Mini Helmet Night with the first 5,000 fans that enter the stadium receiving a replica mini helmet of the Honolulu Hammerheads. Pepsi also sends out a code if the Hammerheads win that will get you a free 32 oz. Pepsi at any gas station.
  • Orlando Lizards (Lyman High School, Florida): “Fan Spirit Contest” promotion for last home game, brilliant strategy to create a competition to ramp up the stakes to build elevated levels of fan enthusiasm and engagement
  • Las Vegas Dynamix (Little Elm High School, Texas): “Dress Like a Miner” promotion with prizes for best dressed and grand prize of seat upgrade to the team’s suite is a fun idea while creating opportunities for the team to build fan loyalty
  • Omaha Bandits (Crook County High School, Oregon): A partnership with Hershey’s to create “Bandit Bars” candy bars will provide fans with the chance to win one of five “golden tickets”, granting each lucky winner VIP team access for the season

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:

Grand Rapids Riptide (Kent Career Tech Center, Michigan)

Several good ideas from the Riptide for this challenge, especially liked this promotions calendar the front office created for distribution in the lead up to the first game of the season. Smart strategy to distribute the calendars at areas with high foot traffic like grocery and convenience stores, making sure to get them in the hands of as many fans as possible. Also liked the “on-brand” special ticketing areas to provide added value to ticket holders. Nice job Riptide!

OKC Tornados (Waverly High School, New York)

The Tornados have absolutely crushed every single challenge in this year’s competition, and the fifth challenge was no exception. Will they be able to close the gap and put themselves in position to win their first SCC FFL championship? Earning the highest score for challenge #5 keeps them in the hunt…overall, super impressive ticket sales and sponsorship plan from students at Waverly High School. Really well done!

Some highlights from the Tornados ticket and sponsorship plan include:

  • Excellent job laying out a very detailed plan for how the team will advertise and promote its ticket packages, including outdoor advertising at bus stops and on billboards like the one pictured below
  • Excellent value-add for the Holiday ticket package by providing a copy of the popular Madden Football video game with the purchase of a ticket package
  • Fantastic variety of promotions, including sponsored promotions featuring sweepstakes, community-driven promotions, game day giveaways and
  • Really smart direct marketing strategy, a time-tested a proven means for reaching fans and introducing a personal selling plan will no doubt help the Tornados to pack the stands at every home game

Las Vegas Aces (Carl Sandburg High School, Illinois)

Really well organized presentation of all promotional elements for each home game for the Aces’ season, easy to communicate and share information with fans that will encourage them to buy tickets and provide visibility and exposure for sponsors. Highlighting everything from pre-game information to half-time performances and game day sponsors is a great way to keep Aces fans excited about each and every home game. Well done Aces!

Toronto Wolverines (Richardson High School, Texas)

Nice job on the ticket mock up, loved seeing some of our competing schools provide sponsor opportunities on the ticket backs as well. Great way to provide exposure for partner brands while helping to drive traffic to their place of business, putting them in position to boost sales (which is ultimately one of the key goals of their sponsorship).

Dayton Cruisers (MVCTC, Ohio)

Overall, another great job by the Cruisers’ front office…a few highlights from their response to challenge #5:

  • Great strategy to introduce dynamic pricing, will help to maximize ticket revenue in the Cruisers’ inaugural season in the league
  • Smart idea to highlight a rivalry game (according to the team’s ticket sales and sponsorship report, the Cruisers main rival will be the Kentucky Reigns, who will also be a divisional opponent) and build some promotion around that game…could certainly see some sponsors that may want to align their brand with a game like that
  • Good idea to offer mobile ticketing in today’s digital world, nice to see the attention to detail that went into creating the mock up for Cruisers’ mobile tickets

Overall, fantastic job on this challenge from the Cruisers’ front office!

Keystone Mountaineers (Dallas High School, Pennsylvania)

And the award for the strangest idea from challenge #5 goes to…the Keystone Mountaineers!

Not sure we can describe this, well, uh…unique sponsorship promotion any better than the sports marketing students at Dallas High School:

UPDATED STANDINGS:

As we head into this weekend’s games, here are the updated standings reflecting the point distribution following the response to sports marketing challenge #5 (Ticket Sales and Sponsorship Strategies). This does not include any points teams may have earned from Thursday Night’s Colts vs. Texans game. Good luck to all this weekend!

TeamPrevious PointsChallenge #5Total
Omaha Haymakers28446293473
Toronto Owls28226383460
Kentucky Reigns28306093439
OKC Tornados27406753415
Oregon Mountaineers27676423409
Dayton Cruisers27486413389
Honolulu Hammerheads27176443361
Keystone Mountaineers27106383348
Omaha Bandits26476503297
Portland Pioneers26186463264
Toronto Wolverines25916413232
Las Vegas Dynamix25696333202
Orlando Lizards25586213179
Birmingham Bombers25465763122
Las Vegas Blackjacks25415763117
Las Vegas Aces24946183112
Kansas Nightmare24746023076
Las Vegas Spades23545602914
Las Vegas Leopards19875652552
London Knights249902499
Grand Rapids Riptide19005942494
Hollywood Gold Diggers248202482
Grand Rapids Loggers245502455
New Mexico Mustangs15215822103
Oregon Flood200802008
Winnipeg Lumberjax130101301
OKC Young Rich Nation126001260
Anchorage Anchors8370837

SCC FFL Current Standings – Challenge #4 Point Distribution

Four challenges down, just two to go in our annual fantasy football sports marketing competition and it is getting crowded at the top of the standings.  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. As always, there were several fantastic submissions this year!

Karen Russo’s class at Hinsdale High School in Illinois retains an ever so slight lead at the top of the standings. Kim Radford’s class at Blacksburg High in Virginia (“Toronto Owls”) remain in second place, while Ed Lapp’s class at Pequea Valley HS in PA continues to climb up the leaderboard. Nicole Rusch’s class at Pine Island HS in Minnesota moves up one spot to fourth place, while students at Waverly High School in New York crept into the top five.  Things are going to get really interesting as we head down the home stretch!

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 team’s response to the Fan Experience / Stadium Design component of this competition (sports marketing challenge #4). 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!

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SCC FFL Current Standings – (After Challenge #3)

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 Rusch’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 team’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!

Keystone Mountaineers (Dallas High School, Pennsylvania)

Really liked the Adopt a highway “Keystone Mounts Highway” 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 “The Office” night and have the actor that played “Dwight” 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.

Some highlights:

  • 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):

TeamPrevious PointsChallenge #3Total
Omaha Haymakers13265821908
Toronto Owls12856171902
Dayton Cruisers12816011882
Kentucky Reigns12546251879
Oregon Mountaineers12885771865
OKC Tornados12136251838
Keystone Mountaineers12545801834
Omaha Bandits12036191822
Oregon Flood12095911800
Honolulu Hammerheads12145791793
Portland Pioneers12155761791
Toronto Wolverines12265421768
Birmingham Bombers12005681768
Las Vegas Dynamix11965461742
Las Vegas Blackjacks12105231733
Hollywood Gold Diggers11865211707
Las Vegas Leopards11715321703
Orlando Lizards11725311703
London Knights11475321679
Grand Rapids Loggers11355341669
Las Vegas Aces11325241656
Kansas Nightmare10865671653
Las Vegas Spades10925441636
Grand Rapids Riptide11461146
Winnipeg Lumberjax11131113
OKC Young Rich Nation10981098
New Mexico Mustangs671671
Anchorage Anchors629629
WLHS275275

SCC FFL Updated Standings (After Challenge #2)

Congrats to the students in Kim Radford’s class at Blacksburg High in Virginia for maintaining their lead and remaining in first place in our fantasy football sports marketing competition, although several teams are closing the gap!

Karen Russo’s class at Hinsdale Central High School in Illinois (the “Omaha Haymakers”) currently sits in second place while Nicole Rusch’s students at Pine Island High School in Minnesota remain in a very close third. 

As always, ALL of our participating schools have done a fantastic job with this project thus far. The responses to both sports marketing challenges have been fun to read 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 team’s response to the branding component of this competition (sports marketing challenge #2). 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!

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SCC FFL Current Standings – Challenge #1

Our annual fantasy football competition places an emphasis on how well students respond to six sports marketing challenges (like mini case studies), not how well the players perform during the games.  While we recognize picking players and setting lineups is fun, our focus for this competition is seeing how well students demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the core concepts from our textbook while finding creative ways to market and brand their expansion franchise throughout the season.  Every year we see some amazing ideas in this competition, and if the response to our first sports marketing challenge is any indication, this could be one for the ages!

Congrats to the students in Kim Radford’s class at Blacksburg HS in Virginia for currently sitting in first place in SCC’s fantasy football sports marketing competition. The “Toronto Owls” front office is picking right up where they left off as they work to defend last year’s championship. Karen Russo’s class at Hinsdale Central High School in Illinois, another previous champion, is in a very close second place while Nicole Rusch’s students at Pine Island High in Minnesota are in a very close third, aided by one of the top scores from the first sports marketing challenge.  Really impressive effort from ALL of our schools as the competition kicks off…can’t wait to see what they come up with this season.

We have a few shout outs for individual schools in recognition of their responses to the first sports marketing challenge for this week:

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2019 Case Study Tournament Champions!

Thanks to our Judges!

An extra special thanks to Audible Design, an ad agency in Portland, for evaluating the Final Four round of our case study competition entries.  Leaning on the expertise of industry veterans with a long track record of success to evaluate this round of entries was invaluable.  Their feedback (read the post below for more) provides fantastic context for not only the four teams remaining in our competition, but also the students and teachers following along in their own classrooms. 

Great stuff, thanks guys!

Championship Round Recap

After receiving over 100 entries for Sports Career Consulting’s inaugural “SportsBiz Madness” high school case study competition, we finally crown a champion…

The case we distributed for the championship round challenged students from an event marketing perspective.  Teams were required to create an event (like a Tough Mudder or a “Superhero 5K”) and develop a marketing strategy to support the race.  We were excited to see what our championship teams came up with and they did not disappoint!

Both submissions were very well done and we had a lot of fun reviewing each of them. We felt like there was a lot of thought and creativity put into each, and were impressed with the level of marketing fundamentals that were demonstrated with each submission. It is always a tough decision to decide on a winner, and the finalists certainly made it difficult to determine a champ…

Montgomery County HS (Missouri):

Leading off the competition, we dove into the proposal from the Madison Lakers (Montgomery County HS). Their concept of a Tough Mudder style obstacle race combined with an adult version that included “Minute-To-Win-It games” seems like it would provide a fun way to get people and families outside and enjoying all that K.C. has to offer.

We appreciated their approach to sponsorships by bringing in local restaurants (Chick-fil-A and Bryant’s BBQ) to feed participants, and identifying Under Armor as a primary sponsor feels like a natural fit. We also appreciated their effort to provide a wide range of activities for participants after the race to help drive more business to the local economy. Really forward thinking there.

Finally, we felt good about their social media strategy utilizing Snap, Insta and FB to help drive awareness and participation with the event (and kudos for putting together a promotional video!). Overall, really nice job with this case study.

Kent Career Technical Center (Michigan):

Next up was the Grand Rapids Sports Commission (Kent CTC) and their idea for a “Bass Dash 5k.” Like the Lakers, they created a race event with a unique twist. GRSC decided they would host a race that ran around the banks of Millenium Park lakes in the pattern of a fish. A participant’s GPS tracking device (or running/activity app) would display the shape of a fish as the race route when they crossed the finish line. Super clever, and an awesome way to bring visibility to the event’s primary sponsor (Cabela’s) while ramping up engagement levels by encourage participants to use their apps.

They also created the option of a “Bass Dash,” allowing contestants in that division to stop and fish for 10 minutes after every 1K of the race for a chance to win a host of other prizes, another great “themed” in-race activation for Cabela’s.

In addition, GRSC did a very nice job of bringing cause related benefits to the event in the way of encouraging disabled event participants to enjoy the fun of fishing with specially designed wheelchairs, pole holders, tackle boxes, etc. as well as providing several children the opportunity to attend an outdoor summer camp they would otherwise not be able to afford.

Team GRSC also provided a very strong social media campaign that leveraged all of their partners, influencers, with a very clear audience they would be targeting, as well as merchandise mock-ups for event branded apparel and accessories to help drive revenue. The inclusion of an ACTUAL, functioning website with all the event information was icing on the cake.

And the winner is…

As mentioned, both of these submissions were strong, smart and strategic and choosing the winner was not easy. Both teams are to be commended for putting their marketing hats on and thinking about how they could plan and organize a community event. Having said that, we felt one team managed to separate themselves with a little more creativity, attention to detail, and communication of marketing strategy. That team is GRSC and the Bass Dash 5K.

Congrats to Mr. Helferich and his students at Kent CTC for winning this year’s “SportsBiz Madness” Case Study Championship!

Congrats to Mr. Helferich’s students at Kent Career Tech Center in Michigan for winning this year’s “SportsBiz Madness” Case Study Championship!

SportsBiz Madness Case Study Competition: On to the Championship Round!

Thanks to our Judges!

An extra special thanks to Audible Design, an ad agency in Portland, for evaluating the Final Four round of our case study competition entries.  Leaning on the expertise of industry veterans with a long track record of success to evaluate this round of entries was invaluable.  Their feedback (read the post below for more) provides fantastic context for not only the four teams remaining in our competition, but also the students and teachers following along in their own classrooms. 

Great stuff, thanks guys!

“Final Four” Competition Recap

After receiving over 100 entries for Sports Career Consulting’s inaugural “SportsBiz Madness” high school case study competition, we are left with just two teams.  The championship round is set.  

In the Final Four round, our competitors were tasked with the development of an advertising campaign for BodyArmor, a sports performance beverage that is quickly gaining ground on Gatorade.  Teams were given a budget and a “rate card” (list of costs associated with each advertising medium), then asked to develop a promotional campaign to promote the brand.

Each of the teams did a fantastic job meeting the evaluation standards for this particular case, demonstrating a clear understanding of sports business concepts like niche markets and distribution.  

The case we distributed for the championship round challenges students from an event marketing perspective.  Our teams will be required to create an event (like a Tough Mudder or a “Superhero 5K”) and develop a marketing strategy to support the race.  We can’t wait to see what they come up with! Continue reading

Case Study Competition 2019: The Final Four

FINAL FOUR

As SCC’s case study competition moved into the head-to-head tournament round, remaining teams were asked to create a sponsor activation strategy tied to March Madness for Coca-Cola as they launch a new flavor.

We were really impressed with all of the entries as each team demonstrated a very clear understanding of all the sports business principles outlined in this particular case study. Each team presented a very compelling call to action for fans through social activations, sponsor engagement and advertising campaigns.  Those who advanced, however, did the best job focusing on maximizing the impact of the sponsorship, recognizing the critical role activation plays in the ROI from sponsorship.

While we’re sad to see four more outstanding student groups eliminated from our competition, we are looking forward to seeing what the remaining teams bring to the table in response to our third case study.  The tournament’s next case study challenges students to effectively budget for an advertising campaign.  Stay tuned! Continue reading

SportsBiz Madness: Case Study Tournament

Opening Round Recap

We received well over 100 entries from student “teams” participating in this year’s case study competition (more than double the number of entries from our inaugural competition) and we couldn’t be more impressed with the submissions.  Tasked with the development of a promotions plan that would help a new minor league baseball franchise based in Madison, Wisconsin reach a goal of 85% stadium capacity for the season, the student response was incredibly impressive.  Students demonstrated a clear understanding of the important role ticket sales plays in the financial viability of a minor league franchise, and how promotion and fan experience impact the team’s ability to sell.

We had a number of student teams that submitted particularly impressive responses to the first case study.  Unfortunately, only eight could be selected to advance to our “elite eight” round of the competition where the tournament shifts to a “head to head” format.

Of course, selecting just eight teams from our pool of entries was extremely difficult (we are already considering a shift in format next year to begin the competition earlier to allow for a “sweet sixteen” round).  It was very evident that students put forth a lot of effort in creating their responses to the first case study, including a lot of background research on the Madison market, including local businesses and city/community traditions and history.  For example, one team named their franchise the “Madison Flamingos”, a reference to Madison’s “official city bird”, the yard flamingo.  I was born and raised in Madison and didn’t even know that!  We also saw a number of teams incorporating either cheese, cows, capitals (Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin) or popular area lake fish (Walleye, Pike, Muskies etc) into team names, further demonstrating that the students did their homework on the Madison area.

As we evaluated each entry, it was fun to see the creativity behind all of the ideas for promotions, but ultimately we had to select the entries that best met the criteria established in the assigned case study.  One of the most critical elements (in addition to offering creative and unique promotion ideas) was to provide a clear strategic plan for how promotions would help the franchise bottom line, specifically by meeting attendance goals.  Those who communicated the best and most viable strategies were the teams selected to advance to the “Elite Eight” round.

As we look ahead, eight teams will compete head to head for the chance to advance to the SportsBiz Madness Final Four.  The teams were not seeded.  Names were drawn from a hat and added to the bracket accordingly.  We can’t wait to see what the students come up with as a response to the next case study as they are asked to create a fan engagement strategy for a college basketball program during the offseason…
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