With just one sports marketing challenge remaining (digital marketing) before we crown a champion in our fourth annual sports marketing competition, the standings have been updated as we head into the Thanksgiving Day NFL games.Â It is shaping up to be a crazy 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.Â One of the best challenges for demonstrating that creativity is the ticket sales, promotion and sponsorship challengeâ€¦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.Â There were so many unique and fun ideas.Â We also loved seeing the mock-ups of actual tickets that their franchise would be distributing to fansâ€¦several pretty cool designs this year!
There were some great giveaway and game day promotion ideas as wellâ€¦here were a few favorites:
- Utah Pioneers:Â Team branded Utah Pioneer “racoon tail” hat, would be interesting to see a crowd full of football fans rocking those hats!
- Memphis Soul:Â With an emphasis on food related marketing strategies tied to the team brand, makes perfect sense the Soul front office would feature a BBQ sauce giveaway!
- Oklahoma City Dawgz:Â Â Fun idea to give away Dawgz ugly sweaters at a game during the holidays
- San Antonio Desperadoes:Â Am sure fans would camp out for this one:Â First 100 fans in the door get to warm up with the team!Â Probably not super realistic, but love the recognition that opportunities to get fans closer to the action are marketing gold in the sports business world!
- Las Vegas BlackJacks:Â Team socks…good call, pretty trendy actually so great call from the BlackJacks front office
- San Diego Stealth:Â Totally old school, we get it, but we’re suckers for the foam finger giveaway…count us in for tickets to that game!
As we have seen throughout the competition, another fantastic jobÂ by all of our competing schoolsâ€¦bummer we have just one challenge remaining this season!
Here are a few highlights from the ticket sales, promotion and sponsorship challenge:
Portland Outlaws (Blacksburg HS / VA):
How clever is this sponsor promo from the Outlaws front office??Â John Deere sponsoring the community â€œOutLAWNâ€ (area of seating behind the endzone of the stadium).Â Nice to see the recognition of an opportunity to co-brand with both John Deere and Outlaws featuring green and yellow in the logo. Nice touch to have John Deere provide outdoor mats and heated towels for fans sitting in that section as well.Â Featuring a spray painted John Deere logo onto the lawn in that area is a great way to maximize exposure for a brand partner, with any aerialÂ shots of the stadium will prominently display the logo.Â Good thinking!Â
Portland Pioneers (Carl Sandburg HS / IL):
Wow.Â Clearly the Pioneers’ front office put a lot of time into this challenge!Â Really cool to see a promotional flyer for each and every home game, complete not only with a promotion, but also important game day information for fans including the league’s bag policy, hopefully easing the congestion at both ingress (when fans arrive) and egress (when fans leave).
Cool idea to feature major bands at each game as well, however bands like Imagine Dragons, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran etc. will not be an inexpensive proposition.Â Sure hope you have the budget for it!
Salt Lake Gila Monsters (Flower Mound HS / TX):
Interesting to see the Gila Monsters pursuing the strategy of selling PSLs to generate revenue for the franchise.Â One of only two classes in this challenge to consider the Personal Seat License approach to seating at a new stadium…but what really stood out was the extra step of creating varying price points ($500-$2,000 per seat) and forecasting $7 million per game in total revenue as the result of PSL sales.Â Really next level thinking from the Gila Monsters front office.Â Well done!
Birmingham Bullfrogs (Hinsdale Central HS / IL):
One of our favorite ticket promotion / theme night ideas from this challenge was the “Glow Night” marketing campaign.Â Not only was it fun and on-brand, but every little detail was mapped out, right down to the advertising strategy.Â The glow in the dark billboards promoting the game offer a unique twist, and love pairing the promotion with the color rush jerseys for that game.Â Really nice touch to feature General Electric as a sponsor as well, love the energy conservation spin.
Also, “Yoga Day” at the stadium is certainly a different promotion that could have some potential and really love the idea of hosting a Jazz Fest type event in conjunction with a Bullfrogs game with the “Let’s Groove Night” theme promotion.Â Great idea to offer multiple event promotions that provide opportunities to reach multiple market segments.Â Overall, another fantastic sports marketing challenge response from the Bullfrogs front office.
Las Vegas Fighting Cacti (Randolph HS / WI):
SUPER job by the Fighting Cacti front office to integrate sponsors w/ game day promotions, helping incentivize fans to buy tickets while providing value to the team’s partners.Â Really love the detailed game calendar.
Cool to see the ticket samples provided (looking good!) and also an example of how the ticket interaction looks on the team app…thought that was a nice touch.Â Also, perhaps the thing that stood out most in this challenge response was the emphasis on group ticket sales.Â A successful group sales strategy will be critical to a team’s ability to fill the seats at a new stadium in a new city.Â Â
Also, while this was the challenge that required a focus on sponsorship, the Cacti front office have done a fantastic job throughout the competition providing exposure for not only Dreyer’s (primary sponsor) but all their corporate partners. As a byproduct of the relationship you have created with sponsors, bundling ticket packages with corporate partners makes a ton of sense.
Well done Cacti front office!
Hawaiian Great Whites (Richardson HS / TX):
A few really cool ideas here from the Great Whites’ front office, thought the attention to detail with some of the digital stuff was great, in particular the partnership with Lyft and connecting the brand with the team’s app by providing fans with an easy way to hail a driver directly through the Great Whites app.Â Â
Also, we think your corporate partners will appreciate the effort made by the front office to maximize exposure, featuring brands on everything (tastefully), including the team’s tickets.Â Â
Overall, love the consistent commitment to your franchise mission statement from the first challenge with continued theme of sustainability with all your marketing efforts.Â Yet another great challenge response in this competition from the Great Whites front office.Â Nice job.
Louisville Rebels (Waverly HS / NY):
Another amazing response from the Rebels.Â One of our favorite elements in this particular response was the the Kentucky Derby cross promotion with the “Triple Crown” package, great idea to connect with such an iconic brand to help build your brand in the community…certainly seems it would be a popular package and the team would sell a lot of them!
Also, thought it was really to target corporations for holiday parties, what a great way to push luxury suites, great idea!Â Also, loved the breakdown of a strategy for ticket sales at every level, from premium seating to walk up sales.Â Inclusion of Rebels’ promotional mix for maximizing ticket sales was a great touch, and the direct marketing strategy was pure brilliance.
San Antonio Serpents (West Leyden HS / IL):
Seriously Serpents front office, that was awesome.Â What cool commercials!Â Pretty impressive to see an actual ad from a team sponsor (Gatorade and Nike) online, super impressed with the effort!
Toronto 6ixers (East Leyden HS / IL):
LOVE LOVE LOVE the identification of target market for each and every gameday giveaway promotion…shows an important attention to detail from the 6ixers front office.Â Also, smart strategy to target a variety of potential fans, helps to not only maximize ticket sales but also helps create opportunities to partner with new sponsors by reaching a wider demographic.
Really cool, and speaking of attention to detail, we thought it was a brilliant idea to provide a giveaway of team-branded flags that are made from the same fabric as the Nike team uniforms, what a fantastic way to tie a sponsor in with team promotion.Â Creative and clever.Â One of our favorite ideas from this challenge. Well done 6ixers!
|Portland Outlaws (VA)||2393|
|Birmingham Bullfrogs (IL)||2384|
|Mississippi Mudcats (MO)||2382|
|Hawaiian Great Whites (TX)||2379|
|Memphis Souls (TX)||2378|
|Louisville Rebels (NY)||2377|
|Portland Pioneers (IL)||2351|
|Salt Lake Gila Monsters (TX)||2339|
|Orlando Oranges (FL)||2327|
|Dayton Gems (OH)||2306|
|Louisville Lightning (MN)||2290|
|Las Vegas Fighting Cacti (WI)||2287|
|Toronto 6ixers (IL)||2255|
|Portland Pit Bulls (OR)||2210|
|San Diego Stealth (CA)||2207|
|San Antonio Desperados (TX)||2206|
|Louisville Generals (OH)||2186|
|Utah Pioneers (CA)||2175|
|Salt Lake City Salamanders (WA)||2137|
|Wichita Blitz (KS)||2133|
|Oklahoma City Dawgz (CA)||2121|
|Las Vegas BlackJacks (IL)||2085|
|Richmond Richies (FL)||2085|
|Portland Phantoms (CA)||1943|
|San Antonio Serpents (IL)||1891|
|San Antonio Armadillos (CT)||1865|
|Buford Empire (GA)||1865|
|Hawaii Typhoons (OR)||1863|
|Birmingham Magicians (MI)||1848|
|London Admirals (MI)||1821|
|Las Vegas Jokers||1494|
|Woodstock HS (GA)||1422|
|St. Louis Clydesdales (WI)||1242|
|Reno Vators (VA)||1229|
|Fleetwood Area HS (PA)||956|
|Varina HS (VA)||709|
|Andrew HS (IL)||682|
|MT SPOKANE (WA)||679|