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 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. 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 fansâ€¦several pretty cool designs this year!
There were some great giveaway, sponsor and game day promotion ideas as wellâ€¦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 Simsponâ€™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 schoolsâ€¦
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:
As we head into this weekendâ€™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!
|Team||Previous Points||Challenge #5||Total|
|Las Vegas Dynamix||2569||633||3202|
|Las Vegas Blackjacks||2541||576||3117|
|Las Vegas Aces||2494||618||3112|
|Las Vegas Spades||2354||560||2914|
|Las Vegas Leopards||1987||565||2552|
|Grand Rapids Riptide||1900||594||2494|
|Hollywood Gold Diggers||2482||0||2482|
|Grand Rapids Loggers||2455||0||2455|
|New Mexico Mustangs||1521||582||2103|
|OKC Young Rich Nation||1260||0||1260|