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!
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!
|School||Team Name||State||Total Points|
|Blacksburg HS||San Antonio Sentinels||VA||1243|
|Grant HS||Portland Pioneers||OR||1241|
|Lyman High School||Orlando Trash Pandas||FL||1228|
|KCTC||Salt Lake Phenoms||MI||1226|
|Montgomery County||San Antonio Honey Badgers||MO||1216|
|Dallas High School||Keystone Wolverines||PA||1209|
|Little Elm||Orlando Owls||TX||1207|
|Carl Sandburg||Mexico City Aztecs||IL||1200|
|Richardson HS||Little Rock Badgers||TX||1197|
|Wichita East HS||Wichita Matadors||KS||1197|
|Kellam High School||Virginia Beach Sharks||VA||953|
|Stafford HS||Miami Sharks||VA||475|
|Victor J Andrew||Chi-Town Chargers||IL||470|
|HCHS College & Career Academy||Honolulu Stingrays||GA||463|
|KIH||Grand Rapids Rogue||MI||236|