A group of University of Minnesota Crookston marketing students accompanied business department faculty to the Sports Marketing Association conference in North Carolina October 24-29, 2022 to compete in the case competition, and returned with knowledge on corporate marketing and items checked off their travel bucket lists. While in North Carolina, students Derrick Cupp (online student), Maddy Scheider, Josiah Bullivant, and Tseten Gurung completed a marketing plan for the Charlotte Hornets on incorporating Metaverse into future marketing for the NBA team.
“The students spent several days researching and preparing a presentation then competed against 20 other teams from all over the United States” explained Courtney Bergman, UMN Crookston marketing lecturer. “A banquet was held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and students got to take in the activities and sites of the museum.”
“This is the fourth trip marketing and sport and recreation management students have been able to go on,” she added. “Eddie (Walker, associate professor) has been a member of Sports Marketing Association for a while and found this opportunity for our students to go a few years ago.”
Students got this year’s case competition on the Friday before the trip and had a chance to think about how they’d respond before meeting in North Carolina that Monday. Part of their marketing plan was to use guerilla marketing to get the Metaverse app out and institute virtual reality, plus give recommendations on how to use augmented reality and technology. They had to determine their target market and give ideas for in-game experiences like a virtual game room and virtual Hall of Fame for the Hornets.
“The first two days they spent working and going through their presentation and going through data, then submitted their study,” Bergman continued. “In the evenings they got to explore and go out to eat. The final night Eddie and I treated them to a ghost tour of the city where they learned about the history.”
UMN Crookston did not make it to the final round of presentations, but they had the opportunity to watch the final round.
“It’s definitely a great experience for our students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Walker. “Every year they present this to academics and professionals, this time it was the Charlotte Hornets executives. Another time our students traveled to Dallas and pitched to AT&T executives breaking into the sports market.”
“This is a new experience and for students they have to be on their game with presentation skills,” Bergman added. “They gain confidence and it’s great experiential learning, plus getting to travel is a new experience for some students. Some haven’t traveled before.”
Next year, marketing students will get the chance to travel to Tampa, Florida for the conference.