Sport Management Students Develop Marketing Plans for Professional Sports Team

As part of a unique hands-on project, students in a “Sport Marketing” class at the University created a marketing plan for the Connecticut Sun and had the opportunity to present their plans to a group of leaders of the WNBA team.

July 6, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Sport marketing students at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Joshua Hammond ’23 and his classmates in his “Sport Marketing” class had the opportunity to apply what they learned in the classroom for the duration of the spring semester as they developed marketing plans for a professional sports team. He and several of his classmates also were able to present their work to staff members of the Connecticut Sun, a WNBA team based in Uncasville, Conn.

Hammond and his teammate Emily Bogdanowicz ’23 met with the vice president of business operations for the Connecticut Sun, who outlined the team’s needs and goals for the marketing plan. Specifically, students were tasked with creating a plan that would draw millennials and members of Generation Z to the games. They applied what they learned in class – including analyzing a target market, advertising, and promotions – as they developed their plan.

While working with Connecticut Sun staff throughout the semester, students had the opportunity to network and learn more about the team. Hammond and Bogdanowicz, both sport management majors, were part of one of the two teams that presented their plans to their classmates as well as to Connecticut Sun staff members.

“This was a great opportunity for me because it gave me the chance to present our ideas in front of executives of a professional sports team,” said Hammond. “We wanted to make sure our ideas and presentation were polished. I knew leaving a good impression would be beneficial, since it would prove that all the hard work and ideas were great in some way. This also gave me the opportunity to connect with these sports executives, since they already have an idea of ​​the quality of work I can do.”

‘A foot in the door’

Hammond and Bogdanowicz developed a written plan that included an attendance point system that would reward fans who go to games and purchase food and beverages. Fans would earn points that could be redeemed at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Bogdanowicz says the project helped her gain a better idea of ​​the many details that need to be anticipated when developing a sport marketing plan. She is grateful to have gained a better understanding of what a good plan entails as well as what is expected in the industry.

“I expect this skill to be a huge help in my career.”Joshua Hammond ’23

“To be able to present in front of executives before you or even in the industry gives you a foot in the door and showcases your skills and knowledge of the industry,” said Bogdanowicz. “We knew our PowerPoint had to be top-notch and professional, and by far, this is the best presentation I have ever done.

“After our presentation, one of the executives at the team reached out to us and asked if we would like to shadow someone from their marketing department for one of their home games,” she continued. “We will be keeping in touch when they try to incorporate our ideas into their organization.”

‘Time management is a very important skill’

Cameron Corey ’23 and his teammate Aldayr Ochoa ’23 also had the opportunity to present their plan to Connecticut Sun leaders. They created a series of drafts of their marketing plan during the spring semester, receiving feedback from their professor, Ceyda Mumcu, Ph.D., chair of the University’s Sport Management Department. While Corey says he was nervous delivering such a presentation for the first time, he says it helped him build his confidence.

“This was one of the most rewarding opportunities after all of the hard work we invested in this marketing plan,” said Corey, a sport management major. “I was able to learn a lot about sport marketing, especially with professional teams. I also learned a lot about myself and how determined I can be to do something I am 110 percent passionate about.”

Students say they enjoyed brainstorming creative marketing ideas for the Connecticut Sun. During the in-class presentations, they had the opportunity to learn what their classmates came up with when creating their plans.

For Hammond, the project was a terrific hands-on learning experience. It helped him build important skills, including time management, that he will apply during the rest of his time as a Charger – and beyond.

“Time management is a very important skill to have and learning how to balance such a project with non-school-related work is critical,” he said. “With various projects occurring during the last weeks of the semester, it can make or break the quality of the work. I expect this skill to be a huge help in my career.”

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