Teaming Up with the San Antonio Spurs
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Jul. 30, 2012
Teaming Up with the San Antonio Spurs
Trinity University students take up a marketing assignment from NBA franchise as a class project
For 11 Trinity students this summer, their experience with the San Antonio Spurs was much deeper than watching the team on TV during their playoff run. Instead, the students found themselves pitching marketing strategies to executives at Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) offices at the AT&T Center. Along with the Spurs, SS&E owns and operates the San Antonio Silver Stars (WNBA), San Antonio Rampage (AHL), Austin Toros (NBA Development League) and also manages the day-to-day operations of the AT&T Center.
It was the main goal of a summer school class that gave the students an opportunity to gain real world experience by working for a premier business organization.
The course, titled Sports Marketing Research and Advertising, was taught by Jennifer Henderson and Aaron Delwiche, both associate professors of communication. Henderson is also chair of the department. This is the third year they have taught the course and worked with the Spurs.
"It is a real immersion into the theory and practice of communication and how all these things come together in the real world," added Delwiche.
Junior Megan Julian, a communication major who is also pursuing the sport management minor, said the course appealed to her because it is the kind of work that she would like to do once she graduates.
She added that the students were motivated by working for the Spurs. "We all know how successful the Spurs already are, so anything we came up with needed to be just as good. It kept us on our toes and pushed us to work even harder," she said.
After getting a thorough grounding in the theories of survey design, marketing, and promotion, Henderson and Delwiche announced to the students that they would be members of an advertising and marketing agency and to prepare for meeting with their client - the Spurs marketing team.
Henderson said the students took the challenge very seriously. They choose a name for their agency, created a logo, and even made business cards. The class then met with members of the Spurs management team to discuss their strategic objectives.
After the meeting, the students designed a survey to gather information to help create a marketing campaign. "We had more than 500 people complete the survey, which is a great response," said Henderson.
Once the students collected the responses, they moved to the creative part of the course. They developed a full advertising campaign based on social media and mobile technology trends.
Then came the moment of truth: presenting the survey results and marketing ideas to the Spurs. Both Henderson and Delwiche said the class did an amazing job.
And the Spurs marketing team was impressed. "The students brought fresh ideas on current and emergingtrends, specifically as they related to marketing to youth and college students," said Sheri Barros, marketing manager for the Spurs. "The students clearly invested significant time in preparing the presentation."
"The class required more involvement, time, and participation than any other course I have taken," said Travis Halff, a senior marketing and communication major. "It was incredible to take everything we had been learning over the past couple of years and apply it to a real world situation. I truly feel that the class was one of the most rewarding courses I will take during my time at Trinity."