Students tee up a winning game


Building excitement

by Joni Moths Mueller

Sports promotion students tee up marketing ideas for U.S. Open. This foursome played a winning game.

It was a very cool opportunity for students to apply what they learned about sports promotion to helping FOX Sports, FOX Sports University and the U.S. Golf Association. Six teams of students in Dr. Jim Pokrywczynski’s Sports Promotion class in the Diederich College stood in front of a panel of sports specialists to present proposals for getting people engaged with the 2017 U.S. Open golf tournament that will be played in June at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

“You have 15 minutes to present,” the associate professor reminded them. He held a stopwatch.

They began by explaining their research into golf, its target markets and strategies to build excitement around the U.S. Open. They outlined at least two promotional concepts to increase fan engagement.

Great ideas surfaced: Connect campaigns to Facebook and Instagram; build pop-up TruGolf simulation stations on campuses; host golf-viewing parties based on regional tastes and interests.

After each presentation, the students fielded questions. Getting the nod and having their plan labeled the best presentation would make all of the work worthwhile. “FOX found positive things in every one of the presentations,” Pokrywczynski said later.

Communication junior Gabrielle Movalson admits it was an intimidating experience. “We were all really nervous,” she says. “We dressed according to a color scheme to show how professional and serious we were about the project.”

Team Six comprised Movalson and class-mates Diego Rios, Nick Thorn and Drew Albrecht. Their proposal wove in national and regional FOX Sports connections. It featured a water bottle giveaway and social media campaigns calling millennials to share their trick golf shots at #showUSyourshot and calling golf’s faithful to share photos of what’s in their golf bags and tag them #GolfBagSwag.

Preparation paid off. A congratulatory email from the FOX Sports University U.S. Open project called Team Six’s work “the most complete and creative marketing campaign.”

“The professionalism each team demonstrated throughout the presentation process will help them stand out in their future careers.” Mallory Steinberg, Comm ’08, marketing and communications manager for FOX Sports Wisconsin

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