Elon team repeats as a finalist in sport marketing competition

For a second consecutive year, a team of four Elon University students advanced to the finals of the Sport Marketing Association Conference’s case study competition, identifying new content offerings and underserved audiences for Stadium, a fledgling digital television and internet sports network.

A team of four Elon sport management majors attended the 2019 Sport Marketing Association Conference in Chicago, advancing to the finals of the three-day event’s undergraduate case study competition. This was the team’s third year at the competition and second straight year as a finalist.

During their trip to Chicago, the Elon student team competing in the Sport Marketing Association Conference’s case study competition ventured to Wrigley Stadium, home of the Chicago Cubs. Pictured (from left) are Brad Klier ’20, Meagan Hanratty ’20, Vince Acri ’22 and Sophia Tesselmyer ’20.

Sixteen teams from 15 universities competed in the Sport Marketing Case Study Bowl presented by The Aspire Group, a global sports and entertainment marketing firm, and were challenged to conduct a marketing case analysis of Stadium, a multi-platform sports network.

Led by Associate Professor Tony Weaver and Assistant Professor Young Do Kim, Elon’s student team included captain Brad Klier ’20, Meagan Hanratty ’20, Sophia Tesselmyer ’20 and Vince Acri ’22.

In the final round of competition, Elon competed against Deakin University (Australia), Indiana State University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Teams analyzed Stadium’s challenges pertaining to a lack of brand awareness, limited budget to purchase rights to popular professional sports content, and uncertainty in their target audience.

The Elon team’s content solutions centered around cost-effectiveness and leveraging Stadium’s existing contracted talent through a new original show and newly created Stadium podcast network to make it more competitive in the marketplace. Furthermore, the team identified an underserved niche of studio television-style coverage on esports, and therefore proposed a studio-style show in a monthly special format covering recent trends, events and individual athletes within the exponentially growing esports sector.

The students make their presentation during the Sport Marketing Case Study Bowl, analyzing Stadium and how the digital television and internet sports network can extend its reach.

In addition to producing competitive and readily marketable content, the team created a strategic marketing plan that Stadium could employ to acquire new audiences and retain them. The team came up with a slogan of “unique content customized to you.” Under this slogan, the team encouraged Stadium to create more touchpoints and tailored experiences by asking users for basic personal information, collecting and analyzing user feedback, and improving search engine optimization marketing techniques.

“It was a great opportunity and timely case study for our sport management majors to understand ever-changing media content and technology, a wide range of revenue streams and distribution possibilities, and ongoing competitions and challenges facing the multi-platform media companies today,” Kim said. “The Elon team’s data-driven approaches and analytical skills profoundly impressed the judges and audience in the final round.

“I am also very impressed by my students’ work ethic, teamwork and professional attitude,” Kim added. “This is a group of very hardworking and responsible individuals. I am very grateful and fortunate to work with them.”

Following the competition, Hanratty posted on social media expressing appreciation for the opportunity to travel and compete in Chicago with her classmates.

“As a college student, it is very important to take advantage of the resources and opportunities you are given to expand your knowledge and experiences outside of the classroom,” Hanratty wrote on LinkedIn. “With that being said, I am very grateful to attend a university with professors that support and encourage students to participate in these great learning experiences.”