May 26, 2021Print | PDF
A team of fourth-year students in the Kinesiology and Physical Education program at Wilfrid Laurier University scored a touchdown with the marketing and promotions team for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club.
Students Lauren Cuylle, Hayley Dalgleish, Emily Hazzard, Ashley Reid, Emily Visconti and Laura Weber – classmates in KP442: Marketing in Sport and Physical Activity, led by Assistant Professor Alanna Harman – won a case competition held by the Tiger-Cats during the winter 2021 academic term. The competition focused on ways the club could create an exceptional fan experience, both in-person at Tim Hortons Field and through its fan app, All Access. The CFL is planning a return to play in August after cancelling the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Student teams from Laurier, Brock University, McMaster University and Western University were required to address specific criteria during their presentations, including identified target markets, fan personas and engagement strategies, and marketing materials.
“Participating in the case competition hosted by the Tiger-Cats was an incredible hands-on learning experience,” says Laurier student and winning team member Emily Visconti. “The experience challenged us to think outside the box and put new ideas forward. To have our ideas chosen by a professional sports organization is a huge accomplishment.”
Visconti’s team, one of three participating from Harman’s class, edged out the competition with its innovative and community-centered ideas. Bookable beer gardens for season ticket holders, a micro-influencer strategy on Instagram to reach post-secondary students in the Hamilton area, and a VIP experience for fans working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic were among the team’s ideas.
“The experience challenged us to think outside the box and put new ideas forward. To have our ideas chosen by a professional sports organization is a huge accomplishment.”
“The Laurier team presented interesting and unique strategies that hit on many of our themes,” says Mark McGinley, director of fan relations with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. “They presented high-quality work that reflected a strong understanding of the Tiger-Cats’ values and sports marketing practices.”
Providing future-ready learning opportunities to postsecondary students is regular practice for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats marketing and fan relations unit. McGinley’s team has provided student internships for many years and will offer upcoming opportunities at the 2021 Grey Cup, which the Tiger-Cats will host in December.
“We believe it is important to support students interested in this field and engaging them in real-world projects is the best way to do that,” says McGinley. “Students are the future stars in our industry.”
Harman says experiential learning opportunities like those offered by the Tiger-Cats help students connect classroom concepts with career applications.
“Experience-based learning is an opportunity for students to put into practice all that they have learned during their four years of undergraduate studies,” says Harman. “They get to see their ideas at play in the industry, which is an empowering and exciting experience as they prepare for their futures.”
McGinley’s team will provide the Laurier student team, along with runners-up from Western University and Brock University, with a behind-the-scenes experience during a Tiger-Cats home game during the upcoming football season.
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