Last Thursday SMBA ’06 alum and current Associate General Manager for IMG College at the University of Pittsburgh, Jack Tipton, came into speak to the class about his time in the program and his career. In addition to hearing Jack’s story, he had a case study for the class. Being that Jack has spent most of his career in sponsorship sales, he challenged the class to come up with a unique sponsorship between a property of our choice and a company of our choice.
In addition to choosing a company and property, the groups of four had to find out who to contact at the company, propose various activations, and come up with terms for the proposal. Four groups took on the challenge to create a presentation in less than 18 hours. This was not a competition amongst groups but a challenge for the groups to do the best they could and heed Jack’s advice.
The first group proposed a partnership between the Golden State Warriors and Dropbox. The group proposed a unique way of contact by utilizing Dropbox’s marketing strategy to gain contact with the key contacts at Dropbox. The team also proposed various activations such as the Dropbox Drop: which consisted of boxes parachuting from the top of the arena with free GB’s and branded Dropbox/Warriors T-shirts.
The second group proposed a naming rights deal for a bowl game that has recently been left without a sponsor (note: this information has not gone public thus we are withholding the name of the bowl game). The team did an excellent job of finding another sponsor that can easily fill in for the previous one, as they are in similar industries. The bowl slogan fit in perfectly with this company’s catchphrases and marketing schemes.
The third group took on the difficult task of finding a new sponsor for the Boston Marathon. Procter & Gamble seemed to be a perfect with its mission/message of being there and taking care of people. While the commercialization of this property is a sensitive subject due to the terrorist attack earlier this year, this group did a superb job of keeping the tragedy in mind. All the activation proposals were respectful and most importantly, subtle. Nothing proposed overshadowed what the event will stand for.
The final group proposed sponsoring the challenge breaks at San Diego Chargers games. They chose the Hopper from Dish Network. Their proposal stemmed around the Hopper’s ability to skip commercial breaks. Their idea was to link the Hopper’s quality with the ability to skip a challenge break.
Overall, everyone who participated really enjoyed the exercise. Each and every one of the participants felt they got something out of it. For some, it was simply getting feedback from an industry professional of Jack’s stature. For others, this activity shed light on a direction they would like to take in their career. The SMBA class thanks Jack for all the help and we hope to see you soon!