Students rise to Bears Marketing Challenge
The main reception area at University College Birmingham was the scene of a Marketing exhibition held by students at the end of their Masters programme, and the subject matter was how to promote Coventry Bears and the sport of Rugby League in the Midlands.
It was part of their Integrated Marketing Communications module, where they produce a full marketing plan on for a live organisation and then showcase their communications ideas in an exhibition format.
The diverse and international student composition of the M.A Marketing and Msc Business Enterprise programmes meant that young brains from France, Spain, Estonia and China were utilised alongside those from across the UK.
The collaboration came about through Mike Hyde who works part time at UCB and also works as a volunteer for the Bears.
‘The students were able to apply what they have learnt on their course to the challenges faced in building attendances, revenue and a brand on a low budget in an area where the sport is not so well known’ explained Jeff Perry, the module tutor.
‘And they did so without preconceived ideas or hang-ups so the results were extremely positive and refreshing’ added Mike.
Concepts explored included viral marketing, guerrilla marketing, increased sponsorship, targeted promotions to key groups, competitions and events backed by a variety of cost-effective media techniques such as Apps and Youtube.
‘it was great to be able to actually think and use knowledge on behalf of such a community-focused local organisation’ was the reaction of student Bernadette Murphy, who is already looking forward to the Bears home game against Bradford Bulls.
Whilst the Bears and other clubs have good links with colleges and universities, these are usually around playing the game rather than looking at the business and marketing side of the sport, and Alan Robinson, the Bears owner will be considering the ideas put forward in detail.
”The students have done an amazing job and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone. Marketing and development of rugby league is never easy and I am grateful they have taken the time to look at the challenges we face and come up with some new ideas to tackle them”