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South High sports marketing classes team with Phantoms

2014-04-11T08:00:00Z South High sports marketing classes team with Phantoms Glens Falls Post-Star

SOUTH GLENS FALLS -- If the seats of the Glens Falls Civic Center are filled this Sunday for the next-to-last Adirondack Phantoms home game, students in South Glens Falls High School’s sports marketing classes can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

The 54 students in the two classes did the promotion for the event, including designing the fliers, posters, newspaper advertisements, banners for the website and even the message that will appear on the video board.

They also had to post to Facebook and tweet to promote the event.

“I want them to understand the process of what it takes to market a sports team,” said business teacher Jim Woodard.

In the class, the students learn about the four Ps of marketing — price, product, promotion and placement. This project came out of a relationship Woodard has with Chris Porreca, executive vice president for the Phantoms. Porreca said he has been going into Woodard’s classroom for about three years talking about ticket sales, marketing and game day setup. This year, they wanted to give students more of a hands-on experience.

This year, Woodard said the Phantoms gave the students a “blank slate” to design the marketing campaign to promote the April 13 game, which is Family Day.

Woodard said the students really stepped up and took the initiative. The class spent about three weeks on the project, breaking up into teams of two or three people each and used Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Publisher to design fliers, banners and website. They even recorded a radio spot.

Woodard selected the best designs in each category to submit to the Phantoms.

The students learned valuable lessons, such as when designing a 30-second radio spot, it has to come out to 30 seconds — not 32. Luckily, they were able to cut off some music at the end to get all the information in, according to Woodard.

Senior Josh Deyo, 17, recorded the radio spot with the catchy tag line urging people to come watch one of the last Phantoms games ever at the Civic Center, “Where we don’t have fun, we make it fun.”

Deyo said Porreca told them, “If you believe in what you’re doing, fight for it.”

Woodard said he got other classes involved in the project. An art student drew hockey players for a flier and choral students sang background music for the radio spot.

Senior Anthony Sgorrano, 18, said another tip is fliers can’t be overloaded with too much information because it won’t look good visually.

Senior James Stone, 18, agreed. “Make sure it’s visually appealing, catches the eye — not too dark, not too light.”

Also, some things that might look good on a small computer screen, might not look good on a large video wall.

“It was good to know what colors worked and what wouldn’t show up on the video board,” said 17-year-old senior Travis Ramsey.

The students said they had to learn not to have their feelings hurt if their ideas weren’t selected. It is all part of a total team effort.

“It shows you how to work with others in the business world,” said 15-year-old sophomore Adam Whitaker.

Stone said this was a good experience because he is looking to go in the business field, though perhaps not in sports marketing. The key is knowing demographics and what is going to work.

“You have to learn where products are going to sell, where they’re not going to sell,” he said.

This was the first real world project. Another project the students have done includes designing jerseys, and in the future they will be working on designing a cover for a fictitious video game.

Porreca said he is pleased with the students’ efforts.

“It has been a good way to interact with some of the youth from our community and hopefully give them an experience they can grow from,” he said. “I know I have learned from the experience and have an even greater respect for the teachers in the community and what they do each day,” he said.

Stone said it was an exciting project.

“This is the first year we actually got to do something like this, so it’s kind of cool to see what they actually do in real life,” Stone said.

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