Oh, to be a student at the University of Iowa once again...
A unique course at the University of Iowa gave students interested in recreation and sport business the chance to gain some hands-on experience.. Dan Matheson, a lecturer at Iowa's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, took a group of UI students from the Sport Business Practicum to San Diego, to work with the Padres and the University of San Diego Athletics Department for two weeks in June.
Last summer, 12 UI students, along with 10 Ohio students and five DePaul students, stayed on the USD campus. Their first week was spent doing background work to become familiar with the Padres and USD Athletics Department and the organizations' markets.
After the week of orientation, the students were presented with their first challenge — in two days, and with a budget of $2,500, teams had to come up with proposals to increase student attendance at one USD men’s basketball home game in early February.
The remainder of the course was focused on a Padres challenge. Vice President of Ticket Services Jared Dillon sought to increase single game ticket sales, including ways to encourage fans to make single game ticket purchases further in advance to increase the certainty of revenue. The students also met with a larger group of Padres executives, including the vice president for business administration, director of brand management, and director of market research.
The overall winning team was selected as well as two individual proposals from all of the teams. They then had to combine those ideas into one cohesive proposal presentation that was then delivered the next morning to a larger group of Padres executives.
Has it helped the Pads in ticket sales? Hard to say, especially with the Friars being on the roll they are right now. But, darn, wouldn't it have been great to have taken part in such a class?