Living soccer, breathing marketing: the Whitecaps experience – Part I
A three-chapter report about the challenges and rewards of working together, managing expectations, and growing the passion for what you do
This project started unpredictably: a couple of new friends from the marketing post-degree program called me after class one day of January with a compelling proposal: how would you like to join us in a sales competition program for the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club? And they added: “we have only one week to build up an attractive project”. I learned fast what was at stake: a mentoring program, the chance to implement a real marketing strategy and the opportunity to work with sports. I did not know by then how it would change my life. “I’m in!”
The journey begins
The following week ran like mad. Between classes, jobs, volunteer work, etc., we managed our time to brainstorm and put together what we thought would be the greatest experiential event ever. Our ideas skyrocketed as we designed several activities to take place before, during half time and after the match. In our dreams, FIFA Soccer Game stations would be available along the concourses, an after party in one of BC Place’s banquet room would take place, and even a shootout contest with a professional goalkeeper became a possibility.
As for the marketing strategy, we came up with a strong digital plan through social media, engagement actions and public relations initiatives to take place on and off campus. Reality kicked in as we realized we had to plan the activities strategically and make the most of it considering the resources available. An then we found ourselves in a very familiar place for every marketing professional in the world: manage the budget or the absence of it. First lesson learned, we got dressed in confidence and went to pitch our ‘Caps College Night proposal for the Vancouver soccer team’s executives.
The first victory
One day after the presentation and we were already celebrating. We had been selected to join the mentoring phase and we were amazed! The first day at the Whitecaps’ office was pretty much of housekeeping: they presented us what we could and what we could NOT do and what we would and would NOT have available to implement our strategy. One of the news was a gift from heaven: we would be able to sell tickets with 40% discount ($25 for a usually $41 seat).
On the other hand, one of the major things that we would not have was time: our project what designed to be implemented in 2 months but somehow we would have to implement it in only three weeks (one of which was spring break). It was February 9 and ‘Caps College Night was scheduled to take place on March 5th, the day of the home opener game against the Philadelphia Union. No time to cry, we had to adapt.
Want to know how did this project develop? Stay connected at DMM Langara and read the full story in a few days!