Road blocks and desire to win: the Whitecaps experience – Part II

How planning, organized teamwork and consistency became the key to overcome road blocks, deploy daily activities, celebrate partnerships and sell tickets

In one of our first mentoring sessions we were advised to focus on our personal network to help spread the word about our sales competition. But, being international students and having lived in Vancouver for only 6 months, our network was rather limited. If we were back in Brazil, it would have been easy to invite our soccer lover friends to jump in this initiative. Never mind, we would find other ways to bring our passion for the sport to the cold Canadian weather. We had a plan!

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A mural of the Southsiders,- Vancouver Whitecaps support group
A mural of the Southsiders,- Vancouver Whitecaps support group

A battle a day

We started talking to EVERY SINGLE PERSON we knew to create a strong word of mouth. Besides our friends and co-workers, we also relied on Langara’s channels. We approached instructors, International Education Office, The Hub (Student Engagement Office), Marketing Department, Langara Athletics, Langara Student Union. We had set for ourselves the challenge to sell at least 250 tickets and it was show time.

Despite of these efforts, during the first week of sales, roadblocks were showing up all around us. While we waited for Langara to print our posters and to approve our sales booth on campus (which took one week), we had to deal with an instable online sales platform, which made every team lose their first week of sales. As we did not have printed tickets on hand to sell, we depended on the online channel. To overcome that, we got the name and contact of the people who reported issued to try and conclude these sales later on.

Digital marketing

Social media strategies were a strong avenue to escalate our sales effort and promote our tickets. We created an event on Facebook where we regularly posted news about the ‘Caps experience and about the points of sale.

As we did not have plenty of time to build engagement, the team worked on building short-term awareness about the promotion and the project. All communication materials were focused on the experience the event would deliver to participants, creating an integrated messaging that was also included in our speeches. Langara supported us by spreading the word through their institutional social media profiles as well.

Facebook Header
Facebook Header

Point of sale strategies

Posters ready, we displayed them all over campus and on our workplaces. On the second week, the administration allowed us to have a booth at the Main Foyer where we sat everyday with Whitecaps merchandise and talked to students about the project and the opportunity at hand.

Additionally, we got help from instructors, who gladly shared our sales campaign through their student mailing lists and allowed us to pitch the project at the beginning of classes. In every occasion, we would distribute flyers that we designed and printed out ourselves.

The last action was the keppie-uppie contest we held for two days. Students were invited to show their performance with the ball on their feet and get a chance to win Whitecaps’ official prizes. The initiative attracted around 40 people in total – some curious, some soccer experts, others just wanting to share their thoughts.

Want to know how we wrapped up this project? Stay connected at DMM Langara and read the third and final part of the story in a few days! 

About the author: Flavia Marcondes

Flavia is a communications specialist with ten years of experience in public relations and storytelling. She's got a Bachelor's degree Journalism and started a new career chapter focused on Digital Marketing and online branding. She enjoys being with friends, laughing, hiking and exploring the world.

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