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 my marketing post-degree program called me after class one day of January 2017 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’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 the activities that would 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 be set up, and even a shootout contest with a professional goalkeeper became a possibility.
As for the marketing strategy, we came up with a strong social media plan, communicty outreach and public relations initiatives to be developed on and off campus. Reality kicked in as we realized we had to to build a realistic plan, considering the resources available. That was when we found ourselves in a very familiar place for every marketing professional in the world: managing 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 what we could and what we could NOT do and what would and would NOT be 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 only three weeks to deliver it – one of which was spring break. It was February 9 and ‘Caps College Night was scheduled for 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? Check out the full story in the links below: