Rising to the Challenge of Our Rival: Promoting Rivalry at Sam Houston State University Through Campus Recreation

in Case Studies in Sport Management
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Rivalries are a powerful promotional tool that can help drive identification with a brand, attendance at sports events, and subsequent consumer spending. While rivalries often benefit the participating athletic departments directly, there are other peripheral benefits that institutions can take advantage of. For instance, campus recreation departments can use the rivalry to help boost participation and provide additional psychic income benefits. This case focuses on two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision rivals and the ways in which the branding of their annual football contest, the Battle of the Piney Woods, can be best leveraged by other programs in the university, namely campus recreation. A sample scenario of a relatively new recreational sports employee is provided along with promotional elements and background for the universities and the Battle of the Piney Woods event. The reader is challenged to devise strategies that can best tie the Battle of the Piney Woods rivalry to the promotion of recreational sports offerings. The goal of such an exercise is to have one examine how large inter-institutional rivalries can also benefit other sport organizations that are within the university but are not necessarily just in the athletic department.

Lee and Gregg are with the Department of Leadership, School Counseling, and Sport Management, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL. Zapalac is with the Department of Kinesiology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. Godfrey is with the Athletic Department, Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Gregg (Liz.Gregg@unf.edu) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Teaching Note (PDF 116 KB)