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Teaching Sport Sponsorship Activation through a Client-Based Experiential Learning Project

Gina Pauline and Jeffrey S. Pauline

Sport management programs continue to focus on developing innovative pedagogical strategies to prepare students to enter and successfully navigate the rapidly evolving, highly competitive sport industry. One effective tactic is to integrate experiential learning projects into the classroom. This paper describes a collaborative three-year partnership involving a sport management program, athletic department, and corporate sponsor. The relationship provided scholarships for the program, internship opportunities, research funding, and an experiential learning project. Specifically, the lead author applied the metadiscrete experiential learning model developed by Southall, Nagel, LeGrande, and Han (2003) to a client based sponsorship activation project for an upper-level sport marketing course. The paper offers a blueprint and specific recommendations for faculty who wish to develop a client-based collaborative effort that can provide a hands-on learning experience for students and generate programmatic resources, research possibilities, student scholarships, and funding opportunities for an academic program. Such projects can further prepare students as well as enhance the fit between sport management programs and the sport industry.