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James Reese, Mark Dodds, Richard Southall and Kevin Heisey

A professional sport team began play in a new stadium. Although the old facility had no such seat inventory, one of the features at the new facility was the addition of 8,800 club seats. According to the marketing materials provided by the team, the new club-seat inventory offers amenities not available at the old stadium, including upscale concessions, a heated and air-conditioned lounge, padded seats, and increased restroom capacity. After the opening of the new stadium, fans complained about their club seat experience, including long concessions and restrooms lines (typically longer than at the old facility) and consistent premium food shortages. In the off-season, the team began the process of sending ticket-renewal invoices for the upcoming season. Approximately 100 club-seat holders declined to renew, claiming the team breached the contract by not providing the services promised. The team attempted to negotiate with the affected customers with limited success.

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Peter Han, Mark Dodds, Tara Mahoney, Kristi Schoepfer and Justin Lovich

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, have become extremely popular; they serve as tools to connect individuals in a public forum. However, collegiate student-athletes use social media to send messages that may reflect poorly on their educational institutions. For example, student-athletes have posted profanity, obscene messages, compromising photographs, and even threatened the President of the United States while using social media. These messages create negative publicity for the college since athletics and student-athletes are a visible aspect of the institution. As such, inappropriate social media use has become a major concern with college athletic departments. Because the NCAA requires member institutions to adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity, colleges have responded to the actions by disciplining student-athletes that use social media negatively to voice their opinions; in some cases, this punishment has been as severe as actually dismissing the student-athlete from his or her team. But, how does this action impact the public relations of the athletic department? Further, does it subject the college to possible legal action?

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Mark Dodds, Larry DeGaris, Alan L. Morse, Luisa Velez-Colon and David Perricone

Claire Monroe was challenged to increase a minor league baseball team’s revenue and was in charge of developing a marketing plan to target female baseball fans. This would be a new target market for the team. The increasing female fan base can create revenue for baseball franchises through ticket, merchandise, and concession sales, as well as connecting with sponsors who specifically target female customers. Although there are many gender similarities in regards to fan avidity, there are important differences between the sexes in terms of motivation, media, and merchandise needs. Claire must research the target audience, analyze marketing research data, and make recommendations to increase female attendance to have those women spend more money on baseball-related items.

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James T. Reese Jr., Mark A. Dodds, Brett Burchette and J.P. Lutz

After eight years on staff, Katie Harris was recently promoted from director of ticket operations to a new position as associate athletic director at Montgomery University (MU). Several months into her new position, Katie is faced with a difficult challenge. Several thousand fans from conference rival Bucks State College (BSC) attended a men’s basketball game at the 15,000-seat MU Convocation Center. The large presence of BSC fans did nothing worthy of ejection, but was able to negatively impact the experience for many MU fans. MU’s high profile men’s basketball coach contacted the director of athletics requesting if something could be done to reduce the impact of visiting fans. Though the coach understands that dealing with opposing fans is part of sport, even on a team’s home court, the environment has become a distraction for coaches, players, and many significant athletic department donors who pay premium prices for season tickets. The coach received complaints from numerous supporters indicating that unless something is done they are considering cancelling their season tickets. Though complicated by logistics, financial, and legal consequences, Katie has been asked to research the issue and share recommendations for policy development.