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USM Sport Management Classes Collaborate with Biloxi Shuckers on Ticket Sales and Marketing Projects

Wed, 05/08/2024 - 10:22am | By: Van Arnold

Sports Management

SM 715 class

Two University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Sport Management classes collaborated with the Biloxi Shuckers minor league baseball organization during the spring 2024 semester on a program that allowed undergraduate and graduate students to participate in experiential learning projects. The Biloxi Shuckers are the AA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball organization.

These projects align with USM’s College of Business and Economic Development (CBED) mission statement of “ensuring that all students have applied experiences that build the knowledge and develop the skills needed to succeed and lead in the global marketplace” and “collaboration with our communities.”

On the undergraduate level, Dr. Sabrina Reed’s SM 395 Sport Sales Methods and Techniques class partnered with the Shuckers on a Ticket Sales Project. For this class project, students were assigned a specific Shuckers theme night to promote and sell tickets.

Sports Management

SM 395 class

The theme nights included: Mardi Gras Night, Military Appreciation Night, Educator Appreciation Night, and First Responders Night. The students applied course content to develop promotional material, research and contact prospects, and ultimately make sales.

Students were partnered with Shuckers sales executives who offered guidance throughout the duration of the project. The executives also provided two training sessions during the semester.

Kathy Burrows, sales consultant and founder of Sold Out Seating, also provided a training session in conjunction with the project. Overall, the class sold nearly 200 tickets for the theme night games.

“With the majority of entry level positions in sport management being in ticket sales, I felt this project is important to give the students a preview of what a career in sales is like, as well as provide them with real-life experience that they can include on their resumes to help secure a job in the sport field,” said Reed.

Added Shuckers Assistant General Manager Trevor Matifes, “We enjoyed partnering with the USM Sales Class, giving students a chance to use what they've learned in a real-world setting. This experience was invaluable for them, offering practical skills and knowledge for their careers."

Reed’s classes have previously partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans and USM Baseball for similar class projects. She hopes to collaborate with the Shuckers and other professional sport organizations with experiential learning class projects in the future.

On the graduate level, Dr. Chris Croft, Assistant Professor of Sport Management, and his SM 715 Sport Marketing and Public Relations class developed marketing plans for the Shuckers. The class worked under the guidance of Southern Miss CBED alumna Makenzie Crampton, Director of Marketing and Social Media with the Shuckers.

Crampton visited the Hattiesburg campus in February to visit with the class and outline the project, including new Shuckers features at MGM Park this year. The class worked in groups with Crampton and Shuckers front office staff with strategic planning and vision proposals for brand awareness, traditional marketing, social media marketing, and community involvement for Shuckers’ future marketing and promotions plans.

“Working with Dr. Croft's Sports Marketing Graduate Class has been an exhilarating journey for us at the Biloxi Shuckers,” said Crampton. “These students represent the future of the sports industry, and their insights are invaluable as we strive to evolve and diversify our strategies. From renovating our ballpark to reaching new audiences and expanding our offerings, their feedback is instrumental in shaping our vision for the long haul.”

Added Crampton, “As we endeavor to ensure the longevity of our beloved ballpark, we deeply value and appreciate the perspectives of these budding professionals. Our partnership with USM Sports Management and Athletics is one we cherish, and we eagerly anticipate the continued collaboration and the opportunity to welcome more of their talented students into our team in the future.” 

Croft noted, “This was an outstanding opportunity for the class to work directly with the Shuckers and transfer sport marketing course concepts to the real world by applying concepts to assist the Shuckers’ needs. Additionally, it was extremely beneficial for students to work with a recent CBED alumnae in Crampton on the project in addition to incorporating career transition and professional development components to students in the project. This is the fourth time my classes have had the opportunity to collaborate with the Biloxi Shuckers and are very appreciative and grateful to Hunter Reed, General Manager, and the Biloxi Shuckers front office for their continued support to our Sport Management program.”