Trinity’s sport management class has a big task ahead of them this semester: to sell at least 560 San Antonio Rampage hockey tickets for the Friday, Nov. 2, game against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Splitting up into four teams, each team will be responsible for a minimum of 140 tickets.
“The goals for this assignment are: one, for students to be able to identify target markets for group sales,” said Director of Sport Management minor Jacob Tingle, who teaches the sport management course. “Two, to identify and create sales strategies that could be used to effectively sell to those target markets. Three, it’s for personal growth and development.”
Besides having the opportunity to help marketing and sales for the Rampage, students will gain much more from the project.
“For students, this project is beneficial because it gives you all a hands-on experience on what sports sales is,” said Manager of Ticket Sales for the San Antonio Rampage Curt Waugh. “Also, it shows what is out there with sports as a potential career opportunity. For the organization, it provides us a talent pool to pull from for potential interns or later on a position with us. It also helps us to fill games in the season that we target.”
The ties that the sport management class is forming with the organization began last year when Waugh kicked off the project with the students who were in this same course last year. The class’ goal was 550 tickets. They sold more than 800 to give the Rampage a turnout that was in the top ten games for number of tickets sold last year.
“They exceeded expectations,” Waugh said. “I think that and Dr. Tingle’s enthusiasm for the project combined made it a no-brainer to continue ties and do the project again this year.”
The project was such a success that the American Hockey League identified it as a best practice with regards to sales and marketing. Despite the project’s achievements last year, Tingle had the final call in repeating it this semester.
“The first thing that I looked at was on course evaluations,” Tingle said. “I asked them to tell me whether we should do this project again. I wanted to know from the students if this experience was useful, informative and educational.”
According to Tingle there were 31 students in the class, and 30 filled out the course evaluation. Of the 30, all of them desired a second year. For Tingle, personal itneractions at the game also supported another year of the project.
“Looking up and walking around the arena and seeing how many tickets we sold was great; it was exhilarating,” Tingle said. “So that sealed the deal. I reached out to some colleagues that are in the industry and some former students who work in ticket sales in different professional organizations and sent them the project description and followed up with phone calls and got some good feedback for some changes we could make.”
Students from last year’s course immediately recognized the unique experience of such a project and took advantage of the opportunities that arose as a result.
“It’s amazing to have such a great real-world experience in a class that I could put on a resume and point to and say that I was proud of it,” said Ricky Dolezalek, who took the course last year. “This was definitely a huge factor in me getting an internship with the San Antonio Talons last semester and another internship with the Spurs this semester. I think that they liked that I had experience and I completed a relevant project from start to finish.”
Besides the obvious benefits for both the organization and the students, the game itself ends up being a unique experience as most of the tickets sold by the class are to the Trinity community.
“Probably 500 Trinity people were at the game last year,” Tingle said. “So it’d be cool if we could think of it as a Trinity Night Out. Hockey games are fun, exciting, fast-paced and the Rampage made it the furthest they’ve ever been last year.”