Ohio University students are competing for the NASCAR weekend of a lifetime, all the while gaining real world experience in the field of sports marketing.
The Ohio students will have to out-market 19 other schools including defending champion Central Michigan and students from Ohio State.
The program is run directly by NASCAR and is officially called NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion. For the past couple years, Ohio University has fielded a team. After all of last year’s group graduated, junior Matt Sierzputowski was asked by Dr. Michael Pfahl of the Sports Management school to be project manager of the team. Sierzputowski is also a member of Sigma-Alpha-Sigma-Mu (SASM), Ohio University’s sports management fraternity. He says the team is responsible for completing 3 events.
“Our first challenge was to perform a case study and make a marketing plan for the latest NASCAR video game; ‘NASCAR the Game: Inside Line,’ which is made by Activision, the makers of games such as the Call of Duty series,” Sierzputowski said. “Our other case study involves a social media plan to increase the popularity of race car driver Martin Truex Jr.”
Sierzputowski’s team’s next challenge is this Sunday. NASCAR gave the team $1000 to throw a viewing party for the race at Talladega Motor Speedway this Sunday. Sierzputowski has done a lot to promote the event.
“We’ve put flyers all over campus and have even gone to Athens’ NASCAR bar Maplewood to talk to fans there. We’re going to the game on Saturday we have the Student Spotlight, were handing out flyers before and after the game at Bobcat Student Park.”
The event will be held in Room A of the Athens Community Center at 12:30 p.m. Sierzputowski urges students to attend.
“There’s free food (Kaisers BBQ and Little Caesers), we’re raffling off prizes from Kentucky Motor Speedway, even if you don’t like it, we’re getting tickets and it would be really fun to go to a race. Were raffling off a 40-inch t.v. that I just bought yesterday. We also have an inflatable jump house, it will be fun and we have extra televisions to watch football if you want,” Sierz said.
Ohio has never finished in the top-5 of the event despite being well-known for being the school that created the first sports management program back in 1966; a fact that motivates Sierzputowski.
“We want to do it so badly for our school. We respect this program so much and we want to add to it’s illustrious lineage.”