Dean Students Consult on Marketing Projects for Kraft Sports & Entertainment


From the Dean Blog...

Dean’s exclusive academic partnership with Kraft Sports + Entertainment (KSE) has been going strong for over 14 years and counting. But this past semester, we took things to the next level: offering the first co-taught class with KSE, where students had the opportunity to work as consultants for KSE on three real-world projects throughout the semester.

The Special Topics in Sport Management class consisted of a mixture of Communications, Marketing, Sport Management and Business Management majors, many of whom were also graduating seniors, many of whom are student-athletes, and all of whom are passionate about sports. Led on Dean’s end by Patrick Leary, associate professor of Sport Management, the course alternated between learning about key marketing concepts such as marketing trends and market research, and working as teams on the three Kraft Sports + Entertainment case studies. Representatives from KSE, including Matt Quinn, Director of Sales, Megan Klein, Manager of Corporate Partnerships, and Katherine Hauck, Corporate Relationship Executive, attended class to present each topic, and then returned to hear student presentations and give feedback.

“The best form of learning is learning by doing, so that’s exactly what the core tenant of the class is,” explained Leary. “Students are applying what they know and learning how to utilize resources to gain data to inform recommendations, and then to analyze those recommendations.”

The first case study involved working with the New England Revolution and Major League Soccer on their new partnership with Apple TV. Students were tasked with developing a marketing plan and recommendations that the Revolution could implement to drive subscriptions to the MLS season pass on Apple TV for the 18-25-year-old target demographic.

For the second case study, students focused on increasing the New England Patriots’ marketing footprint in Germany, which the Patriots have as their international home market, and ultimately identify one potential sponsor for the team. They were challenged to find a company that would understand the value of utilizing the Patriots’ assets based on the brand equity the team has accumulated over the years and the value it would bring to the German market.

The final case study focused on developing a marketing and activation plan for the lighthouse at Gillette Stadium, which is currently undergoing a major renovation. Students focused their presentations on market research and competitive analysis, as well as activation strategies for the lighthouse that ranged from operating logistics to special events.

For the students in the class, the unique opportunity to get real-world experience with a major company like KSE was unparalleled.

“I really liked this class because I got to apply all my concepts and all my knowledge outside the classroom, and I actually saw the impact at the Kraft Sports + Entertainment company,” explained Sarah Michaud ’23, a double major in Business Management and Marketing. “I really enjoy real-world problems, and now when I go into the workforce, I am actually going to be able to solve those problems because of this experience.”

“The big that we’ve all learned is the different parts of the business side of Kraft Sports + Entertainment,” added Josh Tata ’24, a Sport Management major with a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications. “We’ve gotten great hands-on experience coming up with marketing plans, a corporate partnership proposal, and how to utilize the new lighthouse they’re building. It was amazing getting real-world experience and networking with people within Kraft Sports + Entertainment.”

Getting to interact with KSE executives and getting live feedback from them on each presentation was also a valuable component of the course.

“Learning how to do projects like marketing from a professional standpoint, and taking professional research and turning that into a high-standard project for a high-end corporation was really cool,” said Nick Watson ’23, a Sport Management major. “Interacting with everyone here who has been involved in the class has been awesome. They’re all super great to work with, really understanding, and gave a lot of great criticisms and asked great questions.”

For the final presentations, students also had the opportunity to deliver their presentations at the KSE offices at Gillette Stadium. This was a testament to both the hard work students put in throughout the semester and to the investment KSE made in making this class a success for all involved.

“Projects and classes like these are only as good as the clients, with respect to their level of involvement and investment,” explained Leary. “Kraft Sports + Entertainment has done a tremendous job with their level of investment. They were very good at articulating what their needs and expectations are, and they were very impressed at the level and depth of the research that was conducted by the students.”

Learn more about careers in sports and Dean College’s exclusive academic partnership with Kraft Sports + Entertainment.

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