Archive for November, 2015

2015Nov 21

SPAD Speaker Series: Bruce MacDonald

bruceOn November 12, SPAD Students were treated to their first speaker of this year’s SPAD Speaker Series. SPAD was pleased to welcome SPAD Grad Bruce MacDonald, who is the President and CEO of Imagine Canada. Bruce shared his experiences throughout his schooling and various jobs that got him to where he is today – a successful SPAD Grad. Bruce has been with Imagine Canada for almost two years and before that he held high-level positions with many organizations including CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada .

Bruce had a different childhood, he talked about how he grew up with his parents working at carnivals. “I got over the fear of talking to strangers,” He talked about how he learned to sell at a very young age from working for his parents at carnival games. Bruce talked about Social Good, the field he is in. He brought up 3 key areas of social good that companies can use; social purpose, social enterprise, and social good for profit. The room was captivated by Bruce and students found it very interesting to learn about a sector that doesn’t receive nearly as much attention as professional sport.

Bruce talkFollowing Bruce’s talk “The Changing Nature of Social Good,” the class was then offered the opportunity to ask questions that allowed Bruce to give the class insight on a variety of other topics. This included advice on what he thought was one of the most important things to do in order to be successful: network. Network whenever you have the chance because it can help you in the long run. The people you network with may not get you a job, but they can help you and give you chances that you may not get any other way. More insight was given when Bruce talked about how adaptability is the new key competency. With all the trends in the world, you have to be willing to change.

Bruce MacDonald (SPAD’83) gave the group a unique learning experience and some advice and knowledge that students do not get every day. On behalf of SPAD we would like to thank him for taking the time to talk to us, and good luck at Imagine Canada!

2015Nov 19

John Molson Sport Marketing Conference – SPAD Style

JMSM

30 #SPADbeauties out in force in Montreal

On November 5th, thirty SPAD students made their annual trip to Montreal for the 2015 John Molson Sport Marketing (JMSM) Conference hosted by the John Molson School of Business and Concordia University. Conference organizers were thrilled to announce that a record number of conference delegates attended the 20th anniversary of the event. SPAD students had the opportunity of networking with other schools from all over Canada and countless business professionals from the sport industry. 5 speaker panels, keynote speakers, a marketing case competition, a dinner gala, social outings each night of the conference, and for the first time ever – workshops, ensured the weekend was not only a busy but memorable one.

Thursday night kicked off with a panel discussion a first in JMSM history; Growing the Beautiful Game panel which featured executives from Major League Soccer and its Clubs where they discussed the quick rise and popularity of soccer in North America. Following the panel discussion, delegates moved into the adjacent room for a Networking Cocktail where we continued the discussion and met students from across North America. Thursday evening concluded with a night out at Hardwax Montreal. The JMSM classic of Rep Your Team was the theme of the night. Almost everyone in attendance showed up sporting their favourite team.

Friday kicked off with the blueprint for franchise for success panel which looked into the high-level strategies that two of the NHL’s elite teams implement for success on and off the ice. Geoff Molson talked about how even though he owned the Montreal Canadians, ultimately the team belonged to the fans. The importance of the fans was prevalent throughout this panel. Fans, and how you engage fans is very important in the sports world and I believe the SPAD students in attendance understood this fact – this is what our program is about – recognizing the importance of many different areas of sport. This interesting panel was followed by the backbone of franchise operations with Jason Faris and Ian Clarke. This panel dove into the strategies teams are implementing to achieve long-term sustainability and growth. From day-to-day operations, to costing, to new investments and development, this panel revealed how a sports franchise operates behind the scenes. As a student interested in the business of sport, it was inspiring to hear and learn how sport is run behind closed doors.

JMSM then launched their first ever workshops. SPAD students had the opportunity to attend 1 of 3 workshops of their choosing including; 1) the successful job applicant. In this workshop students learned how to stand out over the competition and what employers are looking for. 2) A new star rising: overview of the experience from re-building a hockey franchise (Part 1) where delegates had the opportunity to understand how to deal with the challenges a franchise can experience during change; and finally 3) how to get your foot in the door which was with two former JMSM executives who have successfully broken into the industry and how their experiences can help us do the same.

After this delegates had a short break then went to their second workshop. These workshops consisted of public relations & crisis management, where speakers talked about how every organization must deal with unexpected circumstances and learn how to plan and react in the eye of the public. The next option was a new star is rising: experiences from rebuilding a hockey franchise (Part 2). And finally the last workshop choice for this session was marketing through sport, where delegates learned how to create a successful business relationship with a sports organization, from the corporation’s perspective. Delegates then were treated to dinner at Les Rotisseries St-Hubert followed by a casual night out.

Saturday started off with the next panel, Engaging a New Generation. The panel discussed strategies teams are using to garner fan involvement and loyalty. This panel discussed many interesting topics, including how current trends are showing that fans want social media interactions more than they want an autograph. This proves how powerful social media is as a tool for fan engagement. The next panel was The Discretionary Dollar where the panel discussed top level management strategies for selling tickets and driving revenue while maintaining a healthy profit. A big discussion during this panel was regarding ticket pricing and the secondary ticket market. It was mentioned that the secondary ticket market can harm a team due to the fact that once the ticket goes on the secondary market the team can no longer control the brand image associated with the ticket.

Next was one of the best parts of the weekend which was a one on one with Ken Holland, who is arguably one of the most successful General Managers in NHL history. Ken shared some stories from his time as a player in the NHL all the way to his 4 Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. Ken touched on some very key points when running any organization and that is to develop people at their own pace, it’s the only way to tap into their potential, and how every organization needs difference makers.

SPAD students then went to their final workshop where they could choose from: The art of negotiations where delegates were given the chance to learn how to negotiate from the best, former MLB general manager, Ned Colletti. Other workshop topics included engaging a new generation which looked at the panel from earlier and put it into a more hands on context and finally delegates had the opportunity to attend a workshop focusing on “inside the sponsorship deal” where speakers illustrated the anatomy of a sponsorship deal and the importance of activation.

The night ended with a keynote closing address from Bill Clement during the conference gala. The annual JMSM conference is a great opportunity for SPAD students to socialize with other aspiring sports marketers, as well as gain insight from the industry’s top leaders in the historic city of Montréal. SPAD delegates can attest that the invaluable information gained and learned from attending this event over the last few years, and the wisdom shared from guest speakers has contributed to our knowledge and experience and elevates SPAD students – we are contenders and the future of the sports business industry.

2015Nov 16

Pepsico Video Game Tournament 2.0

Video Game 1After a great Halloween night, is there anything better than playing video games and eating an assortment of snacks? Didn’t think so. On November 1st 2015, SPAD hosted the PepsiCo Video Game Tournament 2.0. The tournament consisted of 3 competitive tournaments, The Sportsnet NHL 16 Tournament on X-box One, the FIFA 16 Tournament on PS4, and the NBA 2K16 tournament on X-box One. A big thanks goes out to the tournament sponsors, PepsiCo, Sportsnet, Marble Slabs Creamery, and Costco.

The PepsiCo Video Game Tournament 2.0 was played from 12 Noon to 5:30PM on November 1st, with the Sportsnet NHL 16 tournament consisting of 16 teams, and 32 participants overall. The FIFA 16 and NBA 2K16 Tournaments saw 10 participants each. In addition to the 3 competitive tournaments, there was an interactive MLB The Show Home Run Derby, which saw participants swing for the fences with their favourite MLB players.

While participants played their hearts out in each tournament
, they got to enjoy some great new snacks and drinks courtesy of PepsiCo. To add to the festivities, a Sunday wouldn’t be complete without some NFL football action, and organizers had it covered with NFL Game Center playing throughout the afternoon.

A special congratulations goes out to the tournament winners, who are as follow’s;
Sportsnet NHL 16 Tournament Winners – Mitch Schnitzler and Eric Foster
FIFA 16 Tournament Winner – Mike Cameron
NBA 2K16 Tournament Winner – Sean McColligan

Thank you to all participants, and to everyone who came out to the event, in addition to the tournament organizers, Neal Steven, Kevin Miller, Uma Pratapagiri, Kyle Jones, and Ben Goodman. The PepsiCo Video Game Tournament 2.0 was a huge success.