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KeyBank and Syracuse University elevate sports marketing education to new levels during second year of 44 Rewards partnership
KeyBank and Syracuse University elevate sports marketing education to new levels during second year of 44 Rewards partnershipApril 22, 2008Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
With the last day of classes less than a week away, the final grade for 15 students majoring in sport management at Syracuse University’s College of Human Ecology hinges significantly on what happens this week. Three student teams will vie against one another in an innovative and nationally modeled approach to sports marketing education led by the KeyBank-Syracuse University 44 Rewards partnership.
As an integral part of the 44 Rewards program — now in its second year — sport management faculty, SU Athletics staff and KeyBank executives work with students to help them apply theoretical marketing concepts to a real-world experience. The students’ final project is presented to and judged by semester-long client KeyBank and other industry professionals.
“44 Rewards is a natural extension of Key’s longstanding relationship with Syracuse University’s athletic and academic programs,” says Stephen D. Fournier, president of KeyBank’s Central New York District. “We’re pleased to directly engage students and offer them unique learning experiences that will prepare them for the professional world.”
“The continued generosity from KeyBank over the past two years has provided an excellent learning opportunity for SU sport management majors,” says Michael Veley, director and chair of the Department of Sport Management. “The 44 Rewards program allows students in sports marketing to fully understand the complexities and interrelationships among sponsors, the sports entity and fans of specific team sports. They are able to take market research, develop their own promotional strategies, and propose a plan that is evaluated by industry practitioners. This community-based partnership benefits everyone.”
The course, titled “Sport Marketing Management” (SPM 444), requires students to implement a major, multifaceted corporate sports marketing sponsorship utilizing the skills honed in prerequisite courses in research methodology, sport law, sport sales and communications. This learn-by-doing experience includes the possibility of the winning team seeing their marketing plan activated in the coming SU sports year. In addition to the SPM 444 course work, the KeyBank-Syracuse University relationship provides scholarships for the sport management program, internship opportunities and research funding.
“It is through collaborative efforts and experiential learning client-based projects such as the model proven by KeyBank and Syracuse University that students can gain the necessary skill set and experience to enter the highly competitive industry,” says Gina Pauline, assistant professor of sport management in the Department of Sport Management. “This win-win partnership for students and corporate clients has become a national model.”
The students will present their 20-minute multimedia plans and recommendations on Thursday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 003 of the Whitman School of Management building. Judges will include:
- Joe Baldini, vice president and general manager of ISP Sports
- Karen Haefling, chief marketing and communications officer for KeyCorp
- Susan Moyer, senior vice president and northeast regional marketing and communications director for KeyBank
- Matt Yonan, president of Tigris Sponsorship and Marketing
The 44 Rewards program is a multi-tiered partnership that provides ongoing prize-winning opportunities for SU men’s basketball and football fans, and includes academic and charitable giving components — all building on the legendary significance of the number 44 in SU Athletics. For sports fans in the community, 44 Rewards has provided the opportunity to win SU men’s basketball and football merchandise, season tickets, tournament packages and other prizes for the past two years.
Students in the College of Human Ecology’s Department of Sport Management study marketing, management, communications, law and other disciplines, and gain hands-on experience in a required internship while preparing for careers or graduate study in sport. The College of Human Ecology at SU focuses students on the importance of community involvement, service, scholarship and experiential learning.
KeyBank N.A. is one of New York’s largest financial services companies, with one of the largest statewide networks of branches and ATMs. The 12-county Central New York District has 59 KeyCenters (branches), 95 ATMs and more than 475 employees. KeyBank is a leader in community involvement and a strong proponent for local economic growth. Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of about $101 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally.