Sport Management Students Attend Sport Marketing Association Conference

Produced by: Alexis T. Thompson, MPS Sport Management

St. John’s case study team (from left): Ashley Pineda-Salgado, Hailey Pomara, Zuleydy Perez, and Alexandra Hetherington

St. John’s case study team (from left): Ashley Pineda-Salgado, Hailey Pomara, Zuleydy Perez, and Alexandra Hetherington

December 2, 2022

Four students from the Division of Sport Management attended the 2022 Sport Marketing Association Conference in Charlotte, NC, with the assistance of funding from The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies and Student Government, Inc. They had the opportunity to visit a few local sights before competing in a case study competition on “How to incorporate the Metaverse into the marketing efforts of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Charlotte Hornets.”

Twenty universities competed this year, the largest field ever hosted at this competition. The students used their marketing knowledge and creative ideas to work together to design a way for the Charlotte Hornets to use the Metaverse to market an NBA team.

“The team worked extremely hard in a short time span and we felt proud of our final project,” said student Ashley Pineda-Salgado.

 “Our idea was an interactive, reward-based system and app called the MetaHive which gives you in-person challenges during Hornets games so you can compete to earn reward points redeemable throughout the Spectrum Center, the stadium where the Hornets play,” explained Hailey Pomara, the team’s captain.

Opportunities such as this conference allow students to use what they learn in the classroom and come together to create a project that can be used for marketing at the professional level, explained Simon M. Pack, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor and Associate Professor, Division of Sport Management. He was assisted by Industry Advisors Joyce JJ Jelks, Head of People and Culture, Wieden+Kennedy, and Matt Gonzalez, St. John’s Graduate Student Intern, Wieden + Kennedy. 

“There are so many resources at our students’ disposal here at St. John’s,” said Dr. Pack. “We really like to see them utilized so they gain professional development experiences.”

“The conference was such a fun way to further develop my skillset in marketing by using real-life examples within the sports industry,” said Ashley.

“This conference allowed me to increase my knowledge of the Metaverse and marketing for professional basketball,” said Hailey.

The Sport Marketing Association Conference was also an opportunity to network with other students from both the US and Canada and to explore a few of the museums in Charlotte. “We were able to have dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and to do a lot of networking before the competition,” said Ashley.

The Sport Management program is already looking for students to attend next year’s conference. “Overall, it was a great experience,” said Ashley. “The winning team from Ohio University had some really great ideas and it was interesting to see how they put that into their presentation. I can’t wait for next year’s competition.”

For more information on the conference and case study competition, contact Simon M. Pack, Ph.D., at [email protected].