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Students get behind-the-scenes look at sports management


Fifteen Pennsylvania College of Technology business students learned about marketing efforts behind televised athletics events when they were hired by a marketing firm to help distribute noisemakers at the third MLB Little League Classic, played at historic Bowman Field at BB&T Ballpark, just a few blocks from campus.

Under the direction of California-based firm USA Marketing and Major League Baseball, the students – joined by eight students from nearby Lycoming College – moved throughout the stands at the Aug. 18 game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs.

“Our task was to hand out noisemakers – thundersticks and mini drums,” said John J. Shadle, of Williamsport, who is enrolled in business administration: marketing concentration. “Our target audience was the youth in the crowd. The goal was to enhance the experience for the youth and the players. We brought the excitement in a noisy fashion.”

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s business majors provided promotions assistance at the 2019 Major League Baseball Little League Classic, featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs at Williamsport’s BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.
Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s business majors provided promotions assistance at the 2019 Major League Baseball Little League Classic, featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs at Williamsport’s BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

The students were assigned to sections throughout the ballpark and tasked with handing out all the noisemakers in the first inning. Two students and one USA Marketing staff member handled each section.

“Each item was unique to certain sections, and the color of each noisemaker represented the Little League Classic and the MLB teams participating,” explained Frank F. Tuason, of Stamford, Connecticut. Tuason is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration: sport and event management concentration.

MLB works with USA Marketing to engage local college students to assist in every city where it works a major event. Its staff provided the students with instruction for handing out the materials without disrupting the fans’ experience.

“I learned that logistics are king in marketing at an event,” Shadle said. “We spent hours getting prepared for a 20-minute distribution. There were many moving parts that had to work perfectly for the event to run smoothly. If you keep focused on the task and the experience you are trying to provide, you will succeed every time.”

“Working and taking part in such a unique experience showed me all the behind-the-scenes work that comes with organizing the marketing efforts of such a wonderful event,” Tuason added. “The entire team were great mentors to learn from, especially for young students trying to enter the same industry. They truly showcased and laid out everything for us during the day and gave us some wonderful advice.”

The respect was mutual. Site representatives reported that the students from Penn College and Lycoming College were “a dream team.”

“These extremely polite students give us great joy and feed us energy by their interactions, smiles, hard work and intelligent questions,” USA Marketing’s Paul Yeomans and Matt Slamon, with MLB, concurred. “The teachers and citizens of Williamsport are truly developing great leaders for tomorrow’s world.”

To learn more about sport and event management and other business and hospitality degrees at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit the School of Business & Hospitality.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call 800-367-9222.

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