May 1, 2012

By Emily Clingan, Sports Marketing Academy Intern

Miami’s Athletic Director Brad Bates has worn many hats in his 11-year tenure at the helm of Miami Athletics. In addition to “Athletic Director” and “President of the Division One Athletic Directors’ Association”, Bates can also be called “professor”. Each spring semester, Bates teaches a Sport Administration class through the Department of Kinesiology and Health. Bates’ final project for the students was to manage and oversee the marketing, operations, fundraising and promotions for one baseball or softball game.    

Each group contained seven members who focused on increasing attendance and revenue at the games.  Within their group, there were smaller roles that different members focused on, including sponsorships, in-game promotions, collaborating with coaches, marketing materials, and social media.

After the planning was completed, and game day approached, each group was ready to successfully direct their game.  Senior, Katie Chokreff, a student of Brad Bates’ class, shares her personal experience of being part of a group who directed a softball game.  When asked what it was like working on the “other-side” for a game, she replied, “I think it was great to see how much work really goes into the event.  Most importantly, it was good to see that not just one person could simply put on a softball game let alone something as big as a football game.  Each group member was divided up and focused on different aspects of the game, just like the athletic department.  Being on the planning side, we all really saw how important it is that each department is always communicating with each other.”

After further discussing Chokreff’s experience with the assignment, she made sure to explain that there was a lot more work that was put into game day than any one of her group members had anticipated.  Without the help of Kevin Young, from marketing, Brad McDounough, from IMG, and project supervisors Josh Fenton and Michael Weisman, the success of the softball game would not have been the same.

Although there was extraneous amount of work put into the assignment, Chokreff shared her favorite part of the whole experience.

“It was good to see that everything does always run so smoothly and you have to be very flexible to work in sports,” she said.  “We had to adapt to the day of the game and even though someone was supposed to do marketing, they also helped with the game operations.”

Congratulations to all students of Brad Bates’ class for successfully executing the spring sporting events.