Iowa Wild Practicum
Sixteen students participated in the Iowa Wild practicum course led by Dr. Clint Huntrods beginning May 15, 2017 and ending June 8, 2017. The course immersed students in strategic and practical challenges. First, the strategic element of the course saw students complete sales and marketing projects focused on developing new ticket packages, promotional event nights, and/or new community engagement initiatives for the Iowa Wild. Secondly, the practical element of the course placed students in the Wild’s ticket sales room. The students were then required to make sales calls to fans who attended a Wild game last season and provided them an opportunity to buy ten-game flex ticket packages for the upcoming season.
In the strategic element of the course, students developed and presented ideas to six Iowa Wild executives. Examples of the student created ideas included a ‘Stoplight Night’ program to encourage young professionals to attend games and a Wild sponsored bike ride to connect the team with active families in the Des Moines area. Wild executives were impressed with the students’ creative, yet realistic, suggestions. Furthermore, Wild executives were impressed with the students’ knowledge of existing Wild partnerships and promotions and how many recommendations built upon and aimed to strengthen the Wild’s existing initiatives and relationships.
The practical element of the course allowed students to participate in four ‘Sales Nights’ at the Wild’s team headquarters. During the ten-game flex ticket package sales initiative, students made over 1,900 phone calls, experienced over 25 hours of talk time with Wild fans, and sold over $2,100 worth of ten-game flex ticket packages for the upcoming season. What is most impressive is that over half of the ticket packages sold came on the final night, demonstrating students' improved ability in a short time. In addition to the ‘Sales Nights’, students learned from successful sport industry professionals including Katie Long of Contemporary Services Corporation, Laura Briggs of Catch Des Moines, and several Wild executives.
A pair of Iowa Wild practicum students shared their thoughts with faculty on their experience during the course. Those students' thoughts are below.
Katie Zordani (BS 2015, ex. MA 2018): The Iowa Wild practicum was an unbelievable experience. From calling past ticket buyers to presenting our group's final assigned project to the Iowa Wild executives, we were able to get a taste of the sports business world. During the practicum, we had daily interactions with business professionals at the top of the industry. Personally, the Iowa Wild practicum allowed me to grow substantially in a short period of time.
Jason Matteson (BS 2017): The Iowa Wild practicum represents what a full day in the sports world is like. We were able to gain hands on experience working with the Wild sales staff. Through this experience, we were able to see how going through a sales script translates to making live calls with potential clients.