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About Me

My name is William Berry, but I go by Will. I am a Sophomore, who just entered my spring semester at West Virginia Wesleyan College located in Buckhannon, West Virginia. I am from Waldorf, Maryland which is about twenty minutes south of our nation’s capital. I’m a sports fanatic who loves everything about sorts and I am highly interested in how the things we don’t see within the sports world operate.

I believe myself to be a strong willed but respectable person. There is a quote I like to live by which is “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”. I believe that quote accurately describes me as a person and can serve as my motto almost.

The purpose of this blog is for me to share my opinion on various sports topics being business and non-business. Hoping that my opinions stir comments from my readers so we may converse in a peaceful debate sharing our beliefs and ideas.

Relating back to college I am a Sport Business major. I am also a member of the West Virginia Wesleyan college football team. My first and foremost goal is to graduate from Wesleyan with at least a 3.5 core grade point average.

A goal of mine for the immediate future is to obtain some type of internship within the sports world for this upcoming summer. I have a couple lined up but there’s one in particular that really want and its with XM satellite radio working in their sports talk department.

I truly aspire to be a great student, athlete, and son. As mentioned above I am a member of the football team at West Virginia Wesleyan college. I take great pride in that because not everyone gets the opportunity to play college football.

I aspire to write great blog post that make my readers want to interact with me. I welcome comments from my readers rather it be agreements or disagreements. I want to connect with others who share a strong interest in the sports world and everything that makes it what it is today.

Being a sport business major I have many things that I want to do with my degree. My ultimate or ideal thing would be to become the general manager of a major league sports team. Being more specific, I would want to be the general manager of a sports team in the national football league, national basketball association, or in major league baseball.

Before reaching my end goal as a general manager for a team in one of the three major league sports I mentioned previously I want to be a sports agent. I would like to work as an agent within ROC NATION Sports which is the sporting agency owned by Jay-z. I just think that nothing would be better than being a sport agent who works for a sports agency owned by such a famous rapper such as Jay-z.

Well that’s it, I’m done babbling on about myself and I hope this gave you an insight on who I am. If you would like to engage with me more follow me on some of my social media sites which are the following:

Facebook: @Will Berry

Twitter: @WillyyB_

Snapchat: @WillyyBernardoo

Instagram: @yoo_willyb

-Will B.

Houston Rockets and Chinese Partnerships?

Anyone that knows me knows that my favorite basketball team is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets have a lot of sponsors and they do a lot within their community. Their biggest sponsor just so happens to be Toyota who has the naming rights to their stadium.

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Recently the Rockets have reached an agreement with a Chinese firm. Scisky a home-decor company signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with the Rockets. Former rockets star and NBA Hall of famer Yao Ming is the company’s spokesperson.  The chairman of Lanzhou Scisky, Dai Jiabing said that the NBA is a highly professional and most influential basketball league in the world with billions of fans. Dai believes the “Rockets are the most popular NBA team: it is beloved by people of all races and ages because of its winning and team spirit. I am sure this partnership will help us to convey our message about healthy living.”

The rockets were known for taking a shot by drafting Yao Ming who is regarded as one of the most famous Chinese basketball players ever. This agreement expanded the team’s corporate base with Chinese companies to seven in total.  Tad Brown CEO of the Houston Rockets believes that the Rockets ability to grow globally through his sheer greatness was very evident from the beginning from playing the first game to the number of games broadcast over the years in China” When speaking on Yao Ming’s connection to the Rockets with China.

Over the past three years the Houston R        ockets have gained numerous different partner and sponsorships. Some of those include the ever-most popular Draft Kings and the new sport drink Body Armor. In my opinion Body Armor still has a way to go if it wants to compete with Gatorade or my favorite PowerAde. Being the sports fanatic that I am I have noticed Body Armor on more and more NBA team benches as they hydrate during the game. They have partnerships with some NBA teams as their towels, drinks, and even cups have been spotted on some team benches.

I believe the Draft Kings deal was huge for both sides. Draft Kings gained a respectable professional franchise as a partner. While on the other hand the Rockets gained a partnership with one of the largest US- based destination for fantasy sports. This can lead to an increase in fans or support for both the Rockets and Draft Kings as people see they are now partners.

In the world of sports sponsors can play a big part in how things may be funded along with your team’s popularity. I’ve met people from my hometown that said the only reason they root for the Washington Redskins is because of their partnership with Papa Johns pizza. I’ve also met people from my hometown that support certain teams because of what they do in the community.

I personally support the Houston Rockets not only because they’ve had some of my past favorite players and current favorite player James Harden on their roster but because of what they’re doing in the community. With the 7 current Chinese partnerships, the Rockets are almost building a bridge between American and Chinese business. They’re also expanding the game of basketball and their fan base to the Chinese people and culture. This can all be credited to Yao Ming who has high praise for the rockets front office due to him being a former player of the team.

I like what the Houston Rockets are doing and hope to see them continue making international partnership moves as the franchise continues to show elegance and class.

  • Will B.

End of The Road: Take a Look Back.

As you may know, I am currently enrolled in a sport marketing class this semester which just so happens to be coming to an end. Now in this course I took away a lot of valuable information that I’m sure I will apply in my future career.last blog

One of the most important aspects I took away from this class is the use of social media as a branding tool. Social media is arguably one the most important aspects of our generation. It’s something that is constantly evolving with every couple of year a new application emerging as the newest form of social media. With the number of people who are involved with apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat social media should be a main tool for anyone to market a brand. Social media if used properly can help increase your fan base and help promote big games or events to boost ticket sales.

The importance of understanding and knowing the different types of marketing research will be highly pivotal in the sport business industry that I’m looking to work in.  Marketing research plays a huge part in trying to get a certain product on a specific market. You must know your target audience along with the market your product would be in. There’s multiple ways that you can find out what your consumers may like from your company or specific products. ESPN happens to poll their fan base with various sports topics which they inquire their perspective on those topics. I’ve also seen many companies use the poll creation feature on their Twitter page to poll their followers on certain products or question they have for their consumers.

I learned about Sport brands and how they are managed. In this class, we dissected and analyzed the university of Oregon’s athletic brand. We were assigned two assignments that were a marketing paper and a paper on the Oregon Ducks brand. We read a book called Brands win championships by Jeremy Darlow. Darlow argued that brands win championships not defense or any other factor. He claimed that the stronger the brand the better the reputation and players. In the Oregon duck paper, I was given the chance to express my opinion on the Oregon brand. I also posted a counter argument against Darlow in my marketing paper. Sport brands can make or break your athletic programs especially in collegiate athletics. The colleges or universities with the most athletic success or championships tend to have the top brands in the country.

Sponsors are a big part of the sport business world especially when it comes to funding venues or helping with ticket sales. Being from Maryland, living right outside of Washington D. C.  the Washington redskins have a sponsorship with Papa John’s pizza. They have this promo deal that for every touchdown the skins win by you get a free topping on a large pizza. Sponsorships are extremely big in Nascar where to have any type of logo on your car or money for your team you must have sponsors.

Learning what a sport product was one of my favorite segments that we happened to do in this course. The importance of core and extensions from the core were expressed while we covered this topic. I found an interesting point made when we learned about this was that Nike’s brand was almost valued at triple the value of Adidas brand.

I valued everything that we learned in this class. I came in knowing more about marketing in general than sport marketing, but I’m leaving out knowing way more than I did coming in. I think that’s how it should be when taking a class especially in college. I mean what’s the point of taking a college course if you’re not getting your tuition’s worth, right?

Closing this blog post, this isn’t my last blog but it is my last blog while I’m in this course. I hope you enjoyed reading my post.

 

-Will B.

Oregon Ducks: How Did they do it?

After recently doing an assessment on the university of Oregon’s athletic brand I learned a lot. The information I gathered from digging further into the brand expanded my horizon on the university of Oregon athletics. Below I would just like to take the time to share my opinions and analysis based on the information I have gathered from this brand.

I started off giving a brief history on the school and its athletic program. I was intrigued on the history the athletic program had. My most interesting finding was that their track team has won more championships than any other sport at the school. Now to most, that is surprising since Oregon’s football team has been a top program since the mid-2000s until now.

After reading on the brand and secret behind its success I now understand why Oregon athletics became so big. With the help of a company with the popularity and rep of Nike than you can achieve pretty much anything you may like. Having the founders of Nike attend and coach at your university is a big help when it comes to marketing your athletic brand.

The founders of Nike had a plan to take their alma mater over the top and set a trend for college athletic brands. The implementation of unique facilities that appeal to the perspective athletes and their parents all the way to the flashy uniforms and basketball court was meant to expand the Oregon brand. Specifically, their unique jersey combinations have put them on top as a known collegiate athletics program. Ever since Oregon started designing multiple alternative jerseys many schools across the country are implanting currently.

Many marketing professionals found that Oregon’s brand success is a huge credit towards their relationship with Nike. Nike in a sense made the brand what is it is today. In my assignment, I compared Oregon and Nikes relationship to the relationship that the university of Maryland has with under armour.  Like Oregon the founder of under armour attended the university of Maryland and wanted to boost the brand of his alma mater.  He created unique jersey colorways that always implemented the Maryland state flag which is one of the most popular in my opinion.

These marketers argued that without these other well established brands that most of these popular collegiate sport brands wouldn’t be has popular of successful. I agree with this to an extent though, I think that collegiate brands can still be successful without big brands backing them up. Look at the Alabama’s or the Ohio states, these are schools that have strong brands because of the reputations they have built with their athletics. Schools who are known for their athletic excellence will always be able to have a strong and successful brand.

From this assignment, I’ve concluded that Oregon has a great athletic brand. The only thing is that Oregon’s athletic brand wouldn’t be what it is if It wasn’t for Nike. Oregon in my observation is an athletic program who’s won championships in various sports sporadically with the national championship for football always eluding them.  Nike made them what they are today if it wasn’t for Nike who knows where the University of Oregon’s athletic brand would be or rank on the national level.

 

-Will B.

College Athletics and Social Media .

Social media and athletics go hand and hand. especially on the collegiate level where how you use social media can make or break your athletic program. I chose to pick a NCAA division 2 school athletics and analyze their use of social media.  I decided to look at Indiana University of Pennsylvania or otherwise known as IUP .

Now IUP’s athletics uses all four of the most popular social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Based on my general analysis IUP uses social media in a highly effective way to get their sports teams news out to the public.

Their Twitter  page seems to have a great support by students, fans, and alumni due to the page having 8,644 followers. The page features a short bio explaining what the account is and naming the usernames for IUP’s Instagram and Snapchat. Page also has a link that takes you directly to the home page for IUP athletics. For their most important stories or news they seem to pin that tweet to their page so it’s always the first one seen no matter how long ago it was posted.

IUP’s Instagram page has a great deal of support from their fan base with having 2,377 followers. This page once again features a small bio with a link that leads to the athletics website homepage.  Different from IUP’s twitter page this page feature pictures as promotions for athletes of the week, upcoming big games, or just to notify fans of players from various sports that were awarded for conference or national awards.  The pictures that are used as promos for big games tend to feature popular players for that sports team. This page also features a lot of live action photos from sporting events which seem to draw a lot of likes from the page followers.

The Facebook page is very alike with the Instagram page but also shares some features that are like the Twitter page.  The Facebook page also has a great following from fans of IUP athletics. The page displays everything that is shared on the twitter and Instagram pages along with post that allow for followers to reply with their reactions to certain games or articles.

The Snapchat account of IUP athletics is the most creative and interesting one. The accounts profile picture is of IUP’s mascot which is a crimson hawk. This is a unique use of social media because it gives their fans a live look at in action sporting events. They can capture big home runs, big play touchdowns, or game winning shots from this social media account which connects their fans directly to these moments.

I found IUP athletics use of social media to be highly effective with little to none suggestions of improvement I could provide to them. I think on their twitter page they should take advantage of the poll creator tool twitter allows you to do. If IUP has several different uniform combos maybe they could poll their twitter followers to see which combo, they would want to see more for the upcoming game. This would get their fans more involved with the athletic teams and make them feel more a part of IUP athletics. By far IUP’s Snapchat was the best social media account they had for the sole purpose of connecting fans and promoting sporting events. This even gives certain athletes the chance to address their school’s fans and tell them how much they appreciate them.

The use of a live Snapchat story at a game is creative and will generate more fans to follow that school’s athletics. I wish Wesleyan would implement this because the use of Snapchat properly can be beneficial for all of Wesleyan’s sports teams.

-Will B.

Our Senses Decide Our Purchases?

After reading this blog post by Evan Brown   I now realize how influential your five senses can be on your experience with a brand as a customer.

In my opinion the most important sense which I believe is smell is heavily influential on your brand experience.  The blog talked about how when you first get new car and the fresh off the lot smell that comes with it.  The smell is something that is so appealing that we can’t get enough of it. In fact, we look forward more to the smell of the new car instead of the features or quality of the car.

Cinnabon is a company who continues to dominate with positive customer experiences with their brand because of their powerful aroma. Who can say they can truly resist the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls being baked which is highly enticing to any customer passing by.

When it comes to the sense of sound or hearing I believe that this sense is the most common with my personal brand experience.  The blog talked about how a brand experience through the sense of sound may be achieved. These methods or ways include a catchy jingle or song, crunch of certain cereals, crumple of fancy paper, messenger alert sounds, and many others. I believe the most powerful is background music played in restaurants and retail stores.

There’s a study that shows restaurants who play soft and slow music are better able to make patrons or customers spend more time and money than restaurants who play fast paced music. I personally prefer shoe stores such as finish line and footlocker because they tend to play songs that I know and like so it’s easy for me to build a connection with those brands.  Emily Anthes stated that “shoppers make more impulsive purchases when they’re overstimulated” which I completely agree with.

Sight is one of the most seductive branding tools. Geoff Crook stated that “83% of the information people retain is received visually”.  From the content, typography, imagery, and color companies choose to present in the streets and digital markets help shape a consumer’s perception of and experience with your brand. Visually a brand that sticks out not only to me but many others is McDonalds.

You always know when your close to one because of those golden arches sitting pretty in the sky that catches your attention. Another thing they have that catches your eyes is the appearance they give their French fries and French fry cup. Think back to seeing that product in a McDonald’s commercial they give their fries an almost godly appearance with a glowing aura around them.

Taste is another big sense within the concept of branding. Taste can make or break any and every product within the food and drink industry. Lindstrom had claimed that “more than 18 percent of the fortune 1,000 companies have the potential to leverage the prowess of taste into their brands but have yet to delve into this option”. The battles between common rivals such as Coke and Pepsi or Pizza Hut and dominoes all come down to taste. When it comes to food and drink we always buy or want what taste the best. No matter if concerns of the food being healthy or not. If the taste is appealing than we will buy it. No matter what.

Using the sense of touch is said to be a tricky task many brands. Most specifically online retailers face the most challenge using touch.  Stores such as Apple or Gamestop allow their customers to touch and play around with their products which I see as a boost when it comes to selling a product. Apple allows you to hold all f other laptops, tablets, and cellphones so you can make a choice or judgement on what you’re looking to buy. I liked that especially when I was trying to decide between a regular iPhone and a plus size eye phone. I personally love it when I’m allowed to touch and get a feel for a product. I experience the sense of touch a lot in a shoe store especially if I’m trying shoes on to get a feel for them.

I think that Wesleyan should focus on using the sense of sight to improve their brand. When it comes to what Wesleyan can do I think they could consider putting a football monitor with a display screen on the field instead of the current scoreboard. The football field is in such a convenient and nice location that putting a scoreboard that lights up and displays the game on it would draw more of a crowd to the field. I believe this would be useful for the other sports that use the field and the track that’s around it.

Track and field and Lacrosse would benefit hugely along with football with the implement of this scoreboard. Many students on campus have claimed that they’re never aware of some of the sporting events on campus. If the scoreboard is large enough, you’ll be able to see if a game is going on or not. I think the implementation of this scoreboard for the football field would be a huge step into improving the brand of Wesleyans athletic department. The more things that pop out to people around campus the more people will show interest into what is going on.

Agree?

-Will B.

Wesleyan, How Do We Expand Our Brand?

The video we watched in class was from a presentation Michael Grahl gave at his Alma mater University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Michael Grahl is the vice president of digital platforms for the Milwaukee bucks.  He oversees all digital marketing efforts for the Milwaukee bucks. He talked distinctly about the Milwaukee bucks and how they promote and display their brand. He expressed the multiple ways that they try to expand their brand. Grahl helps the Bucks focus on content creation, fan engagement, brand building, and revenue generation. I found the way they market with millennial’s extremely interesting. I also like that he stated the variables he can control and the variables he can’t. He can’t control if the Bucks lose or win he can only control how good of an experience the fans have.

Here at Wesleyan I think we need to take those variables that we can and can’t control into consideration. For the sports we don’t support as much because they’re not that competitive and they lose a lot we need to realize we have no control over that. We can control how fans engage and interact with our sports programs here though. Grahl mentioned that their players are their biggest and best assets and he’s absolutely correct. The Milwaukee bucks use media day as their biggest promo by using their player son social media accounts to connect with fans.

I think that a media day would bring a lot of fan attention to Wesleyan especially with the sports that are our most popular. Say if the football team at Wesleyan had a snapchat account. We can load up snaps of pictures and vids of the various players during their media day. Maybe have one of the best players on the team or the team captain take over the account for a day leading up to a big game or something of that sort. I feel that this will help draw bigger crowds and create more of a college game feeling that I know many of the students seek here at Wesleyan.

Another thing Grahl mentioned was how they let fans hang out and bond with some of their players. He mentioned how John Henson loves to fish and that he was wanting and willing to fishing with a fan. I think that’s something we can do here at Wesleyan. Say we take one of our popular basketball players like Mo and we let some fans hang out with him and play a game of 1 on 1 or just shoot some pool. That builds a deeper connection between the players and fans.  In a way Wesleyan does a good job with that since certain of their athletic programs are heavily involved with the community. I think community service and involvement makes the connection between the community who are potential fans stronger with the Wesleyan sport teams.

I think some of the coaches and members of the athletic department at Wesleyan should take a look at this video presentation featuring Michael Grahl. Grahl provided a lot of helpful ways that even NCAA division ll sports programs at Wesleyan can do to promote their perspective sports. I think we can learn a lot from him and build our fan base to be stronger and more supportive. It’s about time that we stop relying on friends and family to be in the stands and start working our way to actually building a true fan base for this small school of ours.

 

-Will B.

#D.C.Rising ?

Washington D.C. residents and residents around the metropolitan area which includes Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are very supportive of their Washington D.C. sports teams. All the love and support for the Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards in recent years has sprung this new trend on social media of #D.C.Rising. Now the question I bring up to you is how do these sport organizations attract us to come out and attend a sports game? What are these sports clubs target audiences?

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Posted above is the first ad which is for a Wiz Kids auditions. Now if you’ve been to a Wizards game you know that the wiz kids are a key and intricate part of the crowd experience for their games. You would typically find an advertisement like this outside of The target audience for this ad is pretty self-explanatory being it gives you the age requirements on the flyer. Children both boys and girls ages six through fourteen are welcomed for these auditions no matter their race.

This ad not only speaks to the children who potentially would want to attend this audition but to the parents or guardians of those children who would want to see their child as a “Wiz Kid”. Now mainly residents of Washington D.C. would be the intended for this advertisement. Since D.C. is essentially a hub where a large number of Maryland and Virginia residents work they aren’t excluded from the Geographic of this advertisement.

This audition ad is intended for those who enjoy the spotlight or like to be center of attention. If any of these kids actually became a “Wiz kid” they would be highly focused on throughout a Wizards game as they interact with the crowd. If your child seems to shy away from attention of others than you won’t be as interest in this advertisement as someone who’s kid loves the spotlight. Basically any resident within the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area with a child or children within the ages of six and fourteen will be the target audience of this particular Washington wizards “Wiz Kid” audition. Just as long as their kid likes a lot of attention and potential television time.

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The second ad posted above is for a presidential race of president mascots at an upcoming Washington Nationals game. Now everyone knows that mascot races are a baseball game heritage. Especially at a National’s game where the mascots tend to be famous American presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. This advertisement like most is found on the side of a D.C metro bus which are highly popular in the area since it’s the most efficient way of travel besides walking.

The target audience for this ad would be baseball fans ages as young as seven all the way to at least early sixties. Of course it is solely focused on males who are for the most part more involved in sports than females. I think specifically children ages seven to ten are extremely the target because they are the ones who find these mascot races to be amusing and fun to watch. This ad is also open to all fans no matter their race. I know typically when baseball first came out it had a predominately Caucasian fan base but now the game is international with a majority of its fans being based out of the Mexico and south America areas along with numerous Asian countries.

The geographic target for this ad is the same as the ad I talked about earlier. This ad is a target to National’s or baseball fans in general located within the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. This ad is for fans that attend games for more than just the contest. This is for the fans who love everything such as t-shirts being tossed in to the crowd to fan arguments about the previous play. Fans who don’t get emotionally involved within the game aren’t the target audience for this advertisement by the Nationals.

So basically what we learned from all of this is that sport organization ads have a distinct purpose. They’re meant to catch the attention of certain types of fans so they can attend those specific events. Advertisements are also placed in certain areas based on the importance of the event such as the Nationals wanting a big turnout at an upcoming game. They would place the ad about the presidential mascot race on the side of D.C. metro buses because people would see those all day everyday on public transportation vehicles such as buses. The ad about the “Wiz kid” auditions would be passed out during a Wizards game or advertised on the jumbo-tron at the Verizon center during a Wizards game or a Capitals game since they share the same stadium. Both of these ads communicate effectively to their target audiences with no confusion being stirred up.

-Will B.