USM Sport Management collaborates with the New Orleans Pelicans

Mon., 12/16/2019 – 13:01 | By: Van Arnold

The University of Southern Mississippi’s sports management program collaborated with NBA member New Orleans Pelicans in its sports marketing course this fall semester, allowing undergraduate students to participate in the professional sales process. tickets.

Dr. Chris Croft, assistant professor of sports management, and Jesse Nantz, New Orleans Pelicans group sales account manager, led the joint effort.

“With their recent off-season enthusiasm, I thought this would be a great opportunity to partner with the Pelicans and allow our students to gain valuable experience in the marketing and sales process of the sport,” Croft said. .

Nantz said, “This was the first year we introduced our college sales program at a college in Mississippi State. As a new partner in this program and given the distance from New Orleans, we weren’t sure how effective the program would be. However, the students were very receptive to the tasks presented to them and excited to learn what it takes to sell professional sports. Even when faced with new challenges, such as injuries to key Pelicans players, students sought unique solutions to continue selling the Pelicans experience.

Nantz orchestrated three training sessions during the semester which included:

  • Sales process including promotions
  • Role-playing and cross-selling
  • Closing the deal and overcoming the challenges

The first session introduced students to the Pelicans franchise, including recent events with NBA No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson, and the sales process, including promotions. The second session focused on role-playing situations and cross-selling.

Students were able to participate in both seller and buyer roles to better understand the sales process and learned how to expand their business reach through their personal contacts. The third session included closing the deal and trying to overcome the challenges of the sale.

“Unfortunately, the Pelicans season did not start as planned with significant injuries, but it allowed our students to learn the increased challenges of sports marketing and sales in the face of injuries and a slow start in the face of potential fans. , Croft said.

Nantz added, “To date, the class has been able to help the Pelicans generate over $6,000 in financial revenue, and we look forward to continuing this partnership with future classes.

To learn more about the Sports Management program at USM, call 601.266.4627 or visit:

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