In August 2016, a group of Freed-Hardeman University students participated in a sports marketing course that gave them the opportunity to gain real world experience.
The first week of the course was spent in the classroom learning how sport franchises operate as a business. The following week was spent visiting different sport venues and meeting with their marketing executives. The class took a weeklong field trip that included visits to Turner Field, Phillips Arena and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, as well as Talladega Speedway in Alabama.
The course seeks to provide students a hands-on experience that equips them with skills they can use after they graduate.
Reflection on this Engaged Learning experience by professor Lee Hibbett:
"The first week of class was spent in the classroom laying the educational groundwork with lectures, group activities, exams, etc. The second week connected the material from week one with the application of that material in several real-world settings. We found ourselves not only observing sports marketing, but also being immersed in it. As an instructor, it was gratifying to watch the students enter Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves game, and get excited as they pointed to different promotions and exclaimed, 'Look! Chick-fil-a and Coca Cola have branded space like we talked about in class!' What had only been learned concepts and theories before, came to life as we engaged in activities like joining thousands of other fans doing the 'tomahawk chop' with the Chick-fil-a Cow, crossing the checkered finish line at Talladega in the FHU bus, and discussing the buzz and news coverage of the recently released Atlanta Hawks 'All Emoji' schedule with the social media manager who had created it. In addition to bridging the textbook with the real world, the experience also bridged FHU and our students with sports organizations and professionals in the field of sports marketing. Internships and even full-time employment possibilities have been enthusiastically offered to our students through these connections. Finally, it was exciting for me to build relationships with my students and watch them gain valuable insights by interacting with sports marketing professionals-insights I certainly could not have provided in the classroom."