A night at Fenway is cheaper than you think. If you’re a high school or college student, you can get a Boston Red Sox standing-room ticket for only $9. There’s just one problem—not many people know about the “Student 9s” discount program.
To come up with a solution, the Red Sox executive marketing team enlisted the help of Suffolk undergraduate students. Business students in the Honors Research Methods, Sports Marketing, and Services Marketing courses conducted thorough marketing research and came up with a variety of strategic recommendations.
Their marketing research was intensive. They toured Fenway Park, interviewed current students, performed a detailed situational analysis, created and implemented online surveys via Qualtrics, and analyzed their results with SPSS. Along the way, they were also able to submit questions to the Red Sox executives.
The students came back with many interesting insights. Some of the common trends included the need for more entertainment between innings and discounted food and beverage options. They also discovered that many colleges offer their own discounted tickets, which directly compete with the Student 9s program.
On December 11, the students presented their strategic recommendations during a research poster session at Suffolk. They came up with innovative ideas that ranged from social apps and gamification to digital advertising campaigns and loyalty cards. One student team even suggested rebranding the program as College Nation.
Some of their ideas may even be implemented by the Red Sox in the future. All of the final projects are being submitted to the Red Sox marketing team for review.
“The quality of work conducted by these students is exceptional. We have a truly unique curriculum that requires all undergraduate BSBA students to conduct sophisticated marketing research for a professional client. In addition, we have research students working collaboratively with upper-level marketing courses to create solutions for the client,” said Department of Marketing Chair Catherine McCabe.
Professor McCabe spearheaded Suffolk’s academic partnership with the Boston Red Sox. “This is our most recent relationship with a Boston-area organization. It enables us to create cutting-edge learning experiences for our students. Engaging BSBA students, as early as their second year, with real business research consulting challenges, is both exceptionally challenging and rewarding for students,” Professor McCabe said. It also helps students differentiate themselves when they apply for internships and career opportunities, she said.
“What I have found over the past several years is that the consulting clients, Boston Red Sox marketing team included, and I are always impressed with the students’ work. More importantly, students are proud of the results they provide the clients,” said Professor McCabe.
In addition to the Red Sox, Suffolk also works closely with other Boston sports teams and organizations, including the Celtics and CSNNE. As part of the Department of Marketing’s Sports Marketing and Business curriculum, students frequently work on marketing consulting projects, and many others have completed internships and landed full-time jobs.