Nashville Predators hope college students can stir up fan frenzy

Nashville Predators logoVanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute finds a creative way to attract fans

This year’s hockey season was hailed as a “breakthrough season” for the Nashville Predators. With 16 regular season sellouts and unprecedented postseason success, winning their first ever Stanley Cup playoff series, the team finds itself with strong community support moving into next season.

As the Preds look to capitalize on their recent success, establishing a comprehensive grassroots marketing plan is a priority. To assist in the creation of this critical portion of the team’s marketing plan, the Preds are teaming up with the students from the Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute to explore the keys to effectively attract and convert new fans through creative, community-centric initiatives.

The program’s students will create a full-scale, grassroots campaign to increase the team’s penetration into the market place, leading to higher sales, helping to turn occasional visitors into season ticket holders.

The Accelerator Summer Business Institute is an intense month-long business boot camp run by the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. In the program, college students and recent graduates from across the country are immersed in a competitive business environment, working to create the winning solution to real challenges from top local and national companies. The students hone essential skills in marketing, sales, finance, real estate, research and corporate strategy, while participating companies receive the brain power, creativity and proposals from at least eight teams of highly motivated millennials.

Final presentations will be held on Friday, June 24 at 8 a.m. at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management’s Averbuch Auditorium.

The Preds will vote on the winning project immediately after the presentations. If you’d like to attend, please contact Amy Wolf.

Other Accelerator projects include:

  • Yazoo Brewing Company- Manage a fast-growing business
    Annual growth at Yazoo has averaged around 20 percent, but last year is swelled to 45 percent. Yazoo wants Accelerator teams to explore what is driving this growth. The company is considering expanding its manufacturing capacity and needs to know if the current growth in demand is sustainable and a forecast of how big the local and regional market will be in the next five years in order to decide how much additional capacity it should build.
  • Universal Music Group- Monetizing the value of social networks
    Universal Music wants the Accelerator teams to explore social networking trends among artists and corporate brands to develop methods to grow, maintain and monetize Universal Music’s artists’ social networks and consumer databases. Specifically, the company wants to discover ways to engage fans to attract online membership and increase brand loyalty. Lastly, UMG hopes to estimate the value of its social media strategy by valuing a Facebook “likes,” Twitter follows, and other online tools.
  • Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee- Local branding campaign
    Many people have heard of Junior Achievement, but few are clear on what exactly it does. With eight local constituencies and 24 programs, it is vital to increase awareness of the brand. Junior Achievement Worldwide has recently released a national branding campaign. Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee operates as a franchise and has the option of how much or how little to adopt of the national branding initiatives. The challenge for the Accelerator teams is to create brand identity for Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee and a program for promoting the local brand to all eight of its constituencies.

Learn more about Accelerator here. To follow the progress of the Accelerator students and their projects, check out Accelerator on Facebook–search for Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute.

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes.