Marketing students promote Mercer Bears baseball

Senior marketing students are working to promote Mercer University’s baseball team by inviting students, faculty, and local families to themed games held on Claude Smith Field throughout the semester.
The baseball-marketing group, self titled as the SSBE Marketing Group is part of a yearlong Strategic Marketing Management Class. Students learn the principles of strategic marketing in the fall, and apply those concepts through an internship in the spring.
Professor of the marketing group, Tammy Crutchfield said each year the students work with a “real world client.” Mercer’s baseball team has been their client for two consecutive years.
Shortstop for Mercer’s baseball team and marketing student, Evan Boyd serves as the group’s liaison. “We appreciate everything they’re doing for us, and it has definitely helped,” said Boyd.
Mercer baseball’s previous graduate marketing assistant, Dan Kline, wrote a baseball marketing strategy for one of Crutchfield’s MBA classes.
Kline’s marketing strategy inspired Crutchfield to make Mercer’s baseball team a client of her Strategic Marketing Management Class.
“I just felt like it would be a great way for us to make a difference for the team, and also have a good time doing the project,” said Crutchfield.
During the spring internship, students are given specific jobs within the group. Crutchfield is the chief executive officer and Cassie Roy is the president of the marketing group.
Roy oversees five vice presidents in charge of events, public relations, social media, advertising, and marketing research.
The rest to the class is broken up into four groups focused on different target audiences, each with their own director. The target audiences are students, faculty, families, and businesses.
“Last year was a shotgun approach to marketing, and this year we’re targeting specific markets to make the game experience exciting,” said Crutchfield
The marketing group is focusing on families with children on Little League Baseball teams because they have already shown interest in the sport.
The group is marketing Mercer baseball games as “The Corridor’s premier outdoor sports experience,” to the community said Crutchfield.
The family group is focusing on the College Hill Corridor community.
“People want to feel a part of something and Mercer wants to feel a part of the community, so we help each other,” said vice president of events, Kayla Anderson.
The marketing group wants to make attending Mercer baseball games a tradition for the local community. Boyd said this local support would help increase the fan base while strengthening the baseball program and Mercer as a whole.
During the next couple of weeks the marketing group has scheduled five birthday parties to encourage local families to attend games.
Birthday parties give children an opportunity to run on the field with the players and stand with them for the national anthem.
Also, the birthday boy or girl throws the first pitch during the game. After the game the players sign autographs while talking to the parents and children.
“Its fun to have those guys by our sides and teach them little things about baseball,” said Boyd.
The social media vice president, Heather Strange, made a Mercer Baseball Facebook page to communicate inform about events and the team. She also created a Twitter account to post live updates about the team during games.
In addition to this, the group has a Mercer baseball blog on WordPress where to relay more information about the team to encourage support.
“We want the students to know who the players are, and to feel like they have an investment in each of those players,” said Anderson.
This Wednesday there will be an Easter themed baseball game on Claude Smith Field at 6 p.m. The event will include an appearance from the Easter Bunny, and an Easter egg hunt.
Reformed University Fellowship is singing the national anthem. The Dean of Chapel, Craig McMahan, will throw the first pitch.
The current graduate marketing assistant Lee Walker works with the students from the marketing group to implement their events.
“This year they’ve tuned in on what they want to do and who they want to target,” said Walker. “I’ve seen an increase in attendance [at baseball games].”