University of Dayton to host sport competition

DAYTON, Ohio (March 16, 2001) - Students from three Ohio universities are putting their marketing skills to use to see whose school logo will adorn an ASA ACDelco stock car and be seen during a nationally televised ASA event. The University of...

DAYTON, Ohio (March 16, 2001) - Students from three Ohio universities are putting their marketing skills to use to see whose school logo will adorn an ASA ACDelco stock car and be seen during a nationally televised ASA event.

The University of Dayton is hosting a competition for sport management students from UD, Xavier University and Kent State University on Saturday, March 24. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. and will be held in Kennedy Union, rooms 311-313.

Throughout the afternoon, two teams from each school will present their sponsorship marketing proposals to Stump Racing Enterprises, a family-owned racing business from Piqua, Ohio. Stump plans to use the winning plan to help the team generate the $400,000 to $600,000 needed to race in the nationally touring American Speed Association.

To show his gratitude, Stump will place the logo of the winning school somewhere on the race car for the entire ASA season, a 20-race circuit that runs from mid-February to late September.

Members of the Stump team and three independent judges will determine the winner, which will be announced at 2:30 p.m. the day of the competition.

Stump hopes to compete in the ASA's ACDelco series, considered by many in the business as the country's premier short-track racing event. ASA races are broadcast live each spring and summer on The National Network (TNN).

The ASA circuit has been the training ground for many of today's most popular Winston Cup and NASCAR drivers, including Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin. Stump's driver, Mike Rush, won driver of the year by the Dayton Auto Race Fan Club in 2000.

The unorthodox union of students and a professional racing team was the brainchild of Dale Stump, owner and founder of Stump Racing, and Peter Titlebaum, an assistant professor of health and sport science at the University of Dayton. Stump, nearly empty of ideas for attracting major sponsors, sent letters to a number of sport management departments throughout Ohio in 2000, seeking novel ways to market its team.

Titlebaum explains, "We got the letter and thought it would be a great opportunity for our students to get involved in a hands-on, real-world project. At the same time, we thought it would be great to include other schools in a competitive atmosphere.

"This will give sport management students the chance to work on a project for someone in the sports industry who wants a creative solution from a fresh perspective. You can't get this type of experience in the classroom," he adds.

"Sponsorship for auto racing is awful tight," says Stump, who has been involved in local racing since 1954. "We had to come up with another approach, so we decided to take it to college students. I think they're going to do a great job."

Student team proposals will be judged on how well they're organized, professional in appearance, readable, comprehensive and to the degree in which the judges were "sold" on the presentation. Each team will have 15 minutes to present its marketing strategy to the judges.

The proposals, Titlebaum says, will include a list of one potential major sponsor ($200,000 and above) from Ohio and three support sponsors, a draft of a letter to be sent to those sponsors and a one-page executive summary to a proposed sponsor on why it s hould support the racing team.

Titlebaum regularly connects classroom principles to extracurricular, real-world projects.

"So much of college can be regurgitation of memorized facts and data," Titlebaum says. "UD believes that students shouldn't have to wait to graduate to get real-world experience. We want them to get it before they enter the job market to give them an advan tage over competition that hasn't had this kind of experience."

The University of Dayton's sport management program, which is sponsoring the event, prepares students for careers in a number of fields, including sporting event and facilities management; sports organizations, clubs and federations; newspaper, television and sporting goods; and vocations in public and private recreation. The program's most recognizable graduate is Dan Patrick, sportscaster on ESPN's Sportscenter and his own show on ESPN radio.

"This is so much different from our usual school projects," says Joel Balthaser, a sport management major at UD. "We're creating a real marketing plan that could actually benefit a real company. It's exciting."

-University of Dayton

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Series Automotive , Stock car
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Mark Martin