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Full Day With Class, Pacers Visit

Kyle Greaves - After an exciting, event-filled, fun packed first day, and a night of heavy reading, day two of the trip began late, as sleep-deprived students strolled in a little late. After the slow start, the day picked up in speed fast with the arrival of our first guest speaker, Chuck Kocal.

Kocal spent an hour enlightening the immersion group about how companies segment markets into categories. There are a few main categories he led us in a discussion about: demographics, psychographics, and geographic regions. After the lecture with Chuck, Ken Turchi, Wabash graduate and group co-leader alongside Lu Hamilton, recaptured the group and led us in a debriefing of the previous night's reading, as well as Mr. Kocal’s lecture.

During the debriefing and a case study about the Hummer SUV, the group broke for a pizza lunch. The lunch was followed by continued discussion and preparation for the trip to Conseco Fieldhouse, the Pacers' basketball stadium. We left for the stadium and a short drive down Meridian later, we arrived at the Conseco Fieldhouse. There we were led to a conference room to have a chat with the leader of all marketing that takes place in the field house, including all basketball events. We learned that there are many sides to the marketing, but the team uses many of the segmentations we learned about in the morning to help distribute advertisements to key areas with high chance of purchasing season tickets, which is their main focus for advertising.

Jim Johnson opened to Q&A, and I proceeded to ask something anyone reading this probably is hoping to learn: “What steps did you take, or recommend someone to take, to get into sports marketing, especially at such a high level as with the Pacers?” He suggested to take any sports internship available, pursue any internship around the sports or marketing environment, even if it isn’t the particular aspect you want to pursue. RUB ELBOWS and create as much of a network as possible. He continued by suggesting very interested seekers to jump into the company at a low level such as ticket sales. Most of the serious employees starting in sales, who prove they are committed and are good salesmen, get the chance to advance their career and move up the rankings.

Re-stressing: Get any internship you can related to the field, volunteer if no internship is available, network as much as possible, talk to everyone and rub elbows with anyone who might be able to mentor or help along your career path.

After the awesome session, Ken Turchi left the group for the evening, and the students proceeded to Hooters for dinner. After dinner and Pat Patterson’s “birthday” at Hooters, we proceed back to the Conseco Fieldhouse for our free Pacers game, which undoubtedly was in the nosebleed section. An amazing day and looking forward to the rest of the trip.

In photo: Johnson talks about marketing plans for the Indiana Fever.