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DU Sports Marketing Program Creates Win for Students, Alumni and Athletics

Duquesne University’s Sports Marketing Program has created a win-win-win situation for the Duquesne Dukes men’s basketball team, basketball fans and its students with a new classroom initiative.

The initiative, tagged The Bull Pen, provided students with real-life learning as they called Duquesne alumni and former season ticket holders to sell a package of tickets for the last home games of the Dukes’ interesting season.

Calls from the 10 students brought in more than $2,500 in sales to the Dukes –more than twice the goal—and helped to remind former Dukes fans how enjoyable and exciting game time can be.

The Bull Pen was part of a Sports Sales and Revenue Production course, a new segment of the Sports Marketing Programs’ core curriculum, and provided an opportunity to enhance sales skills and provide real-life experiences that are so highly sought by employers.

“This is something student can put on their resumes,” said Dr. Ron Dick, who teaches the course. “If you can sell in the sports industry, you’ll always have a job.”

While students most often mature over time, Dick had the rare opportunity to watch them change within a matter of hours. Armed with in-class role-playing situations, scripts and phone lists, students turned into sales people over the course of a single evening.

“At school, students learn to think, write and speak better, but it’s rare to see that growth in a couple of days,” Dick said. “I had to ask, ‘Are you the same person I saw at 5 o’clock?’ They morphed right in front of us.”

“Under Ron’s direction, the students proved that, with some training, they could become effective sale people in a relatively short amount of time,” said Bob Derda, associate athletic director, external relations. “That’s important for anybody, regardless of whether you become a sales person or not.”

“This presented a win-win-win situation, for the business students, for the Athletics Department and for alumni,” Derda said. “We look forward to working with Ron Dick and his students again and in expanding this marketing effort to other Duquesne sports.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.