Cool Classes: Marketing Pink the Rink

Posted on Monday, December 7, 2015

Professor Stephen Stuart at the ceremonial face-off with City of Ottawa councillor Mathieu Fleury and opposing players from the University of Montreal and uOttawa.

Professor Stephen Stuart (pictured right, at the back) at the ceremonial face-off with City of Ottawa councillor Mathieu Fleury. Photo: Richard A. Whittaker
By Brandon Gillet

A Pink the Rink hockey game raised funds for breast cancer research and provided sports marketing students with a fun learning experience last month.

Students in Professor Stephen Stuart’s APA4145 class put what they had learned about event management, media relations, promotion and surveys to good use, raising around $1,000 for Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.

“It’s easy to do the traditional thing, talking in front of a class, but I thought marketing should be more fun than that,” said Stuart.

Professor Stuart worked with Sports Services to convert a game on November 15 between the uOttawa Gee-Gee’s women’s hockey team and their rivals, the University of Montreal Carabins, into the Pink the Rink event. He also successfully petitioned the City of Ottawa to proclaim November 15 as Pink the Rink day.

Stuart says that he likes to see his students apply their knowledge and use as many of their new-found  skills as possible. He offered them some guidance along the way.

“I like finding different ways of bringing theory to life,” said Stuart. “This event gave them a lot of exposure to different practices.”

Students on the marketing team

A group photo of 35 students.

Students from Professor Stephen Stuart's marketing class.

Erik Lachance, who was Media Group Leader for uOttawa’s Pink the Rink, said the event was a great success because in addition to raising funds, it also raised awareness about breast cancer research.

“It was also a success because the very large majority of the spectators wore pink and the entire event created a great atmosphere in the arena during the game,” said Lachance.

Ane Nørstebø Laache, an exchange student from Norway, worked with the project’s Liaison group, who were tasked to be the main contact with Breast Cancer Action Ottawa and to coordinate the various class groups.

“Since I am an exchange student, I don't know how big attendance usually is, but it seemed like a lot of people,” said Laache. “It was fun to see the tables and activity we had arranged being used, and it looked like people were having a good time.”

Annabelle Phillion’s group was in charge of Event Management. They created and organized extra activities to add to the buzz surrounding the game, including the Pink Yourself Contest and the  “Why we wear pink” wall.

“I believe it was the perfect project to apply all of the knowledge acquired in class and to help the great organization that is Breast Cancer Action Ottawa,” said Phillion.

Elizabeth Corey was one of three students who were responsible for creating and conducting surveys among fans, players, and other students. Corey also got her touch football team, the She-Gees, involved. Since her team also raises funds for breast cancer research, the She-Gees donated the $2,000 they had raised by sponsoring pub nights, bake sales and taking part in a charity tournament at Laurier University last season.

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