University of Southern California

Marshall Students Align with FOX Sports on Real-world Project
October 21, 2013 • by News at Marshall

Building on the momentum of the LA Kings’ first-ever Stanley Cup win in 2012, Dr. Lisa Cavanaugh, assistant professor of marketing at Marshall, and her students found promoting hockey in the balmy climes of Southern California to be a challenge not to be missed. As participants in FOX Creative University, which enlists students from top universities around the country to work on real-world projects as part of their academic curriculum, Cavanaugh’s students were charged with raising the profile of the sport in the region and helping promote the rivalry between the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks.

Cavanaugh, who has engaged students to work with other clients on real-world communications plans annually for her Advertising and Promotion Management class, was approached to collaborate on the project by FOX Sports executives Lindsay Amstutz, vice president of marketing for FOX Sports Regional Sports Networks; and Christina Appleton, manager, strategic partnerships, FOX Sports. The FOX Creative University program, currently in 20 schools across the country, is in its sixth year with USC and its first with Marshall. Marshall’s engagement, with 145 students in three sections, is the program’s most comprehensive participation to date.

“My goal was to identify a unique integrated marketing and communications challenge that fosters an excellent learning and professional growth opportunity for my students. This year’s challenge will stretch them creatively and allow them to have a positive and tangible impact on FOX Sports, the LA Kings, and Anaheim Ducks,” said Cavanaugh.

The semester-long project kicked off on Sept. 11 with FOX Sports, LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks representatives coming to Cavanaugh’s class to answer questions and talk about their brands, their differences and similarities and how their marketing campaigns reflect the different NHL clubs. The project will culminate with student teams pitching their fully integrated marketing communications plan in November.

Students got a true taste of what hockey is all about when they attended a Kings vs. Ducks game at the Staples Center on Sept. 24.

“That was my biggest eye-opening experience,” said Elizabeth Dinh ’14 (December), who never had attended a hockey game. “It helped me realize how to market the game better as a community sport because there were people with children attending who were so devoted to hockey. I’ve never experienced anything quite as encompassing as this project.”

Appleton, meanwhile, was impressed by how engaged Cavanaugh’s students were going into the project.

“Before we even came out for the kickoff, Professor Cavanaugh had established a Twitter hashtag for her class. She already had the students engaged on social media, sending questions and tweeting, and it was clear how excited they were,” said Appleton. “I was very impressed. That’s just the best possible thing for the program. You get from it what you put into it. We’re all really excited about what we’re going to see in November from this class.”

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.