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March 04, 2014

Students in Professor Randall Glickman’s Marketing Principles class are getting the opportunity to team with one of the world’s most successful companies this semester on a project to drive up attendance at FSU athletic events.

Employees from Google, Inc. have been meeting with the students periodically to teach them effective marketing strategies using digital and offline media. The digital tools reviewed include Google’s Adwords, YouTube and Google Text Ads. Students have learned how to develop a marketing campaign utilizing these research tools. 

The class is using the knowledge to implement a multi-platform marketing strategy to drive up attendance at men’s ice hockey and women’s basketball games. The two teams have struggled in recent years, but each is wrapping up its best season in a long time.

“Professor Glickman asked the class to come up with an idea for a marketing campaign and a few of us suggested focusing it on the hockey and women’s basketball teams,” says senior Nick Cafrelli, a member of the class who also happens to play goalie for the hockey team. “Both teams have been improving and we’re trying to get fans back in the seats.”

The effort with Google is just one piece of the overall marketing strategy. The students have also been developing posters and other print materials and spreading the word about the two teams through social media. The work has already begun to pay off, according to Cafrelli.

“About 500 people attended our quarterfinal matchup with Fitchburg State University on Saturday,” he says. “That’s a big increase from the 100 or 200 we usually draw. We had posters up and were spreading the word all over campus. We even had alumni getting the message out through twitter. It was great to have the support.”

Professor Glickman has brought employees from Google into his classroom each of the past two semesters to present online marketing strategies to the students and provide feedback on class projects.

“They haven’t just come in and told us what to do,” says sophomore Liz Smith. “They are very open to ideas from the class and would ask for our input on things.”

The students say it’s been exciting to have employees from such a well-known and successful company in class, even though it can be a bit nerve-wracking when they have to present in front of the employees.

“A lot of people didn’t believe that Google was coming into our classroom,” says Samantha Boland. “It’s been such a valuable experience for us.”

The project has kept the students extremely busy, but they say the learning experience is more than worth it.

“I don’t mind being super busy for this class, because I’m getting so much out of it,” Boland says.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a public university, Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.

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