Blog Post #2 (7/20/22): Pitt Athletics – Site Visit Preparation

1.  What is the greatest business opportunity you see for college sports and/or Pitt Athletics?

The greatest business opportunity I see for college sports is for the marketing teams of the most popular sports to be proactive and smart about posting. As seen with Pitt Athletics, timing is crucial to the amount of engagement gained by followers of the social media accounts. If Pitt and other colleges continue to utilize this method of staying on top of posting times, I truly feel overtime the social media engagement will tremendously increase, leading to a larger following base and more revenue generated by the college program. Besides the timing of the posts, being intelligent about what goes into the posts can be crucial for college sports accounts. For instance, as seen with Pitt, they took advantage of Kenny Picket who had a break out year and there for helped draw millions of new people to view Pitt’s instagram accounts. The key factor to drawing more engagement to these accounts is finding unique aspects of the team which can then be posted on social media platforms. Instead of these colleges posting generic, repetitive materiel such as rosters or game timings, there should be more variety such as breaking news involving trades, potential draft picks or even new coaching staff being hired. As time progresses this strategy will attract a larger following and can help not only Pitt Athletics but other College sports generate more revenue for their respective programs.

2.  What is a greatest business threat you see for college sports and/or Pitt Athletics?

The greatest business threat I see for college sports revolves around the fact that the performance/record of the given sport team makes such a huge difference. It’s safe to say that the better the sport teams is performing hat year, the more engagement and fans will attend the games and ultimately generate revenue for the program. With that being said there are so many factors which are hard to foresee which can contribute to a college team suddenly having a losing record. For example, a coach get’s fired or a star player get’s injured and all of a sudden the season goes down hill. This can cause less fans to attend games and overall a decrease in engagement which can pose a major threat depending on how severe the situation gets. Also, since this can be extremely unpredictable it’s hard to prepare for given the circumstances. Especially for the colleges which rely on one team to bring in most of the revenue, if this team has a bad couple years, the college can be put into a very difficult financial situation.

3.  Based on what YOU are interested in studying in the business school (i.e. marketing, finance, etc.), where could you gain experience/add value in a major college athletic department like Pitt Athletics?

My interests lie in the areas of Marketing as well as Finance, both areas that are extremely pivotal in major college athletic departments. I can see myself adding value and learning a lot in the marketing department. In terms of maximizing engagement, I have ideas around designing posts, the type of content in posts and also the timings of when to post. It would be very interesting to learn more about marketing analytics and digital marketing. I understand that digital marketing is only becoming more and more prevalent in todays world and I would love to learn how specifically college athletic departments use digital marketing to bolster more engagement and profits from customers. In terms of the financial areas, I feel the college athletic departments need to find methods in which they can capitalize on certain star players and or important wins in order to gain more revenue. In Pitt’s case, they were most successful and reached the most people when they posted more content that had Kenny Pickett. I would like to learn more about what exactly a financial intern for an athletic department does. I’m curious if it’s more about tracking finances or the business development side of finance.