Sports Marketing Class Gets Retail Lessons
FROM MARKETING THEORIES
TO MARKETING PRACTICE
High School Sports Marketing Class Gets Retail Lessons
from Sayville Running Company
Brendan Barrett, owner of Sayville Running Company returned to his alma mater, Sayville High School, as a guest speaker in Mr. Chad Cross’ Sports Marketing Class to enhance their lessons on the real-world application of marketing concepts.
Prior to his visit, the Sports Marketing Class was studying product life cycle, new product development, consumer goods, and SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis. With each class assignment, Mr. Cross reinforced the objectives of the four-P’s (product, price, promotion, and placement) of marketing. The students brain-stormed to create new product ideas for the sports market and then produced PowerPoint presentations which took into consideration aspects of product placement and pricing strategies.
Taking it beyond the classroom lessons was one reason Mr. Cross invited Brendan Barrett, Sayville Class of 2001, to be a guest speaker. Who better to share the real-world application of marketing concepts about retail than a business retailer of sports merchandise? The fact that he was a local, Downtown Sayville merchant and a Sayville graduate was an extra bonus.
Brendan related well with the students, sharing his personal uncertainty (“what do I want to do?”) when he graduated Notre Dame in 2005 with History and Computer applications majors. His success at “working for himself” in a viable business venture was the result of doing the right marketing research, securing a good partnership, and making good business decisions about the need for a Running Shoe store in the area. In 2006, he and his partner opened the Sayville Running Company, first in West Sayville, now in Sayville.
For his classroom visit, Brendan brought samples of products by such manufacturer as Brooks. He introduced the updated Adrenaline 13, a very popular model for runners, to the students. One new product that he acquired after a recent business trip to an Expo in Texas, called Icy Feet—a shoe-shaped ice pack for the foot—was developed from a simple idea to satisfy a marketing need for runners. Brendan’s demonstration, which included forthcoming improvements on the packaging of the product, highlighted what the students had learned: how the theory of new-product analysis was put into practice.
As their homework assignment, the high school students had prepared questions for Brendan. Among some of the questions they asked were:
- Do you incorporate grassroots marketing into your marketing strategy?
- Did the recession affect your business, and if so, how did you change your marketing strategy?
- Who designs your windows display?
- What is your most popular product line and why?
Mr. Cross was happy by the overall success of the informative visit which gave the students a better understanding of marketing as is relates to sports. He was also especially pleased with the genuine interest and great rapport the students had with Brendan.