Monday, 18 January 2016

Experience marketing - English Premiership Rugby

Royal Holloway MBA students joined MA Marketing peers studying the term 2 Services Marketing elective were offered the opportunity to attend a thrilling eight try festival at Harlequins, one of Englands top class club sides whose players regularly feature at international level including current internationals Joe Marler, Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown.

Harlequins Rugby Football Club play at the Stoop, literally just over the road from Twickenham, (& pictured in the background above) England's national rugby stadium, offering a near campus experience allowing highly motivated students to test their theoretical knowledge in the real world. 

Elite professional sporting events offer a wide range of marketing dimensions, from specialist rapid batch service Guinness beer pumps, in stadium wifi based enhanced reality aimed at galvanising ongoing support and a plethora of creative advertising and sponsorship offerings (e.g. Hoardings, shirts, B2B focussed executive entertainment in premium seats) targeting both the stadium and television audiences.

Although the weather had turned chilly, with an early morning snow fall, students were rewarded for braving the cold with a thrilling match that ended with the home side winning 34-26 against the visiting Welsh side Cardiff Blues. For many Royal Holloway students, who hail from all over the world, this was the first time that they engaged as spectators at a rugby match. 

As part of the MA Marketing degree programme serious rugby fan Justin O'Brien requires students to analyse a range of service encounters to identify satisfying and disatisfying factors by collecting reports in a diary.

Aside from the typical winter weather (heated seats needed ?) students noted that quite a lot of the action took place at the other end of the pitch, which helps explain why Dublin's Aviva stadium seating is laid like a rugby ball, the best seats that command the highest prices are to be found along the sides around the middle point. Sitting behind the posts you hope that at least some of the action takes place at your end. A couple of disatisfyers logged for their end of term assignment no doubt.

Thanks goes out to MA Marketing and MBA programme administrator Michelle Casey for sharing some of her photos from the match.