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Pitching to the big guns with NSW Athletics

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By Josh Edwards, Bachelor of Business (Sports Management)

When my sports marketing lecturer, Joe Hughes, told the class that our major assignment (50% of our overall mark) was a sponsorship proposal I think my class was excited.

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Our first thought was “oh yeah, that’ll be cool... too easy! That’ll take no time” but then the reality set in. The assignment involved creating and pitching a sponsorship proposal that Athletics NSW could use to present to potential sponsors for their organisation. If that wasn’t a big enough task, we would have to also pitch the proposal to the CEO of Athletics NSW, Duncan Tweed.

The first task was to research other organisations sponsorships proposals. I looked at so many different plans I think I could list all the different sponsors from Sydney Swans to Sydney Yacht Club. Our lecturer said the best thing you can do is find who does it right and use that as your template.

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Next was preparing a plan suitable for Athletics NSW. This involved extensive research on the organisation and the products or items that a business could potentially sponsor. Hypothesising different items was the fun part. Attacking this task from a purely theoretical perspective meant we could propose anything. Many original ideas involved Gatorade paying millions of dollars to have their tiny logo on an athlete’s shirt. Once these unrealistic plans were squashed, our proposals started to take shape.

After many emails to Joe, with a thousand different questions and pieces of advice, the time to pitch had arrived. A spanner was thrown into the works the morning of the presentation and my group had to learn new information just minutes before we were due to present. This combined with nerves from a frantic morning and a sleepless night before meant that presenting was nerve-wracking to say the least!

Regardless, we got up there and pitched in front of Duncan Tweed CEO of Athletics NSW. In hindsight, there are obviously things I think I could’ve done better or should’ve changed but overall we were happy with our work. The assignment was different from anything I’d done previously, and was quite a joy to work on. Although Athletics isn’t necessarily a sport I have an interest in, sports Abbey Missoistration is my goal so working on something that you will definitely use beyond a class room is extremely beneficial to me.

The Sports Management specialisation is offered as part of the Bachelor of Business and Diploma of Business Management.

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