Lessons aplenty for high school marketers, even when things don’t work out as planned | AspenTimes.com

Lessons aplenty for high school marketers, even when things don’t work out as planned

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen High School sports marketing class discovered recently that there’s plenty to learn, even when things don’t go as planned.

The class dreamed up the first annual Mud Season Ultimate Disc Tournament as a sporting event that might bring visitors to Aspen during the off-season. But, so far, only one Denver-based Ultimate team has signed up for the tourney, which is scheduled for this weekend.

Barring a last-minute rush to sign up, marketing teacher Dave Conarroe said there are eight teams set to go. Along with the team from Denver, six homegrown student teams and one faculty team are ready to flip discs as well.

Ultimate is a game with rules similar to football, but it’s contact-free and played with a frisbee.

Denver’s SportsMonster, run by Conarroe’s son Jeff, sent out e-mails to 4,000 of the area’s residents who are interested in Ultimate Disc competitions about the tournament. The class was hoping to bring at least 200 people to Aspen for the event, with the offer of $75 rooms at the Sky Hotel and a party Saturday night.

“It was mainly just a class project on marketing – how to sell something by putting together advertising and posters,” Conarroe said. “It’s a great learning opportunity, and the thing is, because it hasn’t gone as smoothly as they thought, it’s a better learning experience.

“It gives us things to ask, like what is it about the demographics of the players – will they come to Aspen?”

The main problem may have been a scheduling conflict with another Ultimate tournament taking place in Colorado Springs this weekend. Although the class searched the Internet for conflicting events, the Colorado Springs event didn’t show up online.

The show will go on this weekend, nevertheless. Games begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Moore playing fields at Aspen High School. Each team will play at least three games, which last 45 minutes each.

Registration is $30 for a high school team, and $225 for any adult team in either the recreational division or the coed competitive division. All proceeds go to the sports marketing class and the high school’s athletic department.

With some more advanced planning, Conarroe said he hopes future sports marketing classes can spin the tournament into an annual event that brings out-of-town teams. The Aspen Recreation Department has already expressed interest in possibly sponsoring next year’s tournament.

To become a prize donor, sponsor or participant, contact Dave Conarroe at 925-3760, ext. 1237.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]


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