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Dew the U, UMass that is

Ben Bianchi

Ben Bianchi

Some people call the University of Massachusetts ZooMass. One group of students in the sports management department would prefer for it to be known as DewMass.

The group of 14 students in the Isenberg School of Management’s sports management program founded its own student-owned agency, DewMass Marketing, last year to help Mount Snow, a West Dover, Vt., ski resort, promote the Winter Dew Tour’s stop there last year.

Mount Snow’s marketing and event operations director, Greg Fisher, a 2001 UMass graduate, approached the School of Management with the idea of pairing marketing students with Mount Snow, Chicago marketing firm Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, and other distinguished department alumni.

The sports management department leapt at the opportunity, and the partnership was born.

In a release, Fisher said teaming up with students helped marketers develop a direct strategy for catering to the college demographic.

“The first ever Dew Tour at Mount Snow was an overwhelming success,” he said “Working with the direct market demographic of the Dew Tour within the student population at UMass was another success story, the class pulled through with some great promotions for our event and the Tour and were a vital part of the success and organization of the event,” he continued.

The DewMass agency is composed of 14 students who work in three departments: promotions, partnerships and advertising. The class meets for two hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, covering departmental updates and discussing upcoming events and promotions.

Outside their meetings in class, the departments meet separately to discuss their responsibilities. The various updates and strategies the group devises are then presented every two weeks via conference call to Alli and Mount Snow.

In the agency’s release, Chris Prybylo, vice president of events for the Winter Dew Tour said last year’s crop of DewMass marketers helped the Tour and that he hopes this year’s class will do the same.

“Last year’s DewMass class and their efforts to promote and enhance the Winter Dew Tour’s stop at Mount Snow were integral to the event’s success,” said Prybylo. “We look forward to building on last year’s achievements to make the Toyota Championship at Mount Snow an even bigger and better way to end the 2009-10 Tour.”

The grouping between DewMass, Alli and Mount Snow helped the Mount Snow leg earn the top ratings of any stop on the tour last year.

This year, the agency will hope to boost ratings at the Winter Dew Tour’s Toyota Championship, the final stop of the tour, which will be held February 5 to 7 at Mount Snow.

DewMass will seek to plan promotions for the college-aged demographic, seeking to connect to the Dew Tour’s lifestyle brand. The firm will plan what it calls experiential, interactive events like tailgating at college football games around New England, a bar tour throughout Amherst, and ski and snowboard movie premier events. It will also attempt to partner with ski and snowboard equipment companies, media and entertainment firms and social networking sites.

This year’s Toyota Championship carries particular significance as it is the last major winter sports event before the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, and many participants in the Dew Tour will be participating in both.

Fisher said he anticipates the event will feature top competition.

“I expect to see another amazing competition,” he said, “with the Olympics only a week later, winter sports will really be in the spotlight, and I know Mount Snow and the Dew Tour will not disappoint.”

He furthered that he believes the agency will continue to grow and that he is excited to see what promotions they develop.

“We’ll expect some big things out of the class in year two, and I personally can’t wait to attend some of the promotions they have in store,” he said.

Sam Butterfield can be reached at sbutterfield@dailycollegian.com.

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