Students go to marketing X-tremes

Students from the University of Massachusetts Sport Management Program have been selected to participate in the marketing of the 2001 Winter X Games being held at Mount Snow in southern Vermont for the second year in a row.

The Winter X Games will be held from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4 and will feature over 350 international athletes within the disciplines of snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling and the new Moto X Big Air event.

The students enrolled in the class, titled eXalt Marketing Associates, have been taken out of the classroom and placed in the middle of the world’s second largest winter sporting event, sponsored by ESPN and Mount Snow. EXalt Associates is a grassroots marketing force responsible for promoting the event to other college students by visiting local bars, ski clubs and other areas to give people as much information about the Winter X Games as possible.

The class is broken up in to four different segments, each of which is responsible for marketing to different regions in the Northeast. The groups have marketed the Winter X Games to over 65 colleges within a three-hour radius of Mount Snow and have used combinations of campus visits, bar promotions, ski shop promotions and extreme film viewing to promote the 2001 Winter X Games.

“EXalt students not only were instrumental in the marketing and promotions of the games in college and grassroots promotions, but they were also instrumental in the operations and competition organization aspects of the event. With their help we are looking forward to our most successful X Games to date,” said Jason Naumoff, Marketing and Communications Manager for ESPN Winter X Games. “These guys really were super stars.”

EXalt Marketing Associates will try to build on the success of last year’s class under the administration of Dr. Mark McDonald. Students in the class already demonstrated the new Winter X Games video game on Playstation II to the 45,000 people in attendance at the Boston Snow Exposition and they plan to get involved in the alternative music scene in the New England area.

Mount Snow Winter X Games Coordinator Mike Potter commended the group’s efforts.

“Just by being here they have helped the Winter X Games. They are a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

McDonald is pleased with the amount of responsibility and opportunities his class is being given.

“By working with ESPN and Mount Snow to help promote and manage the ESPN Winter X Games, the undergraduate students gain valuable experience which is very marketable to future employers,” he said. “Students from last year’s class have gone on work with companies such as the WNBA, the San Jose Quakes, Octagon and SFX Entertainment.”

According to Potter, “to be on the inside of the Winter X Games is a learning experience in itself” because the students will be working on one of the biggest winter sporting events in the world.

Former UMass student and current Event Manager for Mount Snow Mark Miville praised the students and the sport management program at the University.

“The eXalt Marketing Associates team has proven to be a huge asset to Mount Snow and the ESPN Winter X Games. Judging from last year’s success, this class allows students to gain hands on experience in grassroots marketing, add to their resume and make incredible contacts in the winter sports industry,” he said. “As an Alumnus of the Sport Management program, I couldn’t be happier with UMass’ dedication to applied management courses.”