Thomas Morin Tobias Mikalse
Ready to meet the friends that will change your life? College isnâ€™t just about getting a degree, itâ€™s about making lifelong friends. With over 130 nationalities, your future friends come from all over the world, bringing unique backgrounds and inspiring stories. This is your year to make unforgettable connections.
IT’S GO TIME!
CAREER PREVIEW: TOP ROLES IN SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING
TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITORIAL
Publisher Frank Peterson Managing Editor Danny Spors Editorial Committee Caitlin Roberts, Debbie Taylor, Christopher Young, CAE Advertising Cindy Allen Design Shawna Hession
DECA EXECUTIVE OFFICERS President D’Andre Vasquez Central Region Vice President Dalton Green Southern Region Vice President Garrett Elkins North Atlantic Region Vice President Will Theodore
COLLEGIATE DECA EXECUTIVE OFFICERS President Anthony Fakhoury Vice President Drew Duboff Vice President Lindsay Joyner Vice President Max May Vice President Michelle Le
BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Ginger Hill President-Elect Mary Peres Secretary John Stiles Treasurer Dave Wait Members Shannon Aaron, Scott Jones, Olga Plagianakos, Brycen Woodley National Advisory Board Chair Mike Brown Ex-Officio Members Richard Faulkner, Frank Peterson
EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE DECA Direct Magazine 1908 Association Drive Reston, Virginia 20191-1594 firstname.lastname@example.org
DECA Direct (ISSN 1080-0476) is published four times each year—September/ October, November/December, January/ February and March/April. Copyright ©2020 by the Distributive Education Clubs of America, Inc., 1908 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1594. All rights reserved. Annual non-member subscription rate is $5.00. Periodicals postage paid at Herndon, Virginia and additional mailing offices. $1.00 of membership fee goes toward subscription to DECA Direct, a publication of DECA, (USPS 566-200), Volume 8, Number 4. Postmaster—Send form 3579 for change of address to: DECA Direct, 1908 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1594.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT CULMINATES ONCE-IN-ACENTURY CELEBRATION AT SUPER BOWL LIV WITH SUPER BOWL SLEEPOVER AND DREAM NFL FAN EXPERIENCES
A WORLD BEYOND IMAGINATION
10 SPORTS & MARKETING COMPETITION TIPS FROM THE PROS
GO FOR MARKETING GOLD
WHAT HAPPENS BACKSTAGE AT THE OPRY?
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This issue of DECA Direct includes instructional content focused on the following performance indicators from National Curriculum Standards: • Explain the nature of event marketing • Explain employment opportunities in event management • Explain the importance of meeting and exceeding customer/guest expectations • Identify factors that influence guest experiences throughout the guest life cycle • Explain the use of social media for digital marketing • Utilize resources that can contribute to professional development
WHATEVER THE OCCASION,
WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK.
Go custom with Joseph Abboud and AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole. Rent modern tuxes from Vera Wang and Calvin Klein.
DECA students and advisors can access our 40% off* discount coupon at deca.org/partner/partners/mens-wearhouse/ *See coupon for details 2
Shop seasonal styles from Levi’s, Lucky Brand and Cole Haan.
IT’S GO TIME! HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION PRESIDENT @decapresident
ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN DUE
DECA AMPED + MBA CONCLAVE EARLY REGISTRATION BEGINS
FINAL MEMBERSHIP DEADLINE membership. decaregistration.com
4 ADVISOR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DEADLINE deca.org/advisorscholarships
EXECUTIVE OFFICER CANDIDATE APPLICATIONS DUE deca.org/hsofficers
25 PIPER SANDLER TAKING STOCK WITH TEENS SPRING SURVEY ENDS
27 LATER HATERS ASSOCIATION PLEDGE CHALLENGE ENDS deca.org/laterhaters
Congratulations! This year you have learned the meaning of #HEREWEGO. Throughout the year, you have learned to go network with your peers and professionals, to go serve your community through volunteer projects and to go polish your skills to become an emerging leader or entrepreneur. Although the end of our crazy school year is quickly approaching, your DECA journey is far from over. Whether you are a freshman who recently experienced your first association conference or a senior preparing for college or the workforce, now is the time to do what DECA has prepared you for! DECA’s objective is to prepare the next generation to be academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible and experienced leaders. Through your business classes, chapter activities, competitive events and networking opportunities, you have reached that objective. Now is the time to look ahead and start preparing for the 2020-2021 DECA year. Maintain your chapter’s momentum through the remainder of the school by planning end of the year celebrations, staying involved in community service and connecting on social media. As you begin to plan for next year, be on the lookout for opportunities to recruit new members to join our DECA community. If you are a graduating senior, you can also look forward to continuing your journey through Collegiate DECA - or starting a new chapter at your future school. My fellow Executive Officers and I thank you for helping us make this year an absolute success. We could not be prouder to serve the best leaders around the globe. We wish you the best of luck in the next phase of your DECA and life journey. #HEREWEGO!
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EXPLORE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES Marriott International is a proud sponsor of the Hospitality Services Team Decision Making Event and the Marriott/DECA scholarships. Marriott congratulates all DECA students and good luck to those attending state CDCs and the ICDC in Nashville. Visit us at the Marriott Booth at the Music City Center, Expo Hall B and try out your karaoke skills in Music City! 4
A WORLD BEYOND IMAGINATION COLLEGIATE DECA PRESIDENT @cdeca_anthony
ASSOCIATION ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENTS DUE
STOCK MARKET GAME ENDS | ROUND 2
Very few companies have achieved a level of success that rivals The Walt Disney Company. For decades, Disney has dominated the box office, toy market, fashion industry and, of course, theme parks. The success of Disney’s parks is no accident. With over 170,000 employees and 12 parks around the world, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products has consistently dominated the market while ensuring the ultimate customer experience. Here are the top five ways Disney Parks continue to rule the industry. 1.
THE USE OF NOSTALGIA – We all have fond childhood memories of our favorite Disney shows and movies. The opportunity to travel back in time and interact with your favorite characters brings back memories long forgotten and creates an instant sense of community. Disney promotes the best of the best to bring in guests of all age groups and backgrounds.
CUSTOMER PERSONALIZATION – From the second you enter a Disney park to the moment you leave, a story is being told and you are the main character. Creating an experience so unique is what makes Disney stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t matter if you’re six or 60, you have a story to be told at a Disney park.
STICKING TO A THEME – Disney’s cast members are trained to keep guests involved in what is happening around the park. Cast members are always in character, creating a sense of trust between them and the guest. Gaining the trust of millions of guests is why Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the most-visited theme park in the world.
VISUAL STORYTELLING – Disney has a social media following of hundreds of millions across all major platforms. Memories created at the parks are captured by Disney photographers and then shared on social media. Being able to sell the experience online is a massive driver of new and repeat business.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD – Walt Disney wanted you to leave everything except your imagination outside the park. The moment you enter should be equivalent to entering a whole new world. For over 157 million people a year, entering the park is a breath of fresh air, a new hope and a new opportunity to live out their dreams.
ASSOCIATION CHAPTER ADVISOR OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENTS DUE EXECUTIVE OFFICER CANDIDATE APPLICATIONS DUE deca.org/collegiateofficers
4 ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN SUBMISSION DEADLINE deca.org/collegecampaigns
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Next time you visit a Disney park, watch for all the little details that make your experience so unique. You may just pick up some new ideas to use in your DECA chapter, competition or daily life. Have a magical day! 5
CAREER PREVIEW: TOP ROLES IN SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING JULIA PITLYK
SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING (SEM) IS WHERE YOUR FAVORITE past-times and your professional interests collide - and it’s the perfect path for applying the skills you’ve developed through DECA. Not sure what the career paths in SEM really look like? Read on for a preview of some top careers in this exciting industry.
SPORTS TEAM MARKETING
From advertising and social media campaigns to sponsorship opportunities and in-game entertainment, a marketing role on a sports team is all about creating interest and engagement for the team among fans, corporate sponsors and the community. Whether marketing for collegiate teams, minor league sports or the top professional teams, these roles are fastpaced and hands-on, requiring marketers in the field to take on responsibilities across many different areas of marketing.
Sports and entertainment run on events, and the arenas, fields and stadiums that they take place in are all managed by professionals in facilities management. Marketing the facility, scheduling and planning live events, managing vendors and improving the facility to create experiences crowds love are all part of a career in facility management. Bonus: think of all the great events you could experience when they’re hosted in a facility YOU manage!
Similar to sports teams, our favorite forms of entertainment like movies, television networks and even theme parks all need dedicated marketers to drive interest, views and attendance. Advertising, promotional campaigns, publicity events and even marketing analytics can all be part of the job of an entertainment marketing professional. And with more and more companies getting in the entertainment game (like Amazon & Apple), the demand for entertainment marketers is strong!
EVENT MANAGEMENT & PRODUCTION If walking into the opening session of a DECA conference gets your heart pumping, a career in event management and production may be for you! Developing event themes and graphics, designing stage schematics, and keeping the show running behind stage are all key aspects of a career in event management. Love events, but not the idea of stage productions? Careers in event management can also specialize in corporate events, experiential marketing, and more.
Whether a top athlete, famous actor, or big event (like the Oscars®), the media loves to talk about the latest sports and entertainment news, making public relations a key role in the sports and entertainment industry. These professionals can work for individuals, teams, movie studios, television networks and more, and their primary focus is to create and communicate engaging stories that secure media coverage. This career path demands strong skills in networking and thinking on your feet – two skills you’re already developing as a DECA member and competitor! Want to know more about sports and entertainment marketing? Visit deca.org/sem for more information, including the scoop on DECA’s annual Sports & Entertainment Marketing Conference.
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PART BRANDING, PART ENTERTAINMENT, EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING is finding its way into the marketing plans of more and more top brands. Read on to find out exactly what this type of marketing is, why brands love it and how to make it part of your future marketing career.
Experiential marketing is a type of marketing that uses live experiences to form a deeper connection between brands and their target market. Brands that use experiential marketing aim to create a memorable, emotional experience with their consumers to help create greater awareness, purchase behavior and loyalty.
WHY ARE BRANDS INTERESTED IN EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING? With experiential marketing, consumers are a key part of the experience, giving brands a way to deliver marketing messages – and sometimes even products – directly to them. This is a big difference from more traditional marketing approaches like advertising, which has little consumer involvement. Experiential marketing creates an experience that helps a brand’s message “stick” – something more critical than ever as more advertising “noise” surrounds consumers. (Some experts even estimate the average American is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisement messages a day!) With that, it’s no surprise experiential marketing is yielding results for marketers: consumers say they are likely to purchase from a 85% ofbrand after participating in an event or experience.
of consumers have more positive feelings about brands after attending events and experiences! (EventMarketer)
WHAT DOES EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING LOOK LIKE? Experiential marketing can take on many forms, from events and pop-up shops to interactive advertisements, in-store events and more. Here are some of our favorite examples of experiential marketing: IKEA: Knowing that their consumers want to try before they buy, IKEA UK designed an experiential marketing campaign that allowed 100 lucky contest winners to spend the night in an IKEA store. Participants were able to customize their in-store sleeping experience by selecting their mattress and bedding under the guidance of an on-site sleep expert. This immersive experience generated plenty of positive buzz for IKEA and created hands-on engagement with their products.
GATORADE: With a brand positioned to inspire the elite athlete in all of us, Gatorade took that positioning a step further in 2017 with an experiential Gatorade Combine experience at SXSW. Gatorade partnered with Xbox Kinect to create a combine (often used to evaluate potential pro athletes) that tested consumers’ reflexes, flexibility and more. The brand provided participants with their stats as a takeaway from the experience, adding even more value long after the event was over. NETFLIX + GILMORE GIRLS: Experiential marketing isn’t just for brands that sell physical goods. Brands that know entertainment, like Netflix, have found experiential marketing to be a great way to drive more buzz for some of our favorite shows. To drive awareness for its Gilmore Girls sequel, Netflix created 200 experiential pop-up cafes around the country that were exact replicas of the show’s “Luke’s Diner.” Offering free coffee to fans, this share-worthy experience created a significant amount of online engagement, stirring up plenty of buzz for the show’s premiere.
“The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne, Founder & CEO, Marketoonist
WHAT DO CAREERS IN EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING LOOK LIKE? Almost any brand or industry can use experiential marketing, making the opportunity to incorporate experiential marketing into your future career virtually limitless. For corporate and brand marketers, experiential marketing is often part of a larger, more holistic marketing campaign that they manage. Because of the intense planning, coordination and execution that experiential marketing requires, many brands partner with agencies that specialize in the area to bring these campaigns to life. Marketers that work for these agencies develop and execute experiential marketing strategies for multiple brands every single year, allowing them to become experts in the field and gain exposure to various industries and brands.
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WHAT IS EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING?
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT CULMINATES ONCE-IN-A-CENTURY CELEBRATION AT SUPER BOWL LIV WITH SUPER BOWL SLEEPOVER AND DREAM NFL FAN EXPERIENCES CHRISTINE LIN
Global Travel Program Marriott Bonvoy Offers Members Hundreds of Exclusive Moments Around Super Bowl LIV and the 2020 Pro Bowl.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT, the Official Hotel of the NFL, announced the winner of its Super Bowl Sleepover Contest – Denise Ammon. Courtyard by Marriott hosted Ammon and a select group of her friends for an experience of a lifetime, including waking up in a Courtyard transformed suite inside the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. All season long, Courtyard by Marriott and the global travel program Marriott Bonvoy offered fans unprecedented access to NFL experiences that have created lasting memories, in celebration of the NFL’s 100th Season. From the Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover Contest to hundreds of NFL-related moments made available exclusively to Marriott Bonvoy members, fans were delighted all season long with NFL experiences that bring travelers closer to the game they love.
FRIENDSHIP FORGED BY A PASSION TO HELP For the first time ever, Courtyard by Marriott celebrated “gamechanging friendship” by awarding the opportunity of a lifetime to wake up inside the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. This year’s winner, Denise Ammon, exemplifies the impact that an extraordinary friendship can have in pursuing both personal and professional passions. Ammon’s “game-changing friendship” submission featured her former fellow co-residents whom she met during emergency medicine residency at a Level 1 Trauma hospital in Brooklyn, New York. She credits her success to their unrelenting friendship, after she was told by college counselors that she wasn’t cut out to be a doctor. Ammon went on to attend medical school in New Orleans and ultimately matched to one of her top choices for residency training. The group supported each other during the most strenuous days in residency and continue to guide each other today while serving as emergency room doctors across the country.
Denise Ammon’s “game-changing friendship” earned her and her friends the opportunity of a lifetime: waking up in a custom-built Courtyard by Marriott guestroom, shown here, in the Super Bowl stadium. As the winner of the Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover contest, Ammon and her friends will be the first guests at the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. (Photo by James McEntee/ AP Images for Courtyard by Marriott)
NFL legend Dan Marino showcases the Courtyard Super Bowl LIV Sleepover Suite at the Super Bowl stadium in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. In its ninth year as the Official Hotel of the NFL, Courtyard celebrated game-changing friendships by awarding one NFL fan along with three friends the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of waking up inside the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. (Photo by James McEntee/ AP Images for Courtyard by Marriott)
Courtyard by Marriott hosted Ammon and her three friends for an overnight stay inside a stadium suite transformed into a Courtyard guest room with a view overlooking the field. In addition to winning tickets to Super Bowl LIV, the group took part in a night of exciting, in-stadium experiences with access to exclusive events throughout the weekend. In another first, this year’s suite featured the newly designed Courtyard Bistro Bar, providing the winners a taste of Courtyard’s new food and beverage menu. The Official Hotel of the NFL also offered Marriott Bonvoy Visa Card members an opportunity to live out their dreams at the Courtyard House presented by Visa, an exclusive Super Bowl LIV celebration, which featured a live performance by The Chainsmokers and a chance to mingle with NFL stars in Miami.
MARRIOTT BONVOY ANNOUNCES 250 NFL POST-SEASON MOMENTS EXCLUSIVELY FOR MEMBERS: From brunch with NFL legends to experiencing Super Bowl LIV from a luxury suite and on-field access to watch the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show, the post-season was rewarding for members of Marriott Bonvoy with the ability to bid their points on more than 250 money-can’t-buy experiences. Earlier in the season, Marriott Bonvoy hosted NFL Combine Masterclass Moments in Chicago and San Francisco led by Emmitt Smith where the Hall of Fame running back helped fans see how they would stack up on traditional drills that prospective players compete in before the Draft. Other Marriott Bonvoy Moments included VIP field access to the 2019 London Games at Tottenham and Wembley and luxury suite tickets, amazing seats to the 2019 Mexico Game at Azteca Stadium with VIP reception, meet and greet with an NFL Legend, field passes and more. Over the past two years, Marriott Bonvoy has offered members more than 1,000 exclusive, NFL Moments which have been redeemed for 95 million points. Offering something for every NFL fanatic, Moments have ranged from 10,000 points to a record-breaking 3.2 million points for two guests to sleep over in the Courtyard by Marriott custom suite before Super Bowl LIII.
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“Courtyard’s guests are passionate, energized and disciplined, similar to elite athletes competing to play in the Super Bowl,” said Janis Milham, Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Classic Select Brands. “The story of Denise’s gamechanging friendship is the kind of empowerment that we strive to provide our guests in achieving their personal and professional goals. Courtyard is proud to once again partner with the NFL to recognize her success and provide this opportunity of a lifetime.”
GO FOR MARKETING GOLD 12
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“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos
HISTORY OF THE OLYMPIC BRAND When thinking of sports marketing, the Olympic Games are a prime example of what to look toward. The international sporting event is a household name that brings in billions of viewers. In 2016, the Olympic Games captured half of the world’s population in viewing the event! In order for something like the Olympic Games to become as big as they are, an extensive marketing strategy must be in place that involves constant flexibility and innovation. The first marketing effort started at the very first 1896 Olympic events in Athens where stamps were sold to help build the venue for the event. The first media rights to The Olympic Games were sold in 1912 at the Stockholm Games, then corporate advertising came into the scene during 1920 in Antwerp. Leading into the age of television, the first televised games were broadcasted from Berlin in 1936 with just one camera providing 138 hours of coverage. At the most recent Olympics in 2018, virtual reality was introduced.
“In order for something like the Olympic Games to become as big as they are, an extensive marketing strategy must be in place that involves constant flexibility and innovation.” THE OLYMPIC BRAND IMAGE The International Olympic Committee (IOC) conducted research and found that 9/10 people could identify the signature Olympic Rings. Because the movement is so recognizable, the committee is very particular about their branding and has put policies in place to prevent overcommercialization from non-sponsor companies. The Olympic Games’ marketing scene is so big that they actually need to restrict companies from advertising about them! Rule 40, a bylaw in the Olympic Charter, works to protect their brand and prevent non-sponsor companies from using Olympicrelated terms. In order for non-sponsor companies to promote their brand, they can ask for "Olympic waivers" which give them opportunities to market without using their symbols or references, simply allusions. Additionally, the infamous ‘Rule 40’ prevented athletes from promoting brand sponsors who are not official Olympic sponsors during the games. Athletes and their sponsors have developed strategies to overcome 14
this hurdle that protects the Olympic branding. Rule 40 is seemingly becoming a bit more relaxed with the upcoming Olympic Games as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is giving athletes more marketing opportunities by allowing them to promote their individual sponsors during the games.
HOW THE OLYMPIC MARKETING HAS CHANGED OVER TIME Ever since the first Olympic Games in 1896, there has always been some type of advertising, whether through sponsorship or commercial support. Those efforts have of course expanded throughout the years and now, there is one notable medium taking over: social media. The beginning of this movement began in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics. The games are now more accessible than ever through live coverage on social media and athletes actively sharing their experiences. As for the younger generation who may not watch The Olympics as intently, there’s another growing marketing effort: influencers. At the 2016 Olympics, Adidas opened the doors to influencer marketing by inviting top influencers from around the world to live in a house in Rio called the “Creators’ House” and attend the Olympics. Influencers documented their daily activities sponsored by Adidas on social media to their vast following. One of the major components that made Adidas’ campaign successful was allowing influencers to share authentic content that their fans and followers did not view as a commercial.
IMPLEMENTING THE OLYMPICS’ STRATEGIES TO DECA AND TO LIFE With all of this in mind, if you’re planning to compete in a DECA sports marketing event or get into the sports marketing field, there is much to learn from how the Olympics developed itself into an iconic brand known to billions around the world. Here are some notable marketing lessons that you can learn from the Olympics: 1. INNOVATE Brands need to constantly innovate how they advertise. The Olympics’ marketers were early adopters of technology that has led to expanded audience reach and market potential. Companies have also explored new ways of expanding their reach through the use of social media influencers. With new technology being developed daily, explore the new trends and incorporate them into your presentation. Remember that your judge will hear similar ideas proposed by your competitors, so be sure to share effective strategies that will make you memorable.
2. PROTECT YOUR BRAND Well established brands, like the Olympics, have policies that help protect their brand image and intellectual property. If your role-play involves co-branding with a national brand, be mindful of any strategy pitch that could be at odds with branding policies. 3. PERSPECTIVE View the competition scenario from various lenses and be creative with your marketing. Consider how non-sponsor brands face strict policies, yet are still able to successfully create ads that capture the spirit of the Olympic Games. Whatever your role-play may be, try to look at the potential solutions from different angles to ensure you propose a plan that is detailed and intentional. 4. ADAPT While it’s not possible to cater an advertisement to every single person, there are incalculable potential audiences that you can target your message to. The Olympics and their sponsors have a huge presence on traditional media such as television, but have also been adapting their methods to reach audiences of varying demographics. Social media, influencer marketing and virtual reality are just a few of the ways that sponsors have been proving there are multiple avenues to reach people. During the brainstorming process of your role-play or prepared presentation, consider non-traditional ways to cater to the ever-changing environment around you.
“During the brainstorming process of your role-play or prepared presentation, consider non-traditional ways to cater to the everchanging environment around you.” With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games beginning this summer, pay attention to the marketing efforts made by companies that are both sponsors and non-sponsors of the Olympics. You can view what methods are most effective and ultimately implement the various strategies in your competitions. During this time, also harness the competitive heart and spirit of the Olympics and use it as motivation to be the champion of your association!
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SPORTS & MARKETING ENTERTAINMENT COMPETITION TIPS FROM THE PROS GARRETT ELKINS
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND SUCCESSFUL INDUSTRIES IN THE UNITED STATES’ ECONOMY?
When asked about his strategies, he suggested that competitors: 1.
THINK LIKE A JUDGE - Prior to competition, review the judges' manuals. Doing this will allow you to hit all the performance indicators that the judges are looking for by directly addressing them in your role-plays. Use the indicators to form your pitch, then wrap it all up with your own creative ideas. This way you will certainly meet the judge’s expectations and have the potential to further impress them.
TEST LIKE A PRO - When taking the exam, first answer all of the questions that you know and mark the ones that you don’t to refer back to later. This way, you can knock out two-thirds of the test and then use context clues to answer the tougher questions you have less confidence in getting correct.
According to the website of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment is projected to increase by approximately five percent from 2018-2028 in this field alone.” In other words, jobs are constantly being created in this field, whether it be for marketing a sports team, concert, theme park or new hit movie. In addition, if you are someone who is intrigued by a rewarding salary, then the sports and entertainment marketing (SEM) field is right for you. The median annual wage for these occupations in 2018 was $5,300 higher than all other annual occupational median wages combined. Luckily, DECA offers several sports and entertainment marketing competitive events for members to flex their skills. To help you prepare for your next competition, I gathered some insider knowledge from two previous SEM event competitors. I first spoke with Christopher Murphy, a two-year DECA member from Mauldin High School in South Carolina. Christopher achieved exceptional results at the regional and association levels and qualified for ICDC in a sports and entertainment marketing event.
Interestingly, Nikhil never took a business or marketing class because they were not offered by his school. Looking back, he attributes his success to staying composed under pressure and not over-complicating the event scenarios. Hopefully you can use these tips to take your competition to the next level and make it all the way to the stage at next year’s International Career Development Conference.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT - Take practice exams and stay up-to-date with current events related to your competition. DECA offers several sample exams online, so be sure to take advantage of them.
STICK TO YOUR PASSIONS - Make sure that your chosen event is something that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. Don’t just try to compete in a category with the least number of competitors. Not only are you less likely to succeed, but you will benefit far less in the long run.
Overall, Christopher believes that his competitive advantages were solid public speaking skills and a strong bond with his team decision making partner. Another DECA member that was successful in SEM competition was Nikhil Namburi from Blanchet Catholic School in Washington. Throughout his high school career, Nikhil progressively reached higher levels of competition until he won DECA glass at the 2019 ICDC in Orlando. A few of his other DECA accolades and achievements include three first-place finishes at his association conference and several other topfive finishes.
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When asked what helped him be successful, his top two pieces of advice were:
WWW. S H O P D E C A .O R G ALL THE DECA GEAR YOU COULD NEED!
WHAT HAPPENS BACKSTAGE AT THE OPRY? BRITTANY BATTISTA
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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF BRC IMAGINATION ARTS. PRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM GRAND OLE OPRY.
OPRY MEMBER GARTH BROOKS ONCE SAID “THE REAL SHOW IS BACKSTAGE” AT THE OPRY, where a team of passionate staff members help make the 94-year-old show come to life every night. The Grand Ole Opry is the country’s longest-running radio show. Since 1925, it has been broadcast over the course of 4,600 consecutive Saturdays as thousands of world-class artists have performed more than 500,000 songs in its history. As the audience eagerly awaits the 7 p.m. showtime in the Grand Ole Opry House’s auditorium, there’s a whole other show happening backstage that started hours before, led by an assortment of players who work behind the scenes. A laudable display of organized chaos backstage is imperative to the operation of the show, day in and day out. Those who haven’t experienced the Opry’s bustling hallways before showtime may wonder: What does it take to raise that red curtain every night?
“I’ve said it for the record a thousand times. I’ll state it again a thousand times. This is the pinnacle of what I do. Nothing has ever touched being a member of the Grand Ole Opry.” —Garth Brooks
1 P.M. “If you take a look right here, you’ll see our member gallery,” describes Opry tour guide Kayleigh Walker to a group. “It starts in 1925 with Uncle Jimmy Thompson and goes from top to bottom and left to right in order of membership induction.” Eager visitors are welcomed backstage each day to walk in their heroes’ footsteps and learn the Grand Ole Opry’s storied history. Unbeknownst to many of them, the magic that makes each show is being prepared right before their eyes. Backstage hospitality supervisor Diana McBride arrives at 1:00 p.m. to start transforming backstage into the home that the artists have come to know. Crafting the familiar smell of fresh popcorn and sight of sweet tea in the family room is just a small part of her role as a liaison between artists and the Opry. Long before artists and their guests arrive, McBride ensures each dressing room captures the perpetual spirit of the Opry. “I love to serve others. Before I was here, [the artists] had no one that stayed back here to guide them and to answer their questions, so that just kind of became me,” McBride says. “They know they can come to me and ask me anything. Artists will come in and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I forgot a hairbrush,’ and if I don’t have one in my stash, I’ll run to the mall and get one.”
Fast-forward a few hours and buzz begins to grow in the backstage halls as more of the show team trickles in.
Around 5 p.m., artists begin to arrive in their own cars, removing traffic cones from their backstage parking spaces themselves. Performing on the Opry is the pinnacle for many artists, but even still, their arrival to the Opry is a humbling experience.
“We plan [the show] all out, but you have to have room for contingency because there is always something that will not go exactly as planned,” Bryan says. “Sometimes we have to do a last-minute change. In all this planning, we’re counting on everything to work because unlike most of the shows you go see, we have one commercial to do a band change.” The Grand Ole Opry is broadcast live on 650 AM WSM and online, meaning the show must go on even if an artist runs late or equipment malfunctions. Prior to showtime, Bryan’s team of six stagehands collaborate seamlessly as if they were operating with one shared brain.
Just inside the artist entrance, security guards Jim Schermerhorn and Ron Oniszczak tend their post as they wholeheartedly dedicate themselves to the safety of artists and fans. “[The artists] don’t get to the stage until they get past us,” Oniszczak says. “It’s as simple as that.” “We are basically the first line of defense for anybody that shouldn’t be here,” Schermerhorn added. Oniszczak and Schermerhorn are the first and last faces artists see backstage. These men have guarded the halls of country music history with pride and have become a friendly, inviting face to many of country music’s greatest icons.
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Even the most fun jobs in the world aren’t without their share of paperwork. The success of the Opry is dependent on meticulous record-keeping. Before every show, a new lineup, event sheet and dressing room list is distributed among the backstage teams. Stage manager Tyler Bryan receives the lineup at 3 p.m. and uses it to gauge how to keep the show on schedule.
6 P.M. In the final hour leading up to showtime, a quiet settles in the hallways as an energy builds in the dressing rooms, now occupied with artists and their guests. Up front, the stage has been set for showtime with microphones, music stands, pews, instruments and speakers. A soft rumble of guests making their way to their seats in the auditorium can be heard from the other side of the curtain. This scene is a far cry from the barren stage the audio team set foot on just hours prior. Audio services supervisor Mark Thomas works with the team responsible for the transformation of the stage. “We start everything from scratch every day,” Thomas explained, “When we strike the stage, that means there’s nothing on there but the barn, so we have to lay out all the different cables for electricity — just miles and miles of cables — microphone signals and speakers on stage.” Overall, there are 80 audio inputs on the stage that are used to broadcast the show to the auditorium audience, artists on stage, and on WSM. Each input is checked daily by the audio team as part of their stage setup routine.
6:30 P.M. Before country music fans in the audience hear the polished versions of their favorite songs, artists and the Opry house band are running through the stripped-down version backstage in the Jimmy Capps Music Room, a hub for preshow rehearsals. Music director Kerry Marx is no stranger to
the curious crowds that gather around the space to watch the band prepare for the evening’s songs. “As music director, I’m always trying to make sure that artists get what they need as far as when they’re on stage and that they know how to get out of there, whether they’re going to talk before they sing or walk out to music,” Marx says. “All those elements change because everybody has a different way to do it.” By 6:30 p.m., the Opry band has already studied their handwritten music and the lineup, but when the artists start to arrive, live harmonies resonate through the halls. Band rehearsals, instrument tuning, the shuffling of equipment, and conversation bring backstage to life. “It seems like at a certain time in the evening things just kind of get a little lively, there is a little buzz in the air, McBride says. “It’s kind of hard to describe but all of the sudden everybody is just busy.”
“The Grand Ole Opry, to a country singer, is what Yankee Stadium is to a baseball player. Broadway to an actor. It’s the top of the ladder, the top of the mountain. You don’t just play the Opry; you live it.” —Bill Anderson
In the last few moments leading up to showtime, most of the behind-the-scenes frenetic energy can be found stage right. The evening’s first performer waits in the wings as crowds gather and chat in the Family Room just around the corner, all while Opry staff members take their places.
Now dimly lit, the Family Room sits empty. Archie Campbell’s lively mural A Good-Natured Riot watches over the space, serving as an enduring metaphor of the Opry backstage experience as life imitates art nightly. The Grand Ole Opry is not only a cherished oasis for artists but also for those who work at the Opry. Without their hard work, the Grand Ole Opry would be a shell of itself.
“Five minutes to showtime, five minutes to showtime,” Bryan announces through the radio to the team. To those sitting on the other side of the curtain, the show is just beginning. But the frenzied crescendo backstage is brought down to a simmer as the last five minutes serve as a moment of reflection for the Opry team. “Right before the curtain goes up is the last bit of calm before the storm, when you’re running over some last-minute things in your head, making sure everything is lining up and you’ve got everything in order,” Thomas says. “It’s like that last breath when the lights are still down and it’s quiet.” These final moments of quiet are possibly the most rewarding as the Opry crew prepares to put its work to the test. “My job is not an easy job, but in a lot of ways it’s also very easy because the artists are great to work with, the band is great, the stagehands are great because everybody takes care of what they are supposed to,” Marx says. “This job is kind of a pinnacle of being in the music industry in Nashville because it’s really demanding, and these guys, they bring it every night.”
Once the curtain has been drawn shut and the artists head home, the team wraps up another historic night on the Opry stage. As staff members come down from the high of another show and walk out those back doors, they can look forward to doing it all over again tomorrow. “I’ve come to respect the fact that the Opry is so much more than just a show,” McBride says. “They talk about how we are a family, and I feel that from my experience backstage, we really are a family here.”
“You know, I don’t think if I played it a million times it would be any less special than the first time I played.”
MARCH-APRIL | 2020
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CHAPTER BUZZ PINNACLE DECA ARIZONA
MILL CREEK DECA GEORGIA
Pinnacle DECA achieved great success at Arizona DECA’s SCDC with 42 members qualifying for ICDC in Nashville, Tennessee. They are also celebrating Aakash Kakkar who was elected to a state officer position for the 2020-2021 school year.
Mill Creek DECA hosted their 3rd Annual Service Appreciation Night during a school football game. Prior to the game, dozens of local and Georgia emergency personnel were set up to show the community what they do on a daily basis. The Gwinnett County Police Department helicopter, Marine Gaming Truck and Georgia Bureau of Investigation SWAT truck were all in attendance. The U.S. Silverwing Parachuters landed on the field, delivering the game ball. The event was a wonderful way to bring together the community and show appreciation for those that protect our country every day.
Clarksville DECA recently raised $1,274 for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation during their “Sixty Second Share” fundraiser. DECA members volunteering for the event passed buckets throughout the crowd for one minute between the 3rd and 4th quarters of a high school basketball game.
NAUGATUCK DECA CONNECTICUT Naugatuck DECA Presidents Kaylee Hawks and Alysha Cacace presented the value and importance of DECA during a public Board of Education meeting. As a result of their captivating presentation, Naugatuck DECA is building bridges with interested local professionals to offer many new opportunities for their members.
CAPE HENLOPEN DECA DELAWARE Cape Henlopen DECA took 43 competitors to their association competition and 34 of them placed! Along with the unprecedented number of medalists, chapter member Molly Hudecheck won the Delaware DECA pin design contest and five members were elected to state officer positions. This was a year like no other for Cape Henlopen DECA, and now they’re ready to show Nashville what they’ve got!
THOMAS JEFFERSON DECA FLORIDA Thomas Jefferson DECA officers conducted a workshop for incoming DECA members. Partnering with Publix to provide lunch, the officers shared the benefits of DECA and how it will benefit them in the future.
NORTH GWINNET MIDDLE DECA GEORGIA North Gwinnet Middle School DECA members competed at their regional competition to take fifth and seventh place in competitive events.
SOUTH FORSYTH DECA GEORGIA South Forsyth DECA held a “Magical Morning” community service event at a local elementary school to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). During the event, children were able to enjoy a pancake breakfast while meeting their favorite movie characters. Over 50 members volunteered on the makeup and hair team, prepared breakfasts for guests, dressed up as characters and managed the event.
Mill Creek DECA
ELMWOOD PARK DECA ILLINOIS Elmwood Park DECA started an #EPDECAProud social media campaign to highlight chapter alumni success stories on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
North Gwinnet Middle DECA
NILES WEST DECA ILLINOIS Niles West DECA members Irena Petryk and Anna Urosev hosted a school-wide “Battle of the Junior Highs” basketball competition. The event raised over $2,500 for Expanding Lives, a charity that hosts leadership conferences and funds tuition for women in Benin and Niger (West Africa). The profits will be split between Expanding Lives and a local scholarship that supports young women at Niles West who will be first generation college students.
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CLARKSVILLE DECA ARKANSAS
South Forsyth DECA 25
CHAPTER BUZZ UNIVERSITY VIEW ACADEMY DECA LOUISIANA
TEWKSBURY MEMORIAL DECA MASSACHUSETTS
University View Academy is an online public charter school. Though these members stay at home for school, they are determined leaders! University View Academy members arrived at their first DECA Conference – the New Orleans Pelicans Sports & Entertainment Conference in New Orleans ready to network and meet their own chapter members in-person for the first time. In their words, “Knowing there is an opportunity for all high school students to join DECA even if you don’t wake up and catch a school bus every morning is amazing!”
Tewksbury DECA hosted a Meghan McCarthy Fashion Show on behalf of a TMHS student who passed away from cancer. Ninety-six percent of all chapter members were involved in the production of this community event which raised $16,116. All proceeds were donated to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to fund childhood cancer research.
WESTFORD ACADEMY DECA MASSACHUSETTS
Woodlawn DECA completed their third annual Adopt-A-Road trash and debris pickup along a 4.2 miles stretch of highway, collecting 16 bags of trash. Woodlawn DECA members are very active in community service and believe in giving back to the community.
Westford Academy DECA raised $36,000 with the help of Snap!Raise. The Snap!Raise platform allowed the club to make a quick video describing what funds have been used for in the past and what they intend to be used for in the future. The money helped reduce the cost for members attending the Massachusetts DECA SCDC – by over $100 for each of the 173 participants. The funds will also be used to provide scholarships to students attending ICDC.
ALGONQUIN REGIONAL DECA MASSACHUSETTS
SALINE COUNTY CAREER CENTER DECA MISSOURI
Algonquin DECA hosted its annual Networking Night. The event was a great opportunity for students to learn about careers in business and network with industry professionals. This year, there were over 15 professionals ranging from the Director of Business Analytics of the Boston Bruins to the CFO of General Electric Healthcare and many more.
During Saline County Career Center DECA’s community week, the chapter worked at a local pet boarding and grooming business in addition to sponsoring a “Doggy Wash” to promote the business and raise money for their chapter. They enjoyed connecting with a local business, pet lovers and cute pups!
WOODLAWN DECA LOUISIANA
TAUNTON DECA MASSACHUSETTS Taunton DECA teamed up with their high school’s student council to host their second annual “Miles for MDA Walk-a-thon” for over 200 participants. They had games, a social media scavenger hunt and other organizations hosted activities. In addition, many Taunton city officials and four other Massachusetts DECA chapters were in attendance (Bristol-Plymouth, King Phillip, Nipmuc and Apponequet). Together, they raised over $6,000 to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) - more than doubling their total from 2018.
University View Academy DECA
Algonquin Regional DECA
HILLSBORO-DEERING DECA NEW HAMPSHIRE Hillsboro-Deering DECA hosted an allschool assembly with Survivor: Africa (Season 3) winner and current Survivor: Winners at War (Season 40) contestant, Ethan Zohn, for Winter Carnival Week. He shared his experiences as a Survivor contestant, professional soccer player, entrepreneur, cancer survivor and advocate.
Tewksbury Memorial DECA
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CHAPTER BUZZ PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK DECA NEW YORK
TRIANGLE MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY DECA NORTH CAROLINA
Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK DECA seniors Dani Mintz, Nikki Mastorides and Amanda Ortsman planned a “BElieve THEre is HOPE” campaign, including numerous events and fundraisers for Stacy’s Warriors – a local non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funds to fight cancer. Through the help of their community and many businesses, the chapter raised $7,000 for the incredible cause.
Triangle Math and Science Academy DECA participated in the School-based Enterprise Program and received Bronze Level certification for their school clothing store. The chapter worked on their SBE for the past two years, making many improvements to earn recognition.
CLARKSTOWN SOUTH DECA NEW YORK
Great Oaks Harrison DECA has achieved the highest chapter membership in Ohio thanks to years of hard work. In 2010, the chapter had 14 members participate in regional competition with nine members qualifying for state. A decade later, the chapter sent 160 members to the same competition with 133 state qualifications.
LOCKPORT DECA NEW YORK Lockport DECA organized its annual fashion show – the biggest fundraiser and community outreach event of the year. All of the models are DECA members and clothing is donated by a local clothing store, Bling!, and Men’s Wearhouse. This year’s theme was Masquerade.
CHATHAM CHARTER DECA NORTH CAROLINA Chatham Charter DECA won big at the North Carolina Career Development Conference. Chapter President, Noah Carter, received a $1,000 T. Carl Brown Scholarship, several members placed in the top 10, and junior Abbey Gaines placed first in the Integrated Marketing Campaign - Service event. Congratulations to the Chatham Charter DECA members!
CORINTH HOLDERS DECA NORTH CAROLINA Corinth Holders DECA held a Penny Wars fundraiser and a Cancer Awareness Week to raise awareness and collect donations to purchase supplies for a local oncology center. The chapter purchased fleece to make homemade blankets, hand sanitizer, lotions, lip balm, gum, puzzles and word searches. The gift bags were given to patients at Southeastern Medical Oncology Center while the school’s band performed.
PORT PERRY DECA ONTARIO
Plainview-Old Bethpage DECA
Corinth Holders DECA
Port Perry DECA may be small, but its members attended the Provincial Conference in Toronto and had a great time, with one member qualifying for ICDC.
DR. MARIA CADILLA DECA PUERTO RICO Dr. Maria Cadilla DECA’s local directive team created a unique video campaign that included sign language. This special membership promotion reached thousands of students on social networks.
Great Oaks Harrison DECA
REEDY DECA TEXAS Reedy DECA grew from 14 members last year to become a Texas Diamond Chapter in 2019-2020. Reedy DECA hosted social events and community service events across the city of Frisco to promote DECA and recruit new members.
Port Berry DECA MARCH-APRIL | 2020
More than 34% of Clarkstown South DECA members qualified to compete at the International Career Development Conference, and 67% were recognized at state the level. Members Swaneet Jah and Andrew Meyers were also elected to association leadership positions
GREAT OAKS HARRISON DECA OHIO
COPPERAS COVE DECA TEXAS Copperas Cove DECA hosted a successful “Start with Hello” suicide awareness walk. They would like to thank those who shared testimony so attendees could better understand what signs to look for and what they can do to help.
Reedy DECA 27
CHAPTER BUZZ ROCK RIDGE DECA VIRGINIA Rock Ridge DECA’s Lizzy Chronister and Katharine Bishop raised over $2,200 for Save the Tails – a non-profit organization that rescues dogs from kill shelters and unites them with local foster families. These funds were able to keep the organization’s doors open and help fund the rescue process for over 12 dogs. At the Virginia association competition, they were awarded first place and will continue to raise money for this amazing cause through donations from their community and local businesses.
DC EVEREST DECA + WAUSAU WEST DECA WISCONSIN DC Everest DECA and Wausau West DECA teamed up with Make a Wish Wisconsin to hold “Swish for a Wish” during a local basketball double swheader game. They sponsored Lucas, a boy in the Wausau area who’s wish is to go to the Milwaukee Brewer’s spring training in Arizona. By partnering with 14 local businesses and hosting miracle minutes during half time of both games, they were able to make Lucas’s wish come true!
Rock Ridge DECA
APPLETON EAST DECA WISCONSIN Appleton East DECA visited the Fiserv Forum to take a stadium tour, learn from industry speakers and attend a Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks game.
Appleton East DECA
DC Everest DECA and Wausau West DECA
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Study in New York
Up to full-tuition scholarships available*
“I knew Berkeley was a great school because many of the professors actually had experience within their fields. I’ve learned to communicate effectively and be more confident. The DECA scholarship made coming to Berkeley possible and I am grateful for the opportunity.” Anabelle Rodriguez DECA Scholarship recipient
Apply Today: • Download and complete the DECA Participation Scholarship Application (BerkeleyCollege.edu/DECA). • Incoming full-time students who are enrolled in a degree program and have participated in DECA in high school may be eligible for up to a full-tuition scholarship.
For more information, call 800-446-5400 ext. GDF or email info@BerkeleyCollege.edu
• Scholarships are renewable yearly based on GPA and full-time, continuous, consecutive full-time enrollment.
Programs offered in New York, New Jersey, and Online Schedule an in-person visit, or arrange an online virtual tour with an Admissions Associate
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*Awards are determined after all federal grants, Post-9/11 GI bill amounts, state grants, and state scholarships are applied, not to exceed the remaining tuition amount. Cannot be combined with some other Berkeley College grants or scholarships. Cost of books and supplies not included. Berkeley College reserves the right to add, discontinue, or modify its programs and policies at any time. Modifications subsequent to the original publication of this document may not be reflected here. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu and view our catalogs at BerkeleyCollege.edu/Publications.