Sheldon Slonski, Ileana O’Keefe, Karolina Siwiec, and Adam Velji at the Whitecaps store. Photo submitted.


Cap U business students sprung at the chance to take a kick at event marketing in the real world after instructor Andrea Eby introduced the Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s sales competition to an event marketing class.

Bachelor of business administration students Ileana O’Keefe, Karolina Siwiec, Sheldon Slonski and Adam Velji teamed up as CapLovesCaps. They developed a marketing plan with coaching from instructor Mary Charleson that placed them in the top 12 of post-secondary teams from across the province in January. The team pitched its plan in person to a Whitecaps panel in February, placing in the top five, alongside crews from UBC, SFU, BCIT and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The group then hit the ground running, executing its sales campaign for the 2016 ’Caps College Night, with mentorship from a Whitecaps’s sales account executive and a marketing specialist.

CapLovesCaps put their marketing acumen for print, social media and interactive events into play, organizing four events on campus. They also coordinated with the other post-secondary teams to organize half-time activities for the match on April 27.

Life lessons

“We learned that things don’t go as planned,” says O’Keefe. “Always have a backup plan. Be prepared to think on your feet.”

“I’ve gained a greater appreciation for [marketing] events,” she adds. “It’s stressful, but I enjoy it.”

Siwiec felt similarily. “Selling is not an easy thing,” she learned.

But the challenge was worth it. “It’s a first-hand experience, and I’m better learning that way than through a textbook,” she says.

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