Marketing students spent the fall semester participating in a unique research project while learning about the culture of Qatari people and the World Cup.
“The goal of our research for the Qatar 2022 World Cup was to develop a plan that would make soccer interesting for young Qatari woman,” said Taylor Blodgett, junior animal science and marketing major. “Qatar’s goal is to have a women’s team, which would compete by the time of the World Cup.”
This project was a part of a consumer behavior course taught by Chris Ward, associate professor of business and director of experiential learning, in collaboration with EdVenture Partners, which hosts a competition for marketing projects such as the Qatari project. Although EdVenture Partners invites schools to submit projects for consideration in the competition, UF did not participate in that portion of the project this year.
EdVenture Partners provides students with marketing and learning experiences by partnering schools with businesses. In the past, The University of Findlay has proposed marketing plans for the Department of Defense, General Motors, American Petroleum Institute and Medical Reserve Corps.
“EdVenture Partners secures the organizations or businesses as well as facilitates competitions and then invites universities to participate,” said Ward. “Each challenge has a different objective, for example, the Medical Reserve Corps wanted to increase their volunteer base.”
The class separated into five teams at the beginning of the fall semester to conduct the research for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
“The case required each team of students to develop a SWOT analysis and target market profile, then conduct primary research of the success drivers for women’s soccer in the United States,” said Ward. “They then needed to determine which success drivers could be leveraged to increase support, interest and participation of soccer for young Qatari women.”
While developing a marketing communication strategy, EdVenture Partners challenged the students to design their strategies according to the Qatar National Vision 2030. The Qatar National Vision explains what Qatar wants the state to be like by the year 2030.
“We used this document to make sure that we were coming up with strategies which would adhere to the country’s goals and ideals,” said Blodgett. “Our group ended up relating our goals for the challenge to their goals for the country. For example, starting up youth women’s soccer teams to enhance social development.”
Blodgett’s team gathered information from various websites including soccer start-up organizations and informative websites about Qatar.
“One of the representatives from the country said that they are not highly influenced by advertisements and do not watch much TV at all,” said Blodgett. “He said that Qatari’s are more likely to get involved with something if it is what their friends or peers are doing.”
While learning about Qatar, the teams determined that Qatari people are very culturally motivated people.
“The most challenging part of the project was trying to understand a culture with which none of us had prior knowledge or experience,” said Blodgett. “It was difficult trying to understand what daily life is like for them, which is essential when developing a marketing plan.”
At the end of the semester, the students had the opportunity to present their marketing communication strategies to a committee to receive feedback.
“The students did a good job with the research and aligning the marketing communication strategy with the 2030 Qatar National Vision,” said Ward.
Written by Sarah Foltz