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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | Last updated: 7:04pm

Class presents streetcar marketing campaign to local leaders



A UA class gave its final presentation to local political and business leaders on the marketing campaign it developed for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar on Tuesday.

Integrated Marketing Communications, Marketing 452, presented its progress on marketing the streetcar and made recommendations for improving the promotion of the project to Tucson Mayor Jonathon Rothschild and others in the Eller College of Management. The class has partnered with the City of Tucson for the entire semester to run the marketing campaign on campus, said Jordan Griffith, a marketing senior and marketing director for the class.

Many of the city, business and UA leaders in attendance for the presentation had met with the class previously, Griffith added.

“Most of the people that were in here,” Griffith said. “They came in and spoke to us at the beginning of the semester. They let us know what the streetcar meant to their organization, and we used that in our marketing plan.”

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By Carlos Herrera / The Daily Wildcat
Marketing students present their marketing plan for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar to business owners and city officials, including Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, at McClelland Hall on Tuesday. About 70 students who participated in the marketing project for the Integrated Marketing Communications class in the Eller College of Management.

The directors of the class, led by Jake Storer, a marketing senior, reported on the progress the class of 69 students made throughout the year.

Storer said the main challenge was that the class didn’t have a tangible product to sell, so they couldn’t know how many people were actually buying their product.

The class held events throughout the semester to promote the streetcar to students on campus. These events included a bake sale to raise funds and a large promotional event on the UA Mall.

The large promotional event on the Mall, for Sun Link SunSation, took place last week and featured free food and games to make sure students knew the streetcar was available to them, Griffith said. The class also made recommendations on how best to reach the target audience: UA students.

One of the most valuable suggestions was to allow students to pay for a Sun Link pass through their bursar’s account, Griffith said.

“That was the first thing we said — this needs to be bursared,” Griffith said. “That’s where you’re going to get your revenues, because students like to bursar stuff.”

David Heineking, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said PTS is planning to allow Sun Link passes to be charged to bursar’s accounts.

Richard Miranda, manager for the City of Tucson, said he was happy to see the progress that has been made on the streetcar.

“To see it go from a lunchtime cocktail napkin to a presentation on marketing is really a dream come true,” Miranda said.

Rothschild said he was thrilled when the opportunity arose for students to help market the streetcar, as they are the target audience of promotional efforts.

He said he appreciated the students’ efforts to market a product they couldn’t physically sell and said he enjoyed the presentation.

“You should all get A’s, because you’ve sold me,” Rothschild said.

Shanna Winer, a marketing senior and public relations director for the class, said she enjoyed the real-world experience the class offered her through working with the streetcar.

“It’s cool to be part of a startup, even though we won’t be here to see the results,” she said.

— Follow news editor Ethan McSweeney on Twitter @ethanmcsweeney


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