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Volume 21 No. 2
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Study of beer category helps lead to first job

When students working toward their MBA in Ohio University’s sports administration program head off for their internships, the director reminds them not to come back empty handed. Jim Kahler, who heads the program, also teaches a class in revenue generation that is built around a consulting project.

“My expectation is that they’re coming back with a rev-gen project,” Kahler said. “So much of a really good project comes back to trust, so why not do the project with people that you’ve gotten to know around a property that you’ve become familiar with?”

Katie Tershel presented an 18-page report to the Washington Nationals.
For Katie Tershel, who graduated from Ohio with her MBA earlier this year, that property was the Washington Nationals.

Near the end of her internship with the team last summer, Tershel approached executives about what topics they might find most useful. She knew they were working on a renewal with MillerCoors and also would be talking to Anheuser-Busch, so she suggested a project that would examine activation by beer sponsors across sports.

“I went to them and said ‘What will be valuable to you guys?’” Tershel said. “And this is where we landed.”

Tershel’s project produced an 18-page report, built around information gathered through research and interviews with sponsorship executives at teams, agencies and brands. It analyzed the state of the beer industry and reviewed the objectives that MillerCoors and A-B set for their activation: drive retail sales, create branded destinations at ballparks and provide VIP experiences. Most importantly, it recommended what Tershel said could meet those objectives.

“I wanted to tell them everything that was going on out there in the beer category, and then provide my

recommendation for the Nationals,” Tershel said. “So, a lot of people are doing this, but it’s not right for you, and this is why.”

Kahler tells students that each year one project will make his revenue generation hall of fame. The most likely way to make it: Use the project to land a job. Tershel didn’t seek one with the Nationals, choosing instead to search in Dallas, where she landed a job with The Marketing Arm agency. The Nationals provided strong recommendations, Tershel and Kahler said.

“Most people leave their internship, and the relationship pretty much ends,” Tershel said. “You do your best to keep in touch, but it’s hard. This project gave me the ability to continue to prove myself and strengthen my relationship with the Nationals. They were huge supporters and, when I was out looking for that first job, they could talk to people about what I could do.”