Richmond International Raceway and James Madison University Partner in Ticket Sales Program
Sport Marketing and Sales Students Gain Valuable Experience in Ticket Sales Industry
The collaboration between RIR and JMU provides students an opportunity to gain valuable sales experience from the university classroom to professional sports.
Richmond International Raceway is partnering with James Madison University’s Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management in launching a new ticket sales program. The collaboration provides students an opportunity to gain valuable sales experience from the university classroom to professional sports. The initial participants in this joint-venture will be students who are enrolled in the Sport Marketing and Sales course during the Spring 2017 semester.
Sixty-six students from the Hart School are participating in the program, which was conceived by the track’s Director of Ticket Sales and Guest Services, James Hall, Jr. Recently, Hall visited the Harrisonburg, Va. campus to guide JMU students through a comprehensive tutorial on general sales technique, customer communications, critical listening skills, and winning sales presentation keys.
The JMU students will be calling NASCAR fans who have not attended a recent Richmond race. As part of the sales relationship building, the students will ask fans about their Richmond NASCAR experience during their last visit to the ¾-mile D-shaped oval. JMU students will be able to provide an exclusive ticket offer for the upcoming TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, April 30.
“The opportunity to help shape future members of the sports industry is something we truly value in the motor racing industry and Richmond,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. “By partnering with the Hart School at JMU, we are opening the door for many college students to gain critical experience in the sports industry that they may not usually get inside the classroom. This program not only allows us to grow these students’ skill sets, but also to connect with our generations of NASCAR fans who are excited about our sport in 2017.”
The Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management at JMU was first formed in 2010 when the Sport and Recreation Management program merged with the Hospitality and Tourism Management program. In 2015, JMU alumnus G.J. (’84) and Heather Hart announced a gift commitment of more than $3 million to name the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management, which made it the first named school at JMU. With the financial support from the Hart family, students in the Hart School are given opportunities to participate in experiential learning activities that would otherwise not be possible. The Hart School has over 1,000 students across two undergraduate and one graduate degree programs, making it one of the largest schools at JMU.
“We are proud to have the opportunity for JMU’s Hart School to partner with Richmond International Raceway on the creation of this new program,” said Lecturer Alyssa T. Bosley. “This unique opportunity gives students in my Sport Marketing and Sales course valuable firsthand experience with the ticket sales, customer service, and relationship marketing skills necessary to succeed in professional sports.”
“The relationship that our faculty has developed with Richmond International Raceway is unprecedented,” said Dr. Michael O’Fallon, Director of the Hart School of Sport and Recreation Management. “Giving our students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience enhances the knowledge gained in the classroom. This practical experience is something that our students will be able to draw from in their professional careers. We thank Richmond International Raceway for this amazing opportunity.”
In addition to this program, numerous Richmond staff members have spoken with various classes at the Hart School. Over the course of the past few years, students have either travelled to the track, or staff members have visited the JMU campus.
NASCAR returns to Richmond on April 28, 29, and 30. The action starts with Pole Day on April 28, followed by the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash4Cash race on Saturday, April 29 at 1 p.m. Kids 12 and younger are free in general admission seating areas for the ToyotaCare 250. Richmond’s spring weekend concludes with the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m.
Richmond will crown the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season champion over Fan Appreciation Weekend on September 8-9. The Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday, September 9, and the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday, September 8 is presented by Who’s Your Driver.
Tickets are on sale now. Visit rir.com or call 866-455-7223 to purchase.
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