Students Run Record Labels to Learn Marketing Principles As Class Project

“I had so much fun and wish all courses had projects like this!” said BGSU junior Emma Sales. She was referencing the marketing class project where students launched their own record label.  This was part of Dr. Greg Rich’s Introduction to Marketing (MKT 3000) course this spring.

The 110 students (divided across two sections of the course) were divided into 21 teams that each operated a record label for 30 days with the help of Sponstour Music Experience.  A representative of Sponstour, Ryan Williams, from Nashville, worked closely with Dr. Rich and the students throughout the project.

For each student team, the first steps were to choose a record label name, design a company logo, and assign jobs to each group member.  The jobs included CEO, chief marketing officer, A&R manager, and street team leader.

The next step was to sign a band by choosing among 15 musical acts from a variety of genres.  These were actual, up-and-coming music acts that had agreed to be a part of this project.

One of the top performing student teams from Dr. Rich’s class was Rustic Records, which promoted the band Pawn Shop Kings.  These students created a video that introduced their record label to the world. And like the rest of the students, they executed marketing plans that utilized the power of social media – especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Youtube – and set up promotional sites and blogs to generate online discussion, page visits, music downloads, “likes” and followers.  They also organized focus groups and community events, posted flyers throughout campus, and created news releases and artist one-sheets.

Dr. Rich said that he was happy with how the project went, and felt that it was a good fit for the course.  He added, “I was generally pleased with how hard the students worked.  In fact, of the 10 or so universities that participated in this venture, we were told that BGSU was arguably the top performing school!  The Sponstour people were extremely impressed with our students.”

rustic-records
BGSU students Bruce Rader, Taylor Dallas, Caitlyn Menicucci and Ben Midkiff of Rustic Records promote their band Pawn Shop Kings.

According to BGSU senior and Rustic Records’s CEO, Caitlyn Menicucci, "My favorite part of the Sponstour Music Project was the hands-on element and how well it correlated with the lecture materials.  Additionally, I enjoyed getting to be a self-starter and figure out what works and what doesn't.  Being paired with other students who were willing to try, communicate, and have fun with the project made it even more worthwhile.  Plus, I found some great music to add to my ITunes collection in the process."