Using Sports History to Develop Cultural Competence in Millennial Marketers: Title IX, Stadium Development, and Post-Apartheid Rugby

Using Sports History to Develop Cultural Competence in Millennial Marketers: Title IX, Stadium Development, and Post-Apartheid Rugby

Stephanie A. Tryce (Saint Joseph's University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9784-3.ch007
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Abstract

As we move toward 2050, the United States will become a country of minorities. These changing demographics have tremendous implications for the way marketers understand both the marketplace and consumer behavior. Intentionality, specificity, and intersectional approaches to diverse sport's history are key in successfully providing millennial students with the cultural competence required to become first-rate global marketers. Sport provides marketing educators and students a unique opportunity to examine cultural diversity in a way that ameliorates diversity fatigue from underexposed students. This chapter details relevant diversity and inclusion language and terminology, provides individual lesson plan examples, and details outcomes and instruction for developing cultural competence in millennial student populations.
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Introduction

I recently attended a sporting event where Hispanic Heritage was being celebrated in synchronicity with the United States’ month-long celebration. Music by El Gran Combo, a Puerto Rican Salsa orchestra, played in the arena while the starting lineup was announced in Spanish to complement the Spanish translations of the player’s event-specific uniforms. As team advertisements played throughout the evening, I noticed the singular usage of the term Hispanic to refer to the largely Puerto Rican attending population. I noticed too the announcement of half-priced tacos during half-time as a continuation of the celebration. The questionable confabulation of Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano cultural heritages given the probable singularity of the targeted audience, led me to question the cultural competency of the host team’s marketing department. While no expert, as a Black American woman educated in diverse spaces, I know anecdotally that many of my Puerto Rican friends tend to refer to themselves collectively as Latinos rather than as Hispanics and that tacos likely date back to 18th century Mexico rather than Puerto Rico. I take access to this sort of knowledge for granted, but what happens when there is no access to this type of cultural information? This example makes clear that when lacking culturally specific information or the wherewithal to ask appropriate questions, marketers devoid of cultural competence can unwittingly alienate the very consumers a specific marketing campaign is seeking to target. As an educator I am determined to create students who will be equipped to do better.

What is the best way to accomplish this? To answer this question, I turn to the work of Dr. Ronald Takaki, who was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who wrote extensively about cultural diversities in the United States (Adams & Welsch, 2009). Professor Takaki believed in multicultural education. He implored us to reject what he called the “master narrative” of American history that America was settled by European immigrants and that Americans are white or European in ancestry. He believed it is the responsibility of educators to be aware of the master narrative, but construct new, more accurate narratives. Professor Takaki’s approach to teaching was interdisciplinary, believing it is important to integrate knowledge. He insisted that by understanding our individual and collective histories we help to integrate knowledge across disciplines. As America moves swiftly toward being a “country of minorities” as Dr. Takaki stated, we have to keep in mind that “culture” is not static but fluid. The “holistic, humanistic view of culture synthesized by Kroeber and Kluckhohn includes too much and is too diffuse either to separate analytically the twisted threads of human experience or to interpret the designs into which they are woven” (Keesing, 1974). These words are truer today and will be truer in the coming years as America becomes more and more diverse. We must remain open to rethinking and redefining culture.

I create lesson plans in support of and as a result of theories like that of Professor Takaki. Intentionality, specificity, and intersectional approaches to diverse sport’s history are key in successfully providing Millennials students with the cultural competence required to become first-rate global marketers. In what follows you will find a series of lessons designed to combat the glaring absences in both outcomes and instruction for developing cultural competence in millennial student populations. This chapter describes and articulates relevant diversity and inclusion language and terminology, provides individual lesson plan examples on approaches to teaching Title IX, Stadium Development, and Nelson Mandela’s rebranding of Rugby in post-apartheid South Africa.

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