People in Gillette Stadium with the Dean College logo in the background on the big screen.

Dean’s exclusive academic partnership with Kraft Sports + Entertainment (KSE) has been going strong for more than 15 years and counting. This partnership benefits Dean students in many different majors such as business, sport management, communication, marketing, sports broadcasting and exercise science. Learning and working directly with industry leaders at KSE is a unique opportunity college students won’t get anywhere else.

For example, the Special Topics in Sport Management class at Dean, consists of a mixture of Communications, Marketing, Sport Management and Business Management majors and is taught by Dean’s associate professor of Sport Management, Patrick Leary. The course merges learning about key marketing concepts (such as marketing trends and market research) and working as teams on specific KSE projects. Representatives from KSE, including Matt Quinn, Director of Sales, Megan Klein, Manager of Corporate Partnerships, and Katherine Hauck, Corporate Relationship Executive, present each topic to the class, and then return to hear student presentations and give constructive feedback.

“The best form of learning is learning by doing, so that’s exactly what the core tenant of the class is,” explained Leary. “Students are applying what they know and learning how to utilize resources to gain data to inform recommendations, and then to analyze those recommendations.”

KSE is much more than just football and the New England Patriots. It also encompasses Gillette Stadium, the New England Revolution, Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR) and Patriot Place.  Students interested in exploring everything from sport management to hospitality management to finance can benefit from this academic partnership. In fact, Gillette Stadium is one of the world’s largest concert and event venues and Patriot Place, an extension of the stadium, is a booming entertainment complex with dining, hospitality, specialty retail, lodging, and even world-class healthcare facilities. It’s the ideal spot for students to learn, work and play. 

KSE has been promoting and delivering world-class events to New England for more than 20 years. From the biggest names in musical entertainment to international soccer matches, the 2016 NHL Winter Classic, NCAA athletics, motorsports and so much more. Dean students are getting hands-on experience in marketing, management and finance for many of these events. In addition, Dean’s 16 NCAA athletic teams have opportunities to use the facilities at Gillette and dance students often perform on the Dean Stage at Patriot Place.

Recent Examples of KSE and Dean Collaborations:

  • The New England Revolution & Apple TV—students developed marketing plans and recommendations that the KSE team could implement to drive subscriptions to the MLS season pass on Apple TV.
  • New England Patriots in Germany—students focused on increasing the team’s marketing footprint in Germany and identification of a potential sponsor. 
  • Gillette Stadium Experiential Lighthouse—students were tasked with creating a marketing plan for the new lighthouse, focusing on market research, competitive analysis and activation strategies.
  • Patriot Place Event Planning—students presented programming ideas for various themed festivals to increase traffic and interest in Patriot Place.
  • NFL Draft in Detroit—students developed marketing communications plans to increase the buzz and attendance for the Patriot’s draft in Detroit, including special events, social media and PR strategies.
  • Army-Navy Game at Gillette—students assisted in organizing the volunteer network for the 45,000-person event.
  • Mass General Brigham Center for Sports Performance and Research—students were given a private tour and demonstration of the state-of-the-art facility to observe the latest technology and learn from industry leaders.

“The big thing that we’ve all learned is the different parts of the business side of Kraft Sports + Entertainment,” said Josh Tata ’24, a Sport Management major with a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications. “We received great hands-on experience coming up with marketing plans, a corporate partnership proposal, and how to utilize the new lighthouse they built. It was amazing getting real-world experience and networking with people within Kraft Sports + Entertainment.”