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D.C. United, Fairfax County Public Schools Partner for GOAL Zone Program

February 24, 2004 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - D.C. United News Release

CHANTILLY, VA (February 24, 2004) -D.C. United and Fairfax County Public Schools have partnered again to help students gain real-life experience in the field of Sports Marketing. The GOAL Zone (Gaining Occupational Awareness and Learning) program invites local high school students to create and implement a marketing plan for United’s second home game of the 2004 season, against the Chicago Fire.

“D.C. United is very excited to work again with our area high schools and their students in a very hands-on educational program,” said Jamie O’Connor, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for D.C. United. “The addition of four schools to the program this year shows the positive educational value the GOAL Zone program provides.”

Advanced Sports and Entertainment Marketing students from seven area high schools began development of a marketing plan in October 2003. Students were responsible for conducting market research, identifying demographics and target markets, and creating promotional materials to support the marketing campaign. Each school will host a kick-off event in late February, including player appearances and a visit from Talon, D.C. United’s mascot. Tickets for the match are $18, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to each high school’s DECA chapter.

“D.C. United has been exceedingly generous with their time and resources to support a special learning initiative with the Fairfax County Public Schools Marketing Program,” said Jennifer Hendrickson, DECA Advisor at Annandale High School. “This partnership reflects a genuine respect for our marketing students to interact and work on a professional level with a major sports organization.”

Four new schools – Fairfax High School, Lee High School, Westfield High School, and West Springfield High School – join Annandale High School, Edison High School and Hayfield Secondary School in this groundbreaking program. In addition to gaining first-hand experience in marketing, students will also be recognized for reaching ticket sales goals. Any student who sells 15 tickets will be named a member of the “Talon Team,” and the student who sells the most tickets will earn two free tickets to a future D.C. United home game and will receive an autographed authentic D.C. United item.

Students are also encouraged to continue the experience following the completion of the marketing campaign. Jeannine Frank and Lindsey Grant, 2003 participants from Annandale High School, summarized their experiences in a 30-page paper which the students presented at the International Career and Development Conference in Orlando, FL in April of 2003. Ali Tryon, 2003 participant from Hayfield Secondary School, joined D.C. United as an intern for the 2003 season.

“D.C. United is the definitive example of a partner who is willing to support students in their personal and professional growth,” said Hendrickson. “They are the ultimate reflection of encouragement, collaboration and meaningful impact that our students will remember far into the future.”

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