Ding, ding, ding! Congratulations, you just won a free trip to Mexico!
This is where you have a small freak out session, run straight to the nearest swimsuit shop and dig out that old sunblock from the cupboard.
But hold on just a second, what’s that in the fine print? Oh, it’s only for three nights in a two-star hotel and you have to buy a trip to get yours free.
This was almost the reality for one “lucky” Mount Royal attendee at the Cougar vs. SAIT rivalry hockey game on Jan. 31.
“I was a little shocked when I found out what the trip really was,” said Brandy Wenger, marketing coordinator for Cougar athletics.
Wenger admitted the staff was a little jaded when they discovered the terms of the so-called free trip.
“We ended up buying the airfare for the other trip,” said Wegner. In the end, Cougar athletics made sure the trip was for two, although still in a two-star hotel for three nights, but the option to travel outside of spring break was also added.
“On the marketing side, I think they did a pretty good job pumping it up,” said Mel Merwin, a Mount Royal alumni.
“I know it was an attendance challenge against SAIT to try to beat their numbers. By offering a chance to win a free trip to Mexico I think they were appealing to the students they wanted to attend,” he added.
However not all students agreed that the attendance promotion was necessary.
“It’s about the atmosphere,” said Jessica Doyle, an attendee at the rivalry game. “I don’t really pay attention to the marketing because that’s not what the game is about.”
While the trip giveaway wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, Wegner says they’re going to keep up with marketing including getting the student athletes involved in promotions.
The upcoming women’s volleyball ACAC Final Eight at the end of February not only holds hope of a championship for the Cougars, but it also promises $500 for one lucky fan.
While the Cougar athletics coordinators will definitely be more wary next time when it comes to sponsors, Wegner says there’s a lesson that can be learned by all.
“If you think you’ve won a free trip, read the fine print. You’ll most likely find out it’s not free at all.”