When asked to recall his remarkable accomplishment of creating Acadia’s baseball club from thin air, BBA marketing student David Pilat recollects the first day of Professor Kendra Carmichael’s Communication class where he was asked to introduce himself. David told his COMM class who he was and that he had an interest in, among other things, baseball.
What followed might well serve as a template for anyone seeking to use social media to identify a community and then forge it into a cohesive team.
After class, David was approached by a student with the same interest.
And that sparked a light, David said.
If we both have friends who play baseball, maybe we could network out and see where we get. David started a Facebook page and discovered 50 people at Acadia interested in playing baseball. Pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders all came out for practice. The team fell together over the summer of 2014.
We were accepted into the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association league two weeks before the season started. So, it was a bit of a rush.
A bit of a rush is an understatement. And to say that David’s task of starting a team from scratch was herculean is hardly an overstatement. For while it functioned like a varsity team—with regular travel and competition in a regular season—they were and are still a club, receiving minimum funding from the University; players had to pay much of their own way. Despite this, or maybe because of it, the team proved itself by finishing the season in third place. With some very adept fundraising, it also eliminated its debt to the University.
But creating the team has had a snowball effect off the field. David attended a recruiting camp for the best one hundred young prospects from Atlantic Canada. In attendance were Cito Gaston, Devon White, and Kelly Gruber. The Acadia team has also been invited to be the very first university baseball team to partake in the Caribbean Good Will Baseball Tour.
What they do is send teams down to Cuba where they’ll play five games as part of the trip, David explained.
We’ll bring school supplies and baseball gear. I’ve heard that we’ll be playing in the Cuban national team stadium, which is beautiful. We’re going to be the first university team to do this representing Canada.
All this in less than a year.
The club is now working on an executive to get people from the team more involved. But David, a marketing student, will keep the marketing piece. He runs the facebook page and has opened a twitter feed. He also convinced his teammates to tape a
viral video that doubles as a promotional video. And what business courses were most helpful to him in this outsized undertaking?
I would say accounting definitely helped. To be able to put spreadsheets together and to figure it all out was a real plus. And digital marketing has really helped with the social media aspect.
David and his classmates really dug in to the task of creating a successful viral video in Digital Marketing class, says marketing professor Dr. Donna Sears.
Their passion for the project showed in the quality of their video and their efforts to promote it. It’s gratifying to see students work on projects that they feel passionate about and that have real world impact.
The home field for the Acadia Axemen Baseball Club is Memorial Park in Kentville. The season starts in September, like the fall academic semester.
About the Manning School
Founded in 1957, the Manning School at Acadia University is home to over 600 students from over 20 countries. With 23 faculty members from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, the Manning School offers small classes that encourage concentrated interaction between students and faculty. Our students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom through co-op placements, projects with local enterprises, and international exchanges. Firmly rooted in a rich institutional legacy that personifies the very essence of a liberal education, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Acadia is challenging and flexible, allowing students to explore a broad range of interests and producing well-rounded graduates who are well-positioned to pursue varied professional opportunities. As testimony, our graduates work in leadership roles across Canada and around the globe, with many having made their Acadia BBA degree a pathway to prestigious graduate programs.