South Forsyth High School students took home two of the top three spots in a recent marketing competition for the Atlanta Hawks.
Juniors Kahlil Rice, Taylor Gray Eckert and Andrew Kaldas placed second in the statewide competition for the professional basketball team. Senior Nanette Renya was third.
“It was very nerve-wracking because I was doing it by myself and there were a lot of people there,” Renya said. “Being on the court by myself presenting, I was really nervous.
“But you kind of get used to it … and that’s something I can tell other people about and write down on a resume and just talk about the experience.”
Katie Pniewski said the competition was an assignment for her intro and advanced sports entertainment marketing classes.
The contest invitation went out to about 300 other schools in the state, Pniewski said. Because it was a school assignment, however, her students could use class time to do it.
“They would turn in piece by piece and we worked on it as a class,” she said. “They had some really, really creative ideas.”
The ideas included a slogan and various suggestions for advertising.
The students fared well in class, but when it came time for presentations in Philips Arena, in front of hundreds of their peers, with their PowerPoint presentations on the Jumbotron, it was a whole new ballgame, Pniewski said.
“We knew they were going to have to present in front of the representatives that actually do the marketing for the Hawks, and that was nerve-wracking enough,” she said.
“But when you put them in the arena with all their peers, they were pretty nervous. But they did a great job. I am very proud.”