Pickleball Thursday Rundown

Let’s open this blog post with the sobering reality that many people in our country are facing unimaginable hardships due to disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. Please pray for all those impacted and for the conclusion of these disastrous events. On that sad, but necessary, note, here are tonight’s five topics…

Night At Indians Game – On Wednesday evening we finally attended our first Spokane Indians game of the summer. Thanks to our friend Shauna (whose daughter, Aminah, is a great friend/classmate of Sloan) we had free tickets. Even better, Shauna arranged for Sloan to announce the first Indians batter. If you think I am lying, watch her flex her announcing chops here. It was a rainy day but it all cleared by first pitch as it was truly a gorgeous evening at Avista Stadium.

It was a great night for baseball at Avista Stadium as the Spokane Indians hosted the Everett AquaSox.

Other Drink Stand Business Models – Last night I told the story of the drink stand business model we concocted for Sloan. Well, there are many other creative options out there as well. Nearly eight years ago, several groups within a business class at Coastal Carolina University converged on Prince Lawn to compete against each other in a lemonade stand battle. Each group did something different and innovative to attract customers. I loved going from stand to stand and I wrote this blog post highlighting the models and tactics that each group used.

This was one of the lemonade stands I encountered on the Coastal Carolina University campus back in September 2015.

Pickleball – Our new neighborhood has a couple of really well-done pickleball courts and we are all about them. The Resers are now part of the national craze as we have ventured down to the courts multiple times for some family fun. Sidney bought a couple of the Target pickleball sets and they are working just fine for us at the moment. However, if we continue to have a blast playing, we might have to invest in equipment that is a little nicer 😎.

Sloan loves pickleball already!

Strike Force Five – It is kind of a neat concept. Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver are collaborating on a podcast to support their striking writers. Although I am not a fan of any of them, especially the first three I mentioned by last name, I admire what they are doing. When reading about it, I kept thinking, Could you imagine Letterman, Leno, and Conan doing this in their heyday?

I admire the teamwork of these five comedians.

What A Feat! – Early in my career I was a marketing director for an intercollegiate volleyball team so I understand the challenges of packing the venue with fans. Because of this experience, I was blown away by the 92,003 people who filled the University of Nebraska’s football stadium to watch the Cornhuskers volleyball team host Omaha. Many Division I football programs would be ecstatic if just a third of the fans that showed up in Lincoln went to a game in their venue. What transpired on Wednesday night reveals so much about Nebraska’s passion for women’s sports, the commitment of the institution’s marketing team, and the success of the volleyball program. How cool it must have been to watch that match in-person!

What an incredible and encouraging sight! (photo courtesy of CNN).


Okay, I think I am going to release all of you so you can enjoy a terrific Labor Day weekend. Be safe and savor these last official moments of summer. Don’t Blink.

Lemonade Stand Competition

Many summer days of my young childhood were devoted to Kool-Aid stands. We lived across the street from a park and we would constantly stand at the corner of it and sell the sugary drink for ten cents a cup. It gave us business insight and taught us customer service. However, the real winner were my parents. They would gladly buy us unlimited Kool-Aid packets and sugar to get us off their front lawn. We played whiffle ball every day during the summer and absolutely tortured the grass. 

Anyway, I am not kidding you, Kool-Aid stands have a big spot in my memory bank of fond childhood memories. Because of this, as I grew older I always followed the stories that would make news centering on lemonade stands. A kid would raise a bunch of money for a good cause, someone would have their stand robbed, or a sweet little girl would receive an outrageous tip. Pretty much all this stuff is cliché by now in lemonade lore.

Perhaps this is why I was so excited when I saw a new dimension brought to the lemonade stand concept this morning right here at Coastal Carolina University!

This morning lemonade stands took over Prince Lawn at Coastal Carolina University.

This morning lemonade stands took over Prince Lawn at Coastal Carolina University.

The professor of one of our Management 309 classes split the students up into teams. The eight teams then set up lemonade stands around the most scenic and busiest part of campus, Prince Lawn. The students had a budget ($30 I think) and about an hour to generate as much revenue as possible. All proceeds would go to a local animal shelter but the prestige from creating the most successful lemonade stand would swell in the prideful hearts of the victorious students.

I covered the event for #CCUSocialMedia and went around to each stand where I talked to the students. I got a real kick out of the tactics used by the various teams.

One group gave their lemonade a unique texture by mixing and blending it. They decided to strategically forgo a set price and accept donations only. Another group brought an actual dog out as a prop to sway customers. They also had the economical idea of selling their lemonade in cans so people wouldn’t fret about taking it to class or in their vehicles.

This team sold lemonade in cans and brought a dog out as a prop.

This team sold lemonade in cans and brought a dog out as a prop.

The third lemonade stand I went to added an ingredient…iced tea. Yup, this specific team decided to stand out by offering Arnold Palmers. The next group I encountered had candy poured all over its table. If you bought a cup of lemonade you received a complimentary mini candy bar and the option to play water pong.

This was the group that blended its lemonade.

This was the group that blended its lemonade.

I went on to the next group and they proudly informed me that their lemonade stand stood out because they had recruited a marketing team to boost sales. Sure enough, the two guys behind the table pointed to Wall Bridge where a few enthusiastic individuals were encouraging students walking across to the Prince Lawn side to splurge on an ice cold lemonade. I then walked the short distance to the next stand where the designated spokesperson for the group told me they had an “incentives program.” If you bought a cup of lemonade or a cup of PINK lemonade you would receive a souvenir cup or a sticker.

If you purchased either regular or PINK lemonade from this group you received an incentive such as a cup.

If you purchased either regular or PINK lemonade from this group you received an incentive such as a cup.

I hustled over to the final two stands. The first one on the final stretch was selling TEAL LEMONADE! Not only did that simple fact win my heart over but the color of the liquid was extremely close to the actual official #CCU teal color (it is very hard to replicate). The final stand wasn’t too shabby either. They offered frozen lemonade fresh out of the blender.

Competition over. In my mind, the teal lemonade was the best idea out on Prince Lawn.

Competition over. In my mind, the teal lemonade was the best idea out on Prince Lawn.

Although I didn’t get to actually sample any of the different lemonades, I definitely enjoyed conversing with the students and hearing their sales tactics. My award for best stand (not based on taste of course) definitely goes to the teal lemonade team. What an absolutely genius idea.

You know the best part of all this? The other Management 309 class will be out on Prince Lawn this Thursday at the same time to give their best shot at selling lemonade. I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Maybe this time around I will actually buy a cup. Don’t Blink.