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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Midnight Madness as a class assignment

By Diamond Leung

San Jose State hasn't had a winning season since 1994, but is hoping to drum up excitement with a Spartan Midnight Madness for the first time thanks to five graduate students and a professor with a unique "Apprentice-style" teaching approach.

Dr. Sonja Lilienthal had five students from her graduate level sports marketing course take on a real-world challenge in partnership with athletic department officials who did their best Donald Trump impression in handing out this doozy:

"You have 15 days to organize a Midnight Madness event for SJSU men's and women's basketball with a shoe-string budget."

The students proceeded to create marketing and event operations plans and arrange everything from shooting contests and autograph opportunities with the players to the giveaways.

"The main impetus for the SJSU Graduate Sports Marketing Group will be to get as many students in attendance as possible," Lilienthal said in a statement. "They feel that many students sit in their dorms on Friday nights waiting to go out. This is the perfect opportunity to go somewhere on campus, that is exciting, connects the student with the university, try Rockstar Energy drink, play some basketball, AND maybe go home with a new bike or printer."