Each semester, as part of their final projects, students from Steve Rossmann’s “Entertainment Marketing” class pitch a film strategy from up-and-coming films to studio executives. This assignment started when 20th Century Fox asked for help on The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Darkest Minds.
“These executives utilize LMU as a “think tank” to hear our students’ ideas and what they believe will drive their segment to the movies,” said Rossmann, a veteran marketing executive in the entertainment industry. “In the past, they’ve used ideas stemming from these presentations, which provide our students with real practical experience.”
Students split into teams, each representing a major movie studio, and select a soon-to-be released film. Over the course of the semester, they put together a marketing strategy complete with partnerships, promotions, branding, social media, actor influence and positioning, SWOT analysis, etc.
Team Sony – made up of Kimmey Cheng (project manager), Madalyn “Maddie” Hawes, Sarah Kistler, Aidan Pesta and Jay-Donavin Ved – chose Bad Boys for Life starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
“We chose Bad Boys because we thought it would be fun to revive a franchise,” said Kimmey. “Our strategy encompassed a lot of digital to target a younger audience who aren’t familiar with the other films given it’s been 10+ years since the last Bad Boys film. Social media played a large role in our overall strategy and we gave recommendations on utilizing TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube to target and influence younger audiences.”
The team pitched their film strategy to Sony’s SVP of Marketing Partnerships. She enjoyed their pitch and strategy so much that she invited the students to Sony Studios to pitch their ideas to the executive marketing team.
“Pitching to the studio execs was nerve wracking but we all got to showcase our different strengths,” said Kimmey.
In fact, the pitch was so well received that the executive team collected student resumes for potential internship opportunities at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Kimmey is currently interning at NBC Universal in the International and Global Distribution Department, and has Professor Rossmann to thank for opening doors to new opportunities.
“Professor Rossmann is one of the best professors I’ve had at LMU,” she said. “He was so engaging and brought his real-world industry experience into the classroom. I already had an interest in entertainment marketing but this class fueled my passion even more.”