Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Marketing

Advisor

Rapert, Molly

Reader

John Cole

Abstract

As economic troubles continue to plague both governmental institutions and the private sector, public universities across the nation are being forced to make budgetary cuts. Tuition has risen dramatically, but “students are paying for more while institutions are subsidizing less” (Delta Project). In nearly all cases, non-academic student services are among the first to be cut or have their funding drastically reduced. While academics are most certainly the focus of any university, extracurricular student activities are a vital part of shaping healthy, well-rounded individuals. The common practice in providing services such as an outdoor center for students has been that such programs are subsidized by, and therefore factored into, the current budget of a university. The Outdoor Connection Center at the University of Arkansas is a program that receives funding from the university to stay in business. Several years ago, however, students expressed interest in having access to a bike repair shop on campus. Although there was no money available to support such a program, the OCC started a bike shop as a subset of its services that is entirely self-supported. The shop has experienced moderate growth since its inception, but no official business plan has been created. The focus of this project was the creation of a business plan and marketing strategy for the Outdoor Connection Center’s bike shop which can be used as a model for a variety of self-supported programs which students would like to have available on campus. Information to guide the creation of the plan came from three sources: attending the annual Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) conference in San Antonio, Texas, my hands-on experience from being employed by the OCC bike shop, and an awareness survey distributed to the bicycle shop’s target market. My research uncovered students’ awareness and perceptions of on-campus services, willingness to support such services, and the most effective means of marketing these services to students.

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