Some Falls High students are being honored by the Cleveland Cavaliers for their winning ideas to encourage young fans to attend home games.

Members of Cuyahoga Falls High School's Interactive Marketing & Design class recently competed in a challenge presented by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are developing a new marketing campaign called the Cavs Cavalry, for youth ages 13-17 to be actively involved while supporting the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers presented a problem of how to better marketing and promote the Cavs Cavalry to the teen demographic. The winning high school idea would be presented with a trophy during the pregame of a Cleveland Cavaliers game, receive free tickets to the game and work with an organization to better the fan experience for teenagers.

After the competition on DECA Day at Quicken Loan Arena Nov. 15, amongst dozens of Ohio high schools, Cuyahoga Falls was determined the winner. Falls students were scheduled to accept their trophy on Feb. 11.

The Interactive Marketing & Design class' proposal to the Cleveland Cavaliers started with problems teenagers face when going to a basketball game in Cleveland. Students also had to describe their plan in a 30-second video.

"Teenagers are intimidated by the drive to Cleveland, parking in the city, and going to a Cavaliers game alone or with just a few friends," said DECA marketing teacher Craig Wargowsky. "The students viewed the Cavs Cavalry as a membership program to promote Cavs spirit, rewards, teamwork, and friendship."

Teens are deterred from standing, cheering and having a loud, fun and good time because of the arena seating near adults who give them "dirty looks," Wargowsky said. These problems could be solved in an economical sense that works best for the teenagers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, he said.

Wargowsky said he was impressed by how his students arrived at solutions to the challenge of driving to Cleveland for the first time to see a Cavs game. He said the students addressed their fears and safety concerns in the process.

"They want the Cavs Cavalry to enable them to meet teenagers from other schools in the area. I guess this generation is seen as the generation that doesn't want to talk and mingle They realized the Cavs are not just selling a basketball game; it's an entertainment event."

The following is the plan the Falls DECA students created:

According to Wargowsky, a $150 yearly membership to the Cavs Cavalry would include: Three Cleveland Cavaliers games (two weekday, one weekend) with seats in the designated Cavs Cavalry Superfan Section, a Cavs Cavalry T-shirt, transportation to and from the surrounding counties' designated mall to Quicken Loans arena with dinner before the game, once per year meet and greet with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a visit by Moondog, Sir C.C. and the Scream Team for the school district with the largest membership.

"We believe that safe, reliable transportation will create an environment of life-long Cleveland Cavaliers fans," the class wrote. "The Cavs Cavalry will provide a place to meet other teenagers from surrounding schools that are interested in supporting the Cavaliers, and creating a place of face-to-face interaction that is 'All In' for their love of the Cavs."

Commenting on his students' plan, Wargowsky said, "This was entirely a student-lead idea. The Cavs just said, 'We have an idea to start a club for teens ages 13-17, we need your help.' They gave us little guidance and the result is what you see."


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