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When the Ithaca Bombers football team secured the 2019 Cortaca Jug with a win over archrival SUNY Cortland, there were plenty of cheers from fans in the stands—thanks in part to the efforts of Marco Fontana ’20.

A sport management major, Marco proposed creating a student sales team to handle on-campus ticket sales. The Cortaca planning committee told Marco to run with it. He organized a team of students the sold 2,785 tickets, helping to establish the NCAA Division III attendance record of 45,161 fans at the event.

The team of students handled all aspects of ticket operations—sales training, box office staff scheduling, ticket sale promotion, adoption of sales management software, and direct customer service—providing a tremendous opportunity for them to develop the experience and skill sets they’ll bring to whatever comes next.

Marco’s team tirelessly worked the “sales days” for tickets, leading a highly successful drive and resulting in a large cheering section for the Bomber win.

But their success didn’t stop there. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) selected the student-led ticket sales operation as one of the 25 highlights of its Innovations That Inspire member challenge.

For Marco, this award is a testament to the quality of education students receive at Ithaca College.

“From day one, we’re taught to do things others aren’t. Our professors emphasize curriculum to career and that’s what this was. We seized the opportunity, and it means so much that the student team was able to create something so special to IC and to the business school.”