Ilitch Business students take the stage to pitch sales strategies to Garden Theater management

On June 18, students from the Mike Ilitch School of Business course in sales management (MKT 5460) took the stage at the Garden Theater in Midtown, Detroit. Students acted as sales representatives and pitched sales strategies to the theater's management and ownership. According to course instructor Valentina Dimitrieski, students worked in teams throughout the semester to prepare their presentations based on one of five categories: automotive, corporate, prom, holiday and bar mitzvah/birthday parties.

A panel consisting of Garden Theater management and ownership was present to hear the student ideas with real-world application and to further engage by asking questions after each presentation. The goal of the pitches was to bring additional business to the historic Midtown theater.

The Garden Theater was built in 1912 by renowned architect C. Howard Crane. For decades, the theater went through stints of different business operations and stretches of vacancy. The downturn of the neighborhood struck a chord with Detroit natives George Stewart, Michael Byrd and Bill Mosley. Their plan, in addition to renovating the theater, involved buying the Woodward block between Alexandrine and Selden to breathe life back into the area. The project was broken up into four phases: parking, retail, Garden Theater and residential.

The Garden Theater as we know it today officially opened in 2013 and soon became a multi-purpose space accommodating weddings, corporate events, and social event in addition to hosting concerts and shows.