Leaving a Mark on Parks

Friday, March 11, 2022

Dan Woychick started LoveMplsParks with a simple mission: Inspire people to explore, promote, and preserve Minneapolis’ award-winning park system.

With the assistance of Carlson School Master of Marketing students, that vision is coming into clearer focus.

Brittany Horn
Brittany Horn
Dan Woychick
Dan Woychick

Through a recent experiential learning project, students helped the small business with a variety of marketing initiatives: research, identification, and segmentation of target markets, creation of personas and journey maps, analysis of apparel prices, and creation of a new digital media strategy.

A graphic designer by profession, Woychick designs LoveMplsParks shirts, sweatshirts, posters, and cards branded after the city’s most iconic parks. He donates 50 percent of the proceeds to the People for Parks Fund at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

“This project isn’t my main business,” Woychick says. “I had an ongoing list of things that would be nice to know or try out, but my bandwidth was my main issue. So creating this partnership, working with the students, and finding out some of those answers have been great.”

The project allowed the marketing students to dive deep into the business and explore how it could improve its marketing. It also incorporated lessons learned from three different Master of Marketing courses the cohort took during the semester. During lessons on topics such as social media strategy, the students turned their attention to how it applied to the LoveMplsParks.

“It was all very intentional,” Brittany Horn, ’21 BSB, ’22MSMK, says. “It was great to have that experiential aspect to the program. It makes it all very real and shows us how what we’re learning in the classroom can help in the business world.”

The results were tangible for Woychick, too. The students identified the ideal customer and explored how people interact with his products online. This will be instructive as he embarks on a planned redesign of the business’s website.

“Having the students’ help in giving everything a fresh set of eyes and bringing a new perspective has been very helpful,” says Woychick. “The students were able to gather a lot of information that will be useful in making decisions going forward.”

The work with LoveMplsParks didn’t stop there for Horn. Now that the semester is over, she is interning there.

“Being able to implement the hard work that my teammates and I came up with is a really cool opportunity,” admits Horn. “I love the parks here and to be able to apply my marketing skills to help promote them is a great feeling.”