Maria Landekhovskaya

As a member of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organizing Committee in Moscow, Maria Landekhovskaya has a front-row seat to one of the largest sporting events in the world.

Landekhovskaya, a senior lecturer in marketing and logistics at Fisher, is also using this unique opportunity to bring global marketing practices and insights back to her classroom in the fall. She reflected on her experiences working at the global event:

Why did you want to get involved in the World Cup activities?

Before I joined Fisher as a faculty member, I was involved with the Olympic Games for sponsors. I have a passion for sports, and this was a logical extension. Additionally, since I am Russian and this World Cup is in Russia, it is a very special World Cup for me.

What has been your favorite experience being a part of the festivities?

The best part has simply been walking around and looking at fans from different countries. It is amazing to see and be a part of what is going on in Russia right now. Wherever you go, you see happy people who are singing and dancing. It makes me feel that, even though I am working very long hours, I am happy and grateful to be a part of it.

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What are your day-to-day duties at the World Cup?

I am responsible for the Football Park in Russia. In order to provide an unforgettable experience for millions of fans who came to Russia from all over the world to enjoy the atmosphere of a football festivity, we opened a Football Park on Red Square, in the heart of Moscow. Visitors can take part in numerous events, such as practicing with football professionals, autograph sessions with footballing legends, as well as games and other activities, including matches between different countries’ fans. In addition, the World Cup trophy is on display in the park.

What has been most surprising about the World Cup experience?

I am very surprised that there are more fans from Latin America than from Europe. For example, I went to the Mexico-Germany game and I couldn't believe that 90 percent of the fans were from Mexico even though Germany is so much closer.

How will this experience enhance your classroom curriculum?

Last semester, a few of my students told me they wanted to learn more about design within the marketing courses. They recommended incorporating some aspects related to design into my curriculum. Since I worked at Coca-Cola in conjunction with the Olympic Games, I was aware of challenges that marketers experience in the business world.

During this World Cup experience, I learned even more about the challenges marketers face while working in design, and I am very happy to share it with my students. Additionally, I always stress to my students that marketing in a book is different from marketing in the real world. There are very different approaches and aspects that all companies or organizations include in marketing. Thus, it is a very interesting experience to see it from one more angle and share that experience with my students.

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