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godanesgo99

Butts in the Seats 2018 edition

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There have been threads on this in the past, but I can't seem to find them from the mobile browser. With attendance seemingly down this season (I don't know of that's true as I haven't seen the numbers, and this is just from being at the games) I think it's time to start this discussion again.

 

I just got back into the country from a cruise (I was on the pier in Playa Del Carmen when the ferry exploded) and I won't be back in the 518 until after the game tomorrow, but I'm curious on everyone's thoughts on where to go from here...

 

I bring up the cruise, because I wore one of my great Danes t shirts on the boat one day, and while sitting in the sports bar watching a college game (Wisconsin vs. Northwestern) a guy started a conversation with me who's son will be a freshman next year from the Newburgh area. He was a college basketball fan, but his son isn't into sports, and will be a finance major. He didn't know that UA was D1, nor that they were any good. He had no idea that the LAX team was ranked #2, nor that the football team was FCS and has a guy named Vinny Testaverde on the roster next season.

 

How can we grow the fanbase, put butts in the seats, when a sports fan, with a kid attending next season, just over an hour away from Albany didn't even know the program was growing and having success?

 

This starts as a failure of marketing, and also speaks to the relatively new upgrade to D1.

 

Suggestions?

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It starts with the atheltic administration. Plain and simple. Need to put real effort and resources into the program. If that happens program and attendance will grow.

 

To be honest I'm so unimpressed with our AD so far. I hope things will change.

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Another thing to remember is a large majority of the population doesn't care about sports at all. Most of us sports fans think everyone is a sports fan. We are a minority.

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I'm sure pricing for tix and parking will be brought up, but I'll start that discussion with the theory that cutting those items in half wouldn't double the the attendance to make up lowered revenue and the revenue lost isn't palatable to growing the program and amenities. I still feel the pricing is reasonable and a great value.

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Another thing to remember is a large majority of the population doesn't care about sports at all. Most of us sports fans think everyone is a sports fan. We are a minority.

I won't argue there, but there are enough sports fans to keep a variety of sporting good stores in business, average 6k to see $iena, tons that support and or play on local high school teams, ten's of thousands of local alumni, and 17k current students. The team should fill a 5000 seat arena at least a couple times a year (opening night, BPG, SBU, UVM, Senior Night, Playoff games) but hasn't had a single sell out all season. Probably not since the $iena game.

 

The capital district MSA has over 1.1 million people and is the 45th largest market in the country, with the 48th highest level of personal income per capita (second highest in the state after NYC).

 

By all accounts, this is an area that is prime for sports and entertainment attendance.

Edited by godanesgo99

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Same discussion going on on the AE board.

 

Even “6K” at $iena (paid, their fans say they’re getting 2 or 3 thousand noshows) is only one out of every 180 people in the CD. Either means a lot of untapped potential, or confirms that sports isn’t that big a deal. Big crowds at Saratoga, 4K at the Joe, what else draws a big sports crowd?

 

Wouldn’t. be surprised if the campus location, separate to itself on the city outskirts, keeps any non-alumni from identifying with the school as an integral part of Albany.

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I bring up the cruise, because I wore one of my great Danes t shirts on the boat one day, and while sitting in the sports bar watching a college game (Wisconsin vs. Northwestern) a guy started a conversation with me who's son will be a freshman next year from the Newburgh area. He was a college basketball fan, but his son isn't into sports, and will be a finance major. He didn't know that UA was D1, nor that they were any good. He had no idea that the LAX team was ranked #2, nor that the football team was FCS and has a guy named Vinny Testaverde on the roster next season.

 

How can we grow the fanbase, put butts in the seats, when a sports fan, with a kid attending next season, just over an hour away from Albany didn't even know the program was growing and having success?

 

This starts as a failure of marketing, and also speaks to the relatively new upgrade to D1.

 

Suggestions?

 

Love these threads...it's usually great reading hah. That being said...this is a huge red flag.

 

I always thought (keep in mind I'm an immigrant) the 'American thing' to do when a kid is of age to go to college is to have the kid and his parents tour various prospective schools, go to orientation days, open houses, etc. or what not (I never did any that as I knew when I was still in HS that HVCC and then UAlbany would be my 'path' and didn't bother).

 

Why aren't we (jokingly) beating it into prospective students that we have a great sports program (or rather, programs) while they are touring campus and thinking about coming, once they've been accepted and doing orientation's, etc.? I could *maybe* make an exception for a kid/parents from the other side of the country...but someone from Newburgh who's kid WILL be attending? Agreed. No excuse to not know more about Albany. The guy was in a sports bar...so sounds like he at least had working knowledge of the sports world, big names, etc. Doesn't sound like someone with thick glasses and a pocket protector (kidding, I'm a nerd/geek myself lol) who runs the other way when a ball is heading their way.

 

This goes back to when I was a student (I graduated in May '16...attended since fall '10...dang night school lol)...there was NEVER any posters, banners, etc. about our sports programs. All I ever saw plastered to walls was various functions for frats and their parties (which I find absolutely pointless but that's another topic lol) and other such groups.

 

It's not just an AD (not Benson - the whole department) issue. It likely goes to the very top. Even though Pres. Rodriquez is obviously pro-sports as he at virtually every basketball game (at least, probably went to all the FBB games too)...it seems like maybe other leaders in the school couldn't care less about sports and we've already heard of a professor or two who think sports is a waste of money and that that money should be funneled to their various pet research projects or some such lol.

Edited by Eli

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Same discussion going on on the AE board.

 

Even 6K at $iena (paid, their fans say theyre getting 2 or 3 thousand noshows) is only one out of every 180 people in the CD. Either means a lot of untapped potential, or confirms that sports isnt that big a deal. Big crowds at Saratoga, 4K at the Joe, what else draws a big sports crowd?

 

Wouldnt. be surprised if the campus location, separate to itself on the city outskirts, keeps any non-alumni from identifying with the school as an integral part of Albany.

Lol. Interesting timing. With poor internet at sea, I haven't been on that board in a week.

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ESPN3 might be a mixed blessing also. I work with some college basketball fans who aren't affiliated either with Albany or Siena but watch games of both programs. They don't really go out to games but watch them online.

 

Honestly, I can see the appeal. On Wednesday night I was watching a couple of conference games and the Siena game at the same time.

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ESPN3 might be a mixed blessing also. I work with some college basketball fans who aren't affiliated either with Albany or Siena but watch games of both programs. They don't really go out to games but watch them online.

 

Honestly, I can see the appeal. On Wednesday night I was watching a couple of conference games and the Siena game at the same time.

I don't see the appeal of watching an LCC game :)

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I watch basketball on TV or the computer. With Roku and ESPN3 it’s easy. Including travel and walk time from Dutch it’s about a 1 hr 30 min time investment before I even sit in a seat. Not to mention ticket, gas, parking and often sketchy or cold weather. When I was in school, I also had to drive or ride a fair distance, but tickets were free, parking was free and I did not have the ability to watch from home. Sometimes I think it’s lack of student support because they have endless entertainment options due to technology. That, combined with the lack of big time D1 history and committed fan base, makes it hard to consistently draw big crowds. We drive past Harrisonburg just about every year on our way down south. How does JMU get those big crowds in a small city far from any large metro areas?

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Maybe because they’re in a small city far from any large metro area. Nothing else to do. And I-81 gives easy access.

 

Of course they’re competing with VaTech, UVA and Liberty

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Full chair backs and cheaper ticket prices. Possibly stealing a stud local product like a Heurter, Wright, JG3 or Platek will put butts in the seats.

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There have been threads on this in the past, but I can't seem to find them from the mobile browser. With attendance seemingly down this season (I don't know of that's true as I haven't seen the numbers, and this is just from being at the games) I think it's time to start this discussion again.

 

I just got back into the country from a cruise (I was on the pier in Playa Del Carmen when the ferry exploded) and I won't be back in the 518 until after the game tomorrow, but I'm curious on everyone's thoughts on where to go from here...

 

I bring up the cruise, because I wore one of my great Danes t shirts on the boat one day, and while sitting in the sports bar watching a college game (Wisconsin vs. Northwestern) a guy started a conversation with me who's son will be a freshman next year from the Newburgh area. He was a college basketball fan, but his son isn't into sports, and will be a finance major. He didn't know that UA was D1, nor that they were any good. He had no idea that the LAX team was ranked #2, nor that the football team was FCS and has a guy named Vinny Testaverde on the roster next season.

 

How can we grow the fanbase, put butts in the seats, when a sports fan, with a kid attending next season, just over an hour away from Albany didn't even know the program was growing and having success?

 

This starts as a failure of marketing, and also speaks to the relatively new upgrade to D1.

 

Suggestions?

 

I think people need to recognize that butts in seats is the culmination of engaging students in the right way while they're still on campus. It's a cultural thing that has been done so poorly for years, and by most accounts, students still think the school is doing a crappy job. This I put on the student affairs staff. They just have the wrong people in leadership positions who then hire people that are equally as weak.

 

The stories that I've heard make my skin crawl. Students are pretty shrewd and they sense when you're feeding them a line of *h*t There isn't a marketing budget big enough to fix that kind of grass roots problem. Obviously I have specific examples. Fixing something after the fact is hard. The culture has to be changed to the point where students are seen as the priority rather than a something that staff has to deal with to get ahead.

 

A better question maybe would be "How do you change an on campus culture?"

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