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All these ideas either significantly increase costs and/or decrease revenue. While advertising and promotions certainly often costs money..spending tens of thousands of dollars week in and week out to blanket local media and advertising just isn't realistic for a department that has had significant financial issues recently.

 

The university/athletic department has to be more creative than simply outlaying loads of money in hopes of generating interest and attendance. If it was easy then it would've been done already..by us and the 100+ teams that average attendance figures below us. Benson was obviously brought in to do just this..including generating multiple/new streams of revenue. And just like a new coach..it may take a year or two or three to see tangible results.

 

As "die-hard" fans..we also have a role. Buy season tickets..attend games..bring friends..donate..etc.

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Beating a dead horse here...

 

 

Heads up...long winded posts.

 

 

All these ideas either significantly increase costs and/or decrease revenue. While advertising and promotions certainly often costs money..spending tens of thousands of dollars week in and week out to blanket local media and advertising just isn't realistic for a department that has had significant financial issues recently.

 

The university/athletic department has to be more creative than simply outlaying loads of money in hopes of generating interest and attendance. If it was easy then it would've been done already..by us and the 100+ teams that average attendance figures below us. Benson was obviously brought in to do just this..including generating multiple/new streams of revenue. And just like a new coach..it may take a year or two or three to see tangible results.

 

As "die-hard" fans..we also have a role. Buy season tickets..attend games..bring friends..donate..etc.

 

All of my rants regarded to this topic come from two sides: season ticket holder and student.

I have provided some ideas and yes, while some of them involve paying some money upfront, it needs to be done. If we aspire to be better/bigger than we are...we don't have a choice. You get what you pay for.

 

Word of mouth can only do so much. Forget the billboards or area marketing for a second. The school is TERRIBLE at marketing the sporting events to it's own freaking students. Usually you get an email a couple days before a BIG game (such as BPG). For example, SBU tomorrow night is A HUGE game and not ONE email has come out about it. Not one. They don't even consistently email students about lesser home games. I know this for a FACT (*glares at Ms.GDG* Happy?) as I AM a student on campus. I've said it many times and others have corroborated...there are almost no posters, ads, etc. in the classrooms or hallways advertising our teams. And within the tenured faculty, there is a huge apathy for sports. I get it, we aren't a sports school, but the fact that our own school store/Athletic Department doesn't sell much nice stuff related to our sports teams (and the Alumni folks have to do it) is telling enough. Our Athletic Department needs a serious overhaul on procedures and technology/methods of reaching the masses. The only thing that (to me, a die hard fan) that jumps out is when I see an athlete decked out in UA clothing with a book bag that usually has their number on it. For example, Drew Smith used to show up to my class a few years ago wearing his UA sweats/hoodie with a bag that had #10 on it).

 

 

Yeah, that definitely is progress. But not everyone watches that...however many people (I'd assume) watch the news live in the evening. We need stories during those segments, IMO.

We also need billboards which highlight things like the fact we are undefeated, etc. We should be on the majority of bill boards in the area. I take 787 from Albany to Cohoes at least once a week and take 87/90 from Selkirk to Schenectady every day and don't see anything UAlbany related. And none of that UA UKnow nonsense either.

 

I drive 787 to 90 every day from Guilderland to downtown Albany and see UAlbany billboards every single day. There is one near Huckfinns and the electronic ones often have UA ads up advertising games and or alums in the area.

 

So you complain we don't get coverage, Bob and I state that we actually do get our own show and you say not everyone watches it. I get you might be frustrated but again facts are facts..we do get stories. I watch the news a lot and see them all the time. The 6pm news has a small segment on sports thats why many news channels have their own sports shows later at night. You can't force people to watch the news or even read stories in news papers. People have short attention spans. But I must say I do see progress in the UA Weekly show..I think they are really good.

 

Did you apply to the VP Marketing position yet? ;)

 

 

Here you go with your condescending 'facts are facts' speech again (also, see 'did you apply for VP position yet?' comment as further evidence). Why are people not allowed to voice their opinion? I know about the TV program. That isn't my point. My point is it's implemented poorly/not well enough to bring people to the games.
I will venture that a TINY percentage of the total sports fan market we are in watches the weekly show. Why? Because it's on at 11:30AM on SATURDAYS (when people are likely out and about running errands). Not everyone has DVR or knows that it's archived online. Also, its on a sister station of our NBC affiliate. We need the CASUAL fans to get exposed to the program. How do you do that? Put in highly visible areas for them to see it instead of tucking it away in a remote area of the TV channel lineup. Again, that is my opinion and a fact (that it's not highly visible to the casual fan). Since, you know, you like facts so much.
As for the billboards, I prefaced my post with the roads I travel and that I don't see them THERE (technically, I don't even think there is a billboard from Exit 22 to 25 of 87/90 but I certainly haven't seen one on 787 North or Southbound and I travel it's entirety). I think I saw a UA ad once near Menands heading south during the football season (near that new jumping park complex thing). So, not sure why you're getting on me about that lack of 'fact'? Of the 4 major highways/interstates (87, 90, 787, and Rt. 7) we have running through our area, only 1 has a billboard with UA stuff on it? Yeah, that's certainly going to reach the masses. Lulz.

No I have not applied (neither have you, clearly, as all you do is complain about people complaining lol)...but if I was the VP, I'd certainly have an intern reading this forum for discussions such as this and reporting back to me anytime a new flurry of 'ideas' hits the web. As stated in other threads...the Athletic Departments job is to seek out MY opinion. I should not have to go to them.
Edited by Ilko
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Yes a very dead horse.

 

Everyone has opinions and that is what we all post here. But opinions not based on fact are..well ehh...how can anyone take those opinions seriously. And if stating facts that contradict someone's opinions on here is condescending then I guess that's what I'm being. I'm fine with that.

 

And ...787 northbound on the lefthand side next to Huckfins is a UA billboard. So if you drive 787 and don't see it..well I dunno as its there. And the electronic ones change every min. So they change all the time, but I def see UA ones on 90 west heading to 87. Since your don't see them I guess that means billboards don't work.

 

Whatever horse is dying and dead. And since you nor I aren't going to apply to the marketing position we'll just leave it at that.

Edited by MsGDG
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Yes a very dead horse.

 

Everyone has opinions and that is what we all post here. But opinions not based on fact are..well ehh...how can anyone take those opinions seriously. And if stating facts that contradict someone's opinions on here is condescending then I guess that's what I'm being. I'm fine with that.

 

And ...787 northbound on the lefthand side next to Huckfins is a UA billboard. So if you drive 787 and don't see it..well I dunno as its there. And the electronic ones change every min. So they change all the time, but I def see UA ones on 90 west heading to 87.

 

Whatever horse is dying and dead. And since you nor I aren't going to apply to the marketing position we'll just leave it at that.

 

Well if it's the one that changes maybe I've just been unlucky...cause I would notice something like that. I'll look for it next time I head north.

 

Also, condescending has to do with HOW you post, not WHAT you post. FYI.

Edited by Ilko
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Yes a very dead horse.

 

Everyone has opinions and that is what we all post here. But opinions not based on fact are..well ehh...how can anyone take those opinions seriously. And if stating facts that contradict someone's opinions on here is condescending then I guess that's what I'm being. I'm fine with that.

 

And ...787 northbound on the lefthand side next to Huckfins is a UA billboard. So if you drive 787 and don't see it..well I dunno as its there. And the electronic ones change every min. So they change all the time, but I def see UA ones on 90 west heading to 87.

 

Whatever horse is dying and dead. And since you nor I aren't going to apply to the marketing position we'll just leave it at that.

Well if it's the one that changes maybe I've just been unlucky...cause I would notice something like that. I'll look for it next time I head north.

 

Also, condescending has to do with HOW you post, not WHAT you post. FYI.

I sound condescending because I (and others) say the same things correcting those incorrect facts all the time and the same wrong facts keep being posted. So as you get annoyed with me pointing it out, I get annoyed at seeing the same complaints not based on facts. So I lack niceness in my posts as the arguements go in circles and circles. Sorry. Edited by MsGDG
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IIko..I'm not sure people are disagreeing with you about the status of promotions..other than the billboard piece..there's been a billboard on 787 just north of downtown for weeks if not months now. I think the issue is 1) can/should the university do what you're saying and 2) would doing that generate the desired result of floods of students at games? I think both are debatable. Just like "word of mouth" can only do so much..same goes to billboards..same goes to students emails..etc. They all play a role..but we must also be more creative. There is no silver bullet..certainly not an easy one.

 

There always has been and always will be an issue with how many emails students receive. Many students now ignore emails because they feel they get too many..I'm not sure how that issue is solved by sending a mass email every time there's a men's basketball game. And then why not for each women's game..and every men's and women's lacrosse game..and theater performances..and academic club events..etc? Athletics is obviously extremely important to all of us..but it's not important to everyone..and everyone has their own thing that is important to them.

 

And there's certainly some apathy among the faculty re: athletics..but that applies to anyone in society. Some will really like athletics..some will really dislike them..and most will be somewhere in the middle. Their job is to teach and/or conduct research. Not sure how you'd propose to address this: make supporting athletics a condition of hiring? That's clearly not a solution. I think this is something that will slowly address itself over time..as faculty/staff from the DIII era continues to retire or otherwise leave..the culture of DI athletics will continue to ingrain itself throughout the university..the best it can.

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(from a students perspective)

  • Solution for the emails: When a student enrolls, have a questionnaire on which they can check off things they are interested in and add them to those 'mailing lists'. For example, I couldn't care less about these brown bag or internship emails I get once a day from my department...but I'd definitely check the box for a football and basketball mailing list. If a student doesn't fill out the questionnaire, then default to sending notifications of big events such as BPG, homecoming, etc. (simply send those emails to the entire school and not a mailing list). Problem is, at least in the IS department, they have one mailing list for everything. I do agree that there are a ton of emails flying around, and your point definitely is yet another suggestion that has serious merit.

    I know we can do this on our season ticket profiles, but I don't know of a way to subscribe to certain mailing lists as a student.
  • Solution for apathy in relation to sports: Not a condition of hiring lol, but unlike high school...professors/teachers do not 'own' rooms. For example, in HS, Ms. Smiths room was always *insert location*. Every year. At UA, as far as I can tell (I've had some repeat professors), they get a different room for their particular class each semester. They might always be in the LC, but one semester could be LC 4 and the next LC 20. So, because they don't 'own' the rooms...allow the AD to post posters and/or signs on the doors of said rooms or even in the corner of the black boards at the front (similar to how some frats post a flyer on the board). I'd rather see a game poster there than a frat party. That way the kids who care about sports, will notice them, and pursue the 'information'. The kids/teachers that don't, will simply ignore them as I do with the frat posters.

 

I agree that there is no silver bullet, and I will have to look for these billboards as I haven't noticed them (to prove my point or eat crow and stand corrected), but I do think more could be done from an area-wide marketing perspective. That is my $0.02 and we can agree to disagree. IMO, they are not doing enough. Obviously the budget is finite, but this is why I said that if UA athletics (meaning Benson and co.) truly desires to be bigger than they are...they need to start ramping up their efforts. Who knows, maybe Benson is working on a plan to do it. Maybe that plan is already being rolled out in segments (such as with the addition of the basketball show to go along with the football one). But up until now, it's still lacking. In my opinion.

 

At the end of the day we all want the same things for our program. That we can agree on.

Edited by Ilko
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There needs to be a cultural shift, where students are indoctrinated to the sports programs even before they attend UA. Orientation should devote an entire day to athletics and really impress upon new students how important (and fun) attending games can be. Marketing needs to be all over Indian and State quads....flyers, email blasts, social media, etc. Have a party bus parked outside each quad before games and shuttle students to the BoFo/SEFCU/JFF in style. Set up a ticket center kiosk at Crossgates Mall as a way to recruit locals...somewhere centrally located, that also sells UA gear, hats, t-shirts, posters, etc. More (and better) in-game promotions and gimmicks. Make it feel like a true EVENT, not just a football or basketball game.

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There needs to be a cultural shift, where students are indoctrinated to the sports programs even before they attend UA. Orientation should devote an entire day to athletics and really impress upon new students how important (and fun) attending games can be. Marketing needs to be all over Indian and State quads....flyers, email blasts, social media, etc. Have a party bus parked outside each quad before games and shuttle students to the BoFo/SEFCU/JFF in style. Set up a ticket center kiosk at Crossgates Mall as a way to recruit locals...somewhere centrally located, that also sells UA gear, hats, t-shirts, posters, etc. More (and better) in-game promotions and gimmicks. Make it feel like a true EVENT, not just a football or basketball game.

I'm all about that post. +1

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Thought that I'd chime in with a different perspective. I graduated in the 80's (division 3 at the time). There was the same concern about student support for athletics back then. The athletes would go to each other's games to show support, there was a student group put together to talk about ways to increase student support, there were meetings with the intramural board, I remember sitting in the campus center asking students to come to the games. You'd get big crowds once or twice a year for basketball games (I think Potsdam was the big game then). Things have changed since then but the student support still lags. My point is that we can keep trying to get students to the game but they don't come - I think we've been recycling ideas. Don't want to abandon the efforts but we have to accept that it may not change much.

 

IMO, college sports is about the community. If we want big crowds then we need the community.

1. Community tailgate and campus tour - invite the community to the campus on the day of the Duquesne football game. Give tours of the campus, have a big tailgate and bands. Get people to experience the campus - the campus isn't ideally situated to get a lot of people stopping by so it will take some effort. Maybe have buses pick up people. Have the biggest Party that the city has seen for that one day. You can do the same for the first basketball game.

2. I know that some HS games are played at Bob Ford Field - have more. In Georgia, they have a kickoff weekend at the Georgia Dome, why not have a kickoff weekend at Bob Ford Field. You could get 2 games in on a Friday and 3 or 4 in a Saturday. Have a HS Basketball tipoff tournament and Christmas tournament. Give the players and coaches t shirts. Sell discounted tickets, these are your ideal customers. Have a swim team, have softball leagues just get people to campus (we may already do these things - I don't know)

3. Stop requiring a $500 or $1000 donation for the gold seats for football. I've only been to two games at the stadium - Rhode Island and Holy Cross. Neither game had the gold seats sold out, for Holy Cross, there were 4 in my party and we had the entire row. You can still have a fundraising campaign and get people to contribute but get people in the seats. I think people would buy a season ticket for the gold seats if they weren't required to spend $500 or $1,000.

4. Spend more time with the higher donations. When my son was in HS, the booster club members got a lot of attention. Gifts for joining - seatbacks, mugs, flags, blankets (not all in the same year), tour of the facilities, coaches email with scouting report on next opponent, invitation to film review and dinner, a special tailgating session. why can't UA do something similar? UA allows football alumni on the sidelines, why not let the really high contributors on the sideline as well?

 

I think people need a connection to the school - we need to get them on campus and create that connection. Also need to have realistic student expectations.

Edited by reeder
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Thought that I'd chime in with a different perspective. I graduated in the 80's (division 3 at the time). There was the same concern about student support for athletics back then. The athletes would go to each other's games to show support, there was a student group put together to talk about ways to increase student support, there were meetings with the intramural board, I remember sitting in the campus center asking students to come to the games. You'd get big crowds once or twice a year for basketball games (I think Potsdam was the big game then). Things have changed since then but the student support still lags. My point is that we can keep trying to get students to the game but they don't come - I think we've been recycling ideas. Don't want to abandon the efforts but we have to accept that it may not change much.

 

IMO, college sports is about the community. If we want big crowds then we need the community.

1. Community tailgate and campus tour - invite the community to the campus on the day of the Duquesne football game. Give tours of the campus, have a big tailgate and bands. Get people to experience the campus - the campus isn't ideally situated to get a lot of people stopping by so it will take some effort. Maybe have buses pick up people. Have the biggest Party that the city has seen for that one day. You can do the same for the first basketball game.

2. I know that some HS games are played at Bob Ford Field - have more. In Georgia, they have a kickoff weekend at the Georgia Dome, why not have a kickoff weekend at Bob Ford Field. You could get 2 games in on a Friday and 3 or 4 in a Saturday. Give the players and coaches UA football t shirts. Sell discounted tickets, these are your ideal customers. Have a swim team, have softball leagues just get people to campus (we may already do these things - I don't know)

3. Stop requiring a $500 or $1000 donation for the gold seats. I've only been to two games at the stadium - Rhode Island and Holy Cross. Neither game had the gold seats sold out, for Holy Cross, there were 4 in my party and we had the entire row. You can still have a fundraising campaign and get people to contribute but get people in the seats. I think people would buy a season ticket for the gold seats if they weren't required to spend $500 or $1,000.

4. Spend more time with the higher donations. When my son was in HS, the booster club members got a lot of attention. Gifts for joining - seatbacks, mugs, flags, blankets (not all in the same year), tour of the facilities, coaches email with scouting report on next opponent, invitation to film review and dinner, a special tailgating session. why can't UA do something similar? UA allows football alumni on the sidelines, why not let the really high contributors on the sideline as well?

 

I think people need a connection to the school - we need to get them on campus and create that connection. Also need to have realistic student expectations.

 

Pumping out some good ideas.

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