While meeting with a USAO alum and former basketball coach of about a million different schools, I realized I had a big project on my hands. I was going to increase the attendance at our basketball games. I want to double it. This just might be a huge undertaking. As the alum continued to give me suggestions, I was filled with this excitement and joy that I hadn't felt in a long time. This is my mission.
We have six sports - all with low attendance - so why am I focusing on basketball? For four reasons: 1) It’s our staple sport; 2) more fans can attend because they are night and weekend games; 3) we get revenue from increased attendance in basketball; and 4) because basketball already has the most in attendance, I believe it is our best starting point and could lead to more fans across the board.
Our biggest challenge, and mystery, is the students. The majority live on campus and basketball games are FREE to students, so why do we get so few at the games? Student support is key. I know our fan base was strong when we were competing for national championships, but we want to get more support for the men’s and women’s teams, even during rough seasons. It will improve student life, serve our athletics programs and reinforce USAO’s creed: Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Social.
I’ve already come up with some workable ideas, and I'm in the process of setting up a committee, including students, faculty and staff from around campus, to brainstorm and soon execute some of our plans. Some ideas include better marketing, half-time contests and fan giveaways. Cross your fingers for me and my committee, and make sure to come out and support the Drovers this season! And get there early because if I get what I want, you just might have to!