Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Few Unsolicited Ideas for the Athletic Department

I've never been a person who likes to complain without giving solutions to a problem.  So here are a few ideas that Mr. Burke and Co. could implement that might invigorate the fan base and create some revenue in the process:

Alumni Paint Crew
Outside of the PC, Mackey is a dead zone to a large extent.  BUT, not all alums want to sit on their hands during games.

Charge $30 more for the basketball season ticket in two upper arena sections.  In these sections, everyone gets a t-shirt similar to the real student sections, and more importantly, people won't get in trouble for standing in this area; it'll actually be encouraged. this won't give the Athletic Department much more revenue, but it might motivate younger alums to be more involved.

JPC 2.0
Giving a couple hundred dollars each year is not something everyone wants to or can do. But, giving $25-$50 is a bit of a no-brainer.

Give it a clever name, actually market the idea, give a sticker for your car and offer special buy one/get drink deals at certain games for members that no one else gets.

Keep the Purdue Kids Club...promote it more
Love this idea...LBD is a member...he loves it too; it's very well done.  Hats off to everyone that's involved.

Make it fun
Have a stage set up away from Slayter that has a band (not a marching band) playing before and after games in Cary Quad, or some place else near by.  Allow this to work with traditions that already exist not against them so old people don't get angry at the new-fangled music.

Near the same area, have a place where kids can have their picture taken with a cutout of J Money or Coach Hazell, try on real equipment and participate in contests that win them promotional products donated by Wendy's, Puccinis, McDonalds, etc.

Stop Eating Your Own
Sites like this are free advertising to the loyal, core fans.  Instead of kicking us in the teeth, work with us to help promote upcoming events that you want people to know about via Twitter, FB, email.

Use What You've Got
Every college has a corps of built-in labor near by; students.  Create an Athletic Department internship office that gives an hour of credit and a resume builder that can help make this stuff a reality. Utilize RHIT, Sophomore business students or *gasp* LA majors like communications to help get the word out and make things happen.


I'm no marketing guy...but I am a consumer.  Often it seems like the business of Purdue athletics is handled like any other business...but it's not any other business.  Alums, fans and students want to feel connected; don't just want to be consumers or clients, but family.  They especially don't want to feel like adversaries, but I think many of us have felt that way in the last few years.

This summer's alumni game last summer was an event in which the athletic department seemingly got "it"...sure it was blazing hot, but it was fun and had some specialness to it.

We'll all be more apt to part with our money if we feel like we're part of something bigger.


Ryan F. said...

+1 to these all... Especially the last two points.

QuadBoiler said...

I completely agree with all of these. Specifically, I have never understood why the athletic department doesn't utilize students more. I guarantee there are any number of students who could make great introduction videos for basketball and football as well as posters, other marketing, etc. Heck, if you aren't willing to give credits for it, make it a contest. I'm sure plenty of people would be willing to put something together for the chance to win season tickets. And this way you can pick from several submissions. Seems like a no brainer to me.

Also, I wish Purdue would work on SOMETHING for half time shows. Obviously what we see for football is what we get most of the time, since the band is going to perform. But basketball gives so many opportunities that seem to get wasted. I know, I know, how much are basketball half time shows really going to help attendance? Probably not much, but it adds some excitement to the evening. I have been to other schools for games and know many people who have gone to other schools and then come here or vice versa and the comments are the same every time. Our half time shows are the lamest of the lame.

They don't even have to be something that costs a ton of money. How many opportunities have we had now for Hazell to talk during halftime of a game? Judging by the reactions to the "Welcome Coach Hazell" video that plays on the board during timeouts, a quick 5 minute speech and a Boiler Up! would make that place buzz. Now maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit with that last one because there is still time to do it, but overall you get what I'm saying.

zlionsfan said...

They could do an Active Alumni section in pretty much every sport and improve things. I've not gone to men's basketball games as an alum, but football and volleyball were both the same: if one other person in my section stood up when I did, I noticed because it was so rare. At least give the fans who are awake a chance to sit together and root together. I'd pay more to sit with people who actually participated. (If you want to sit and do nothing at all, go to a Pacers game. NBA games are marketed to people who couldn't care less about the game.)

Add two levels to the JPC: Walk-On ($25-$49) and Reserve ($50-$199). Give these levels 5% off at the official Purdue store, maybe the opportunity to get GBI for half price, discounted tickets to most non-revenue games, that kind of thing. Get people in the door ... and then reward people for committing to level up. If you go from Walk-On to First Team in, say, four years (25-50-100-200), or Reserve to First team in three (50-100-200), you get a GC to the store. (Basically, sit down with someone who's worked with the United Way - there has to be some overlap between them and the athletic department somewhere - and pick their brains. How do they get people to give? How do they get people to move up levels?)

Keep working to make as many events available online as possible. I realize that contracts with BTN and such may prohibit some of this, but look: this isn't the '50s. There are all kinds of ways to follow Purdue teams now, and if you make it difficult for us to find ways to do it for free, we're not going to shell out money ... remember, we already decided not to go to the events in question, and money was likely a factor there. (Also, I don't know what the deal is with the All-Access Pass, but I actually tried to sign up for it and couldn't. Streamline this for JPC members, especially the two new levels. I've got a lot of options for my entertainment money ... give me reasons to give you some of it.)

100 times yes on the interns. There has to be all kinds of grunt work that you're doing that can be delegated. Give it to people eager for the opportunity to break into the field.

Oh, one more thing: make it clear where you can park. Maps with shaded areas specifically listing options. Yeah, this is mostly for volleyball, but people have similar questions when, say, football and basketball games overlap. Again, go to the interns. You've got about 1000 people on campus who can work up something on top of Google Maps to show where parking is permitted and for whom - make use of them.

Purdue Matt said...

I would join the alumni paint crew. I also like the JPC 2.0 idea. I can't afford to give several hundred dollars on top of tickets every year.

Zach Shupe said...

As a student, in LA, who is very interested in sports, who also would love something with a Purdue title to put in a resume, would LOVE the idea of adding a credit hour to work with the athletic department in raising student hype around the school and working on game days. I think that's an awesome idea. The more of us students involved with everything, the better it looks for our school all around. However the problem is that Purdue's athletics and academics are so far out of touch with one another its ridiculous. I seriously question the willingness of the university to allow such an atrocity of mixing athletics with academics to happen. (outside of our awesome athletic training program) The university places a very very small emphasis on athletics with students. Their advertising with us is minimal, they don't try and generate hype. Heck, I had at least five friends who couldn't go to the game tonight because they had an exam scheduled for 8pm. When it comes to sports, out university quite frankly doesn't care when compared to many schools in our conference.

BoilerPaulie said...

I have to say, this is an exceptional list of ideas, both in the write-up and the comments. Sure, not all of them are totally feasible, but that's what brainstorming is for. You come up with ideas and attack the ones you can accomplish best.

Particularly with the athletic internship idea - I can guar an-dadgum-tee it (Larry the Cable Guy, anyone?) that they'd have a high demand for students to sign up for that and they could be very selective. They have plenty of unpaid internships already, but if you offered an elective credit for it, you have instant interest. I would have done it.

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