During the opening round of the CIT tournament Eastern Michigan drew a scant 370 people.
While EMU has serious challenges that most MAC schools just cant comprehend I still maintain that their Athletics Department passed up a golden opportunity to promote their team to students, staff, alumni, and the Ypsi community.
Danny White and his administration promote a mid year FCS game as if it were the Superbowl so it is, as a fan, disappointing that UB passed up a CIT bid. While games during spring break would have likely been closer to 15 hundred fans than 5000 it still would have been an interesting contrast between promoting everything (NYBI) and promoting nothing (EMUAD).
But this is not about UB turning down the CIT, or about the EMU AD choking when it came to promoting the game. Rather than linger on the fact UB does not factor in Bull Run editorial opportunities when planing their post season tournaments lets talk about next years promotions.
As a fan base what do we want to see in promotional give aways at this years games.
Now before you dismiss such things as not relevant to sales and awareness of a program ask yourselves why you see "T-Shirt Cannons" at NHL games, NBA Contests, NFL venues.
The Minnesota Wild have no problems selling out the Xcel Energy Center but they still seem to give away gear, food, and deals at nearly every TV timeout. Heck they give away a ride in their Zamboni, it costs them nothing and really got a kid excited the last time I was there.
In seasons past UB has given away things like branded ear buds, UB scarfs, and of course mini footballs. Going back even further who could forget the Turner Gill Bobble-head from 2006. (If you have one of these and are willing to part with it shoot me an email *please*)
I don't pretend to understand the psychology of how giveaways work but how many of us signed up for a credit card we did not need because of a free t-shirt while we were bright eyed freshman? Please say that was not just me!
The point is I don't need to know why something is happening if I see the results working for others.
With the spring game coming up you can bet somewhere the NYBI machine is thinking about what to give away for that game, and for the football and hoops games of next season.
They have already set the concert series, and are well into selling seasons tickets. How much longer until they are focused on T-Shirts or Tickets?
Maybe during a TV timeout you give away a Khalil Mack signed picture, or football? Perhaps at the gate for mens footballs you give out some hoops tickets or during the half time of a UB hoops game a signed Javon McCrea shirt?
The way I see it there are four tiers of things to give away..
1 - The first x-hundred (or thousand) general admission fans. These are the things people get for showing up early.
2 - The First x-hundred students. Kids don't always want things that "all fans" want.
3 - TV Timeout items ( You have 2:00 to pick a person at random and have them perform a task or quiz them for prizes)
4 - The Half time Big Giveaway - What do you give someone at halftime which has real substantial value.
Shout back - If you were in charge of this years promotional department, or if you happened to have a bat phone for Danny White and company what would you suggest?