UB has hired Mark Alnutt away from Memphis to succeed Allen Greene as Athletic Director. We will have a bio up here shortly, but here’s Alnutt’s to-do list as we see it.
- Felisha Legette-Jack Contract
Quite literally, your first act is a sendoff for our Women's Basketball team as they head to the Sweet Sixteen in Albany. Our coach has indicated she would really like to stay in Buffalo and the fan base would also like her to stay.
Time to sit down and hammer out a new contract, one which pays her like one of the best coaches in the Mid American Conference. Because she is.
2. Community Engagement
The time is right to get onto every radio show and sport news show in Buffalo. UB’s name recognition has literally never been higher, and given the region’s reception to past AD’s, you have a great opportunity to get on the right foot with a media and community that has been slow to see UB’s potential but is starting to respect its successes rather than constantly asking for more.
Get on WGR and make a hard sell for UB as an entertainment option on par with the Bills and Sabres. Read old articles from The Buffalo News on Danny White -- like it or not, their sports columnists have outsize sway in the hearts and minds of Western New York -- and prepare yourself to sell, sell, sell.
Continue the summer events of the past few years — meet and greet events with UB coaches -- and plan to be there for fans as well. For all the potential and success, UB is still a place where fans can and should have an opportunity to talk to Nate Oats and Felisha Legette-Jack, and be sure to give them an opportunity while also getting face time as the new boss in town.
3. Ticket Promotions
You’re coming in at a great time if you want quick deliverables — basketball attendance has ticked up, but could be higher, especially considering the solid foundations that Legette-Jack and Oats have built in their programs. Prioritize getting people into Alumni Arena and spreading the good news of UB Hoops.
Alumni Arena was the toughest place to play in the country this season -- only one home loss for both teams combined. Hammer on this point, sell UB basketball as a cheap entertainment option, and get people in the seats. Interest will be through the roof following an electric men’s upset of Arizona and the women’s Sweet Sixteen berth (my god, that is never going to get old).
Find that interest and turn it into people in the building. We had on average 3,000 open seats for men’s games and 5,000 for women’s this year. Let’s change that.
4. Connect with Students
Get to know True Blue, our student section. They are a force and will do nothing but make you look good if you work with them.
True Blue has developed name recognition nationally, but they’re working their asses off on limited resources because they love the school. The energy they bring is an asset unlike any other.
Don’t just outreach to the student body while also letting True Blue do their thing. They are students who know what resonates with students. Support them, work with them, continue to include them as a voice in your marketing department. In a school community historically let down by student government, do everything you can to establish Athletics as a place to make the college experience more fun and they will reward you.