Long Suffering Fan2/24/2011 8:34:28 AM
4 local college home games on Wednesday night. Maryland drew 15,186; Ge**getwon drew 13,241; American (yes, American) drew 1,913 while GW drew 1,535. Yes, we are being out drawn by American, who was playing a 10-19 Navy. Home attendance is something that I hope Randy Lavine can fix, because it is embarassing/depressing to go to game after game in an empty arena. I cannot believe that this does not impact recruiting.
herve2/24/2011 8:45:18 AM
Even hervette asked about 10 minutes before tip-off: "Where is everybody?". I'm certain Chris Monroe was laughing.
bobo2/24/2011 8:49:46 AM
Maybe the should give out free tickets to GW students,
danjsport2/24/2011 9:02:31 AM
I think the Colonial Army either needs to do a better job getting fellow students to the game, or needs to disband. I'm glad they can get the good seats, but they could get them anyway- if nobody else comes.
Free Quebec2/24/2011 9:08:18 AM
I've said this before, but I suspect the Colonial Army is a barrier to student attendance right now. Makes kids feel like to go to the games means they have to join some dorky club they have no interest in (As a 40 year old man who still goes to games and posts here, obviously I'm not sayng it is dorky, just that for students who aren't involved it may feel that way and be seen a deterrent to going to games or getting involved).
The MV2/24/2011 9:13:15 AM
Ironically, it was fan appreciation night.
GWLaw912/24/2011 9:24:25 AM
According to the Tonic Triv1a Contest, the Colonial Army now boasts 1,000 members!
(That's Tonic -- the official pre and post game gathering spot for GW Athletics. Visit Tonic at 21st and G Streets, just a block from the Charles E. Smith Center. <end of commercial>)
I think there were 85 at the game.
I had to run, but did anyone stay for the Autograph Session in the AD's Club after the game? If so, how was it?
I think we need a Team Appreciation Night instead of Fan Appreciation Night.
Maybe Team Appreciation will come in the form of a rocking Smitty on Saturday.
GW Alum Abroad2/24/2011 9:39:56 AM
If the students come or not, I don't think it makes much of a difference to the AD review as student attendance is a revenue-neutral issue. Better no students come out and the 3,000 seats available for the public get sold than 2,000 students show up but no tickets get bought, at least from a dotted line perspective. Still, a full house makes for a better experience and creates alumni season ticket holders in the longer term. That "AU route" is looking better all the time (hey, it might even boost attendance if last night is to be believed), which is sad.
Poog2/24/2011 10:15:22 AM
Doesn't seem like they were too happy with their attendance at Maryland last night either. But I'm really curious what people think Randy Levine needs or is going to do to bring more people into the Smith Center. All the geographically able folks posting here manage to make it to games regardless of their feelings about the present team or administration. Those golden Pops years look more and more like an aberration to the kind of attendance GW enjoyed both before and after. And even then, it wasn't exactly a revenue generating crowd.
ser-bi-ah2/24/2011 10:18:07 AM
hopefully everyone realizes the importance of saturday's game vs RANKED temple. any potential to storm the court will inflate attendance. homecoming weekend as well. hopefully we can in the neighborhood of 2,000
GW Alum Abroad2/24/2011 10:49:10 AM
Yes folks, 2,000 warm bodies was just referred to as an inflated crowd for a home game against a ranked opponent. Sigh. Even Howard sells more sweatshirts than GW does.
Alumnus2/24/2011 10:58:11 AM
Maybe all we need to do is reduce capacity by another 1500 or so. Then even a small crowd like last night's wouldn't seem lost in space. Look what it's done for major league baseball teams that used to play in 55,000 seat dumps that now play in "cute" 40,000 or so seat retro stadiums. Yogi would have something to say about this -- if there's no demand, you might as well meet it.
Hatchet Man2/24/2011 11:02:35 AM
The thing is, GW for several seasons during the mid to late 1990s drew even better than it did during the 2005-06 season, averaging over 4,000 a game. A remember, the undergrad populate of GW was about a third less than too. It really is a pathetic display.
The MV2/24/2011 11:29:02 AM
Here's what should be happening between now and Saturday:
KH and/or JK should be all over sports radio stations promoting Saturday's game. Temple is a brand name and a nationally ranked team. GW has won 4 of 5 and is remarkably battling for a first round bye in the A10 tournament without one of it's top players. There is a story to tell here. A call should be made to Kathy Orton (or her editor) asking for a feature article in Saturday's Post. Newspaper, radio and/or television spots promoting the final 2 home games should be considered. Yes, there are costs involved in running ads, but the other ideas mentioned here are free.
The problem with ser-bi-ah's post, that "hopefully everybody realizes the importance of Saturday's game", is that "everybody" is too small a universe. It's time to start growing the fan base again.
Alumnus2/24/2011 11:34:39 AM
Sorry for the double post. My computer timed me out and asked if I wanted to retry to reopen the site. Didn't know it would post the same message again.
Poog, short of buying a couple of season tickets and giving them away, there's obviously nothing Levine can "do," but if you think that GW's exhausted every marketing possibility, including different angles on market research, and possible inducements to GW affinity groups, then I don't want you on the committee. Seems to me the benefit of getting somebody with his stature is his access to experts, including people the Yankees are already paying who might give a little free or low-cost advice. Usually you get what you pay for, but if the cost of doing a shoddy job is the Yankees might cut you off, you might take it seriously.
BM2/24/2011 12:11:45 PM
I've posted this before, but here are some stats. The team has hurt its cause by disappointing fans when the actually do come out to cheer. In the eleven games in the last two years when attendance at the Smith Center has been over 2,000 (almost 3k on average), the team has gone 3-8 with wins vs GMU, Charlotte and SLU.
Students with no prior affinity for the team will take only so much heartache before they find something better to do with their time. The kids who remembered the glory days all graduated during the two crap years and we have a major disconnect in the "passing down" of school spirit.
Alumnus2/24/2011 12:22:43 PM
BM, it seems clear that winning provides a kick but doesn't build much loyalty. We all want winners but you can't guarantee that either. If the school wants crowds that overflow the place when we're winning and at least make a reasonable amount of noise and generate a respectable amount of revenue when we're not so great, the school needs to build loyalty. How you do that I don't know, but I think that's why you bring in people with marketing and behavioral expertise. Maybe it can't be done but since the school has authorized a top to bottom review, it seems like this is the time to really air out the possibilities. Whatever emerges from Levine's review is going to be the roadmap for years and it's going to be hard to budge off that path.
The MV2/24/2011 12:56:58 PM
BM, what you are selling is an experience. Whenever I bring guests to games, I almost always hear the same things...."it's exciting watching GW play the way they play", "it can really get loud in here", "it's cool being so close to the court", etc. Yes, winning helps. But it's not essential to convince folks to sample the product.
There is a lot of work to do. If formerly loyal followers of this program have thrown in the towel, selling newcomers won't be easy. But, you have to try. Right now, there is this apathetic feel to the program that must be erased. Maybe it's because we had the success we had and have fallen back to earth that this has happened. (It can't be very different at St. Joe's these days.) Nevertheless, you have to try. Buy some ads, do some PR, generate excitement starting with these last 2 home games. Hope for a carryover effect into next season where season tickets will presumably be worth buying for the first time in several years.
There was a time (under Jarvis) where we advertised and promoted this program like crazy and what we saw from that was 5 trips to the NCAA's and school applications through the roof. This is not a pipedream; let's make this happen again.
doug sandels2/24/2011 1:00:17 PM
If winning is what draws fans, then I must be stupid for going to several Timberwolves games the past 2 seasons.
The Rabbi2/24/2011 1:18:18 PM
I said it a few weeks ago but it bears repeating. If it weren't for the Colonial Army, students wouldn't even know there was a game going on. To call it the reason for our attendance struggles is simply incorrect.
danjsport2/24/2011 1:28:54 PM
I agree 100%. One of the biggest obstacles GW faces towards its marketting of basketball, is the way it markets the school. I am not here to argue the merits of one or the other- but do note that the two conflict. GW bases its marketting on what is happening in DC- and what you can do in GW, beyond your education. Why is there apathy towards the school? Because the school doesn't do a good job promoting itself- it promotes its location! You can work on the hill! You can go to the monuments! Look at all of the history in DC! You can get a federal internship!
GW does not necessarily tout its education- and it doesn't do very much to promote pride in the University. I went on tours of colleges in 2000. I went to UVA- during the tour the guy talked about how great it was that everybody dressed up for football games. I toured Penn State- everybody touted how great the school was. I toured Pittsburgh- everybody talked about how much fun the school was. I toured GW- and everybody talked about how great the city was. Students don't come to GW with pride for GW- students come to GW with pride for DC. They want to figure out where they fit into the entire city- not where they fit into the University (with exceptions, obviously).
I'm not bashing this as a marketting tool- it's why i came to GW- I loved the city. But I also came to love the University. Without promoting the University, things like basketball don't take on the same meaning. Then- the circle can begin- people care about basketball, so they care about the university.....but first, they need to care about the university.
GWAlum20012/24/2011 1:48:04 PM
BM mentioned this in the other thread about the clip during halftime with Pops and Mike Hall talking about the Charlotte game. It was fantastic. What about expanding that to some viral video clips targeted to the students of bringing back the Smitty home court advantage, "Take the Smitty Back..." Plenty of video out there from the UMASS/Camby/Clinton game to the Shawnta/Xavier game to obviously the Rice/Elliot/Charlotte game to the Pops ESPN piece and even the Mason game last year had some good atmosphere. Mixing in some past quotes from opposing coaches about the Smith Center being such a tough place to play. Take a page from Leonsis and the Capitals who do a fantastic job of viral marketing both in game and through social media. That is the atmosphere that got all of the diehards here hooked. Clearly winning helps get the students back but most students don't even know about the glory days at the Smith Center.
I think is the first step that will trickle down to the revenue generating customer segments. Get the students rocking the place again, young alumni market segment will come back, then some older alumni and then the broader local DC market.
Not Actually an Alum2/24/2011 1:50:23 PM
Somehow we ended up downstairs after the game for the autograph session, which was frankly adorable. I was feeling too weird to speak directly to the players (other than telling Edwards that he had a nice game), but it was a sweet little event. Didn't learn much other than discovering that all of the players eat pizza after games, but I think it was probably nice for the guys to see a crowd (albeit small) lined up for them. Best part was asking Chris Brady (ball kid extraordinaire) for his autograph too. He was disbelieving at first, but we told him we thought that he's awesome. And it's true. I wish the Colonial Army were half as committed and into the games.
BuffBlue2/24/2011 2:02:59 PM
The attendance numbers continue to show how Hobbs has alienated the few fans from the program. The fact is that, aside from the 05-06 season, the numbers still don't hold a candle to nearly every game in Penders' 2nd season - 1999-2000 - when the team finished 15-15. In my freshman year - 98-99 - every conference game was over 4k, and at least 3 I can remember selling out. Even the non-conf games during winter break drew 3k.
Where is everyone? I just remember when I first got to GW that going a game was an event. Especially in A-10 games. Maybe its that, at the time, UMass was still huge, Temple was bigger, we still had V Tech....I think that could have been part of it. I cannot speak for the stature of the program under Jarvis aside from the stats on paper, which were impressive. I'll leave that up to the older posters. But it sure seems like we've been on a downward slope in interest, aside from the blip in '06, for a long, long time.
It's definitely a disturbing development. I live in NY now, so I don't get to many games, but I had a friend call me from the game last night, and I could hear the echoing of Ed Hochberg through the phone. Disturbing and exceedingly dissapointing. Smithy is so much fun with a packed house. Too bad these kids don't know about that.
DEA2/24/2011 2:17:00 PM
How exactly has he alienated them? If "fans" are so sensitive that a couple of down years will cause them to not support GW anymore then that's just pathetic.
Nemanjamental2/24/2011 2:25:27 PM
Yeah it blows. I'm a sophomore and have two more years (possibly three) and I want to see packed houses and experience what I had to watch on the big screen yesterday. I hated watching it because I'm pretty sure it's nothing but a TEASE!! Will we relive a moment even close to that caliber in the next few years? I hope so...
Also, I kind of wish I had went to the autograph session. I didn't go because I thought it would be a little weird but it sounds like it was all in good fun. Can only imagine the look on Chris Brady's face when someone asked for his autograph too.
I was actually very disappointed with the Smith Center staff yesterday. I don't know if you all are familiar with the old guy who sits in the west endzone section with the same gray crewneck GW sweater every home game. He's a very nice guy and there is something wrong with him but he really supports colonial ball (i had the pleasure of meeting him at the Beat Mason game this year). I'm pretty sure he's actually been brought up in discussion on this board before. Anyway, he made a sign that said "Let's Win" and a "4" (meaning let's win the four remaining games before post season). He went to hang the sign and the Smith Center staff would not allow it. Us few students who were there 30-40 min early were hoping they would let him hang it in a spot where it wouldn't cover anything but they told him that it wasn't gonna happen. He was so upset about it that he just threw it out in the garbarge!! Are you kidding me?! We were really pissed about the whole thing so one of us went and talked to him and we pulled it out of the garbage and hung it down in the student section next to the colonial army banner for him.
I mean seriously, you are struggling to get fans to begin with and the one nice guy who went out of his way to make a sign for the team you completely reject, leaving him to toss it in the garbage...
BuffBlue2/24/2011 2:51:18 PM
DEA - I agree with you that GW fans are sensitive and pathetic, by and large. Not the people on this board, but in general, most people who would attend games are turned off easily. That's the problem when you lack a large base that is emotionally involved with the program.
Noting that issue, you build through initatives in the community. Certainly Hobbs is not alone in not doing this. Sure, the video production has improved, and the "going up" thing in the Metro, better than a couple of years ago. But in general, there is no notice of this program. If you ask me what needs to be done, visibility is one, two, and three. Obviously, the program is in a tough spot - cluttered market, low-splash conference, etc. - but there is no way, no freaking way, AU should outdraw us ever unless Duke decides to be charitable and plays a game at Bender. That is embarrassing...and is more disturbing than anything I've seen about this issue.
Long Suffering Fan2/24/2011 2:59:16 PM
During the Gimmelstob years (early to mid 1980s), a marketing consultant was employed who's fee was tied into attendence. Now those were good teams (Mike Brown, etc) but generally under performed and disappointed. Average attendence was 4,000.00. In all fairness, the home schedule was better, and having such A-10 teams as Virginia Tech, West Virginia and maybe still Villanova (I don't remember when they left) helped. In the modern era, I really think we missed the boat when we did not build on the 27-3 season. My suggestion...bring back Christopher.
carmy 1012/24/2011 3:06:11 PM
One problem I see that students at the university have seen nothing out of this team. Its easy for all of us die hards to understand the fun of games and want to program to succeed and although we are having a better year in the A-10 we have no big wins and just squeaked by ECU, Lasalle and Holy Cross. Any Juniors or Seniors at the school were alienated by the pathetic 9-17 and 10-18 seasons which did not give a lot of support leading into last year. Many of the big games last year where we had alot of support was coming from freshman who were excited after we started out hot 11-3 and delivered on the much hyped game against GMU and that is where the fans came from. This year we started out without Lasan who excited the campus and went in to a spin losing to bad team at bad times. We are still seeing this hangover from the beginning of the season in support. I know there is the constant talk of tradition on this board and "back in my day" talk but I still think attendence is being affected from the 07-08 and 08-09 seasons mixed with a mediocre team that hasnt taken the next step, shoots itself in the foot by losing the games their supposed to win early on and allienating fans. Remember how we ended last year with 4 strait blow out loses including, senior day against st. Joes? Even with the advantages I still don't know if we can win against temple on saturday but there's always a chance, but the last thing we need is a blowout, If we can stay competitive which this team can, that would be great. We can get a win out of URI or Dayton and that needs to happen to get excitement and fans back. I am not trying to be pecimistic but many are not realizing that no matter what happened 5, 10, 15 years ago it is about today and I know that what we did in the past has little to nothing to do with whether students will show up. I truelly believe that if we end this season well, with at least one win in the A-10 tournament and the university gets the word out about Copes and Lasan and Davis we can look to take that next step to a 20 win season and get into the top 4 of the A-10. We need the Athletic Department and the school to get on the same page to set up next year. Unless hyped and against a beeter opponent saturday games usually draw more fans than wednesday. Book school events around BB games, Be more aggresive about getting the word out and making sure students get to the games. and attempt to create schedules for big games that are not during midterms or breaks to give this team every advantage it can have. Lets take it to the Owls on saturday and let them know what this tem is about. Any result besides a blowout will help out program and give these guys confidence.
The MV2/24/2011 3:37:22 PM
I'm going to be careful not to shoot the messenger here because I believe the students who visit this site are the same ones who attend the games and who clearly are not the problem. Also not at fault are the students who have no interest in basketball whatsoever on any level. While they might end up having a great time if they did attend, I certainly wouldn't fault someone for not doing something that is of no interest to them. That leaves what I believe to be a great many students who didn't come last night because they preferred to watch Duke play Temple or simply had no interest in watching two teams who aren't "even" going to make the NCAA tournament play one another. These are the students who in 2005-06, would have missed roughly the first half of the season but who would then come to most other games as the team became nationally ranked and received more publicity. To the students who are reading this, I'm guessing that every one of you knows at least 1 person like this and some of you might know dozens. In any case, try to get these kids to invest two Saturdays in this program (this Saturday and next). Tell them that they are going to have fun and the team really needs their support. And if they still refuse to go, tell them they suck.
BM2/24/2011 3:59:04 PM
I think there's are three, almost distinct, groups the school is marketing to:
1. Students - They are key. Excited students make the whole place fired up ("Stand Up!"). Their loyalty, once earned, is strong, but it can be fickle too. A four year break from seeing more wins than losses at home breaks the cycle of peer pressure to come to the games. Winning is the best way to draw them to the game.
2. Alumni - At one point we painted faces, screamed and drank smuggled alcohol to games. We're most succeptible to the kind of marketing the school is doing right now. The marketing team should grab these guys as soon as they get their first job and up-sell them as they move up in the world. Again, I think they are doing a decent job at this.
3. General DC hoops fans - Tough to get these guys when the other two types aren't showing up, but this is where the constant sellouts during the Jarvis era came from. Ads in the Post and on Metro, ESPN appearances and local rivalry games all help. These guys also pay full price at the gate.
Nemanjamental2/24/2011 4:04:39 PM
I've already told a few of my friends that they suck.
I'll just repeat this again. Who would want to go to a game where the staff won't even let you f**king hang your own sign/banner? It's like a few games ago I got "warned" before being thrown out for singling out a player at the free throw line. But everyone singles out the kid who shoots an airball. Just let me harass someone without giving me a hard time...is that too much to ask for....
CSH2/24/2011 4:07:29 PM
Carmy 101 brings up a good point. The school has done a much better job of supporting the Colonial Army the last couple years, but they need to make basketball games a scheduling priority. There were several games last year, particularly the Wednesday night games, where the handful of students at the game were wondering where everybody was, only to find out that the College Democrats or another large student org had scheduled an event at the same time. If GW really wants to support their athletic programs, they should not allow any organization funded by the University to schedule events to draw against basketball games.
CSH2/24/2011 4:10:33 PM
Nemanjamental, the staff at the Smith Center is horrible. They routinely work to undermine any semblance of a home court advantage that we have. There was an instance last year where a visiting fan walked across the aisle unprovoked to the student section and started threatening a student. Acting quickly, the Smith Center staff removed the troublemaking student and apologized to the visiting fan for the inconvenience.
Nemanjamental2/24/2011 4:22:13 PM
Thanks for the story CSH. And that's exactly what I am saying. Part of a home court advantage is the rowdy fan section and all the support from the other fans.
doug sandels2/24/2011 4:39:23 PM
We went over this about a month ago, but there's a line between being a passionate fan who reacts quickly and a passionate fan who is just a giant dick. Give it time and you'll figure out how to straddle that line without getting kicked out (I was threatened with ejections a couple of times back in the day...).
Nemanjamental - if you were singling out an opponent with profanity (or, even better like the guy who repeatedly told the entire student section what is was like to have sex with Kevin Fry's sister), then you're likely to get tossed. Just be clever and a) you'll get other students to join in (which makes it harder for security to single you out, and b) it's more fun.
AND REMEMBER STUDENTS... in a couple of weeks, you MUST start quacking (quack...Quack...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK) every time Brian Gregory opens his mouth during the Dayton game. Trust me, a few years ago, even all the UD players were smirking and trying not to laugh and were having a hard time listening to him during huddles. If you don't understand, wait until you see him in person.
JordanP2/24/2011 4:43:25 PM
For anyone who is not a current student, this week is midterms. That's why so few showed up.
Nemanjamental2/24/2011 4:59:29 PM
Doug sandels, yeah I understand what you are saying. I think the problem was that the guy was standing directly below me when I yelled something. I think I was mad because the kid really sold getting fouled to the point of injury and you could tell that it wasn't as bad as he was acting it out to be. Trust me, I hate the kids who are just giant dicks...there is definitely a line not to be crossed.
I'll keep my eyes and ears out for the quack thing.
Long Suffering Fan2/24/2011 5:26:20 PM
Why single out the students? The empty seats were not limited to the student section. There are probably far more alumni, neighbors and unaligned college basketball fans in general who would prefer seeing a game on an on campus, smaller arena than the Verizon Center that are not being reached, or are not being sold on the product. And, as GWAA points out, it is these folks and not the students who get in for free that financially benefit the program.
LA Fan2/24/2011 6:09:25 PM
The team is on a bit of an upswing right now, but very few people know that. There is no marketing, no press coverage etc. GW is still a team under the radar. What can change that? A big win against Temple.
We will have that chance for the first time (in a long time) this weekend of beating a top 25 team. So to the AD, just put the un-sold tickets out there for a bargain price ($5 per ticket?). Get the students there one way or the other. If there are 3,000 to 4,000 loud fans in the seats for this game, it might just help the team pull off its biggest upset in years.
doug sandels2/24/2011 6:12:03 PM
Don't listen for the Quack thing - START the quack thing. Take the initiative and start it amongst your group before the game even starts. That way, with each timeout, it spreads as more and more people join in.
Nemanjamental2/24/2011 6:18:51 PM
Will do, Doug. So this guy looks like a duck, or what?
Jason2/24/2011 7:16:00 PM
Many people who work at the Smith Center are incompetent. They would rather not let a student in then let them go into an entrance which isn't specifically marked. They won't let anybody move down even if there are tons of empty seats and it's the second half. I saw the thing you are talking about about the guy with the sign and I almost cried. That guy is literally the best fan GW has. To say they are bad at their jobs is an understatement. I'm not sure who exactly is in charge of the people who work there and this goes from the top down, but that person needs to be let go in the upgrading of the athletic department.
Cutis2/24/2011 8:31:47 PM
Does anyone work around here? I get home after 7 pm and see 44 posts on a topic dear to me and wonder if all posters are retirees. BM's early point of "fan disappoint" , I believe is a large cause of low attendance. KH coached teams all too frequently do not perform well when expectations are high. Conversely, I believe Georgetown built their fan base under JT (Senior) because they won so many games of importance. Last year during the Xavier game, I sat near Jim Vance of Channel 4. With our lead in the first half and the strong play of the team, he said he was having a great time and would return if GW played this hard regularly. The meltdown in the second half was what most long time fans have come to expect. I never saw Jim again that season. The four losses to weak OCC teams early in the season set the tone for Wash Post write ups or lack thereof. There has been no human interest or player write ups of the team except for short game summaries. Those four losses said in "neon signs" -lousy team, no one needs to care. It is hard to reverse negative perceptions. I think the team players need to go the dorms, speak to fans and classmates and establish personal ties. Wanting to see a friend play is an incentive to go to games. It almost seems now that the student body is boycotting games. Sad , very sad.
doug sandels2/24/2011 8:33:47 PM
He is very similar in size and mannerisms to Gordon Bombay.
Longing for Oscar2/24/2011 8:36:11 PM
From the A-10 site. Jack should have been fired long ago.
danjsport2/24/2011 8:50:39 PM
LFO- really? It's only jack's fault attendance is down? The players and coach have nothing to do with it?
As far as hanging signs- its a tough call, because where do you draw the line? How many fans can hang signs? How many signs can fans hold up during the game? What is appropriate to be on those signs?
Longing for Oscar2/24/2011 9:01:58 PM
Danj, almost to a man, the players have busted their asses all year and the team has shown real improvement almost every game...to the point where their perfor mance has significantly exceeded any reasonable expectation. So, no, I can't blame them. Jack is to blame.
newtman2/24/2011 9:21:58 PM
MV and BM talked about selling an experience. i know this probably sounds stupid but.......what attracts people to a GW game, what makes it a good experience? i dont believe it's the same answer for all fans. is it supporting a GW (our university) team? love to watch any BB? only attend games when we're winning? want to take my kids to Sat pm games? like looking at the cheerleaders? what would improve the experience? more pizza giveaways? show students more on big screen?
has anyone done this basic research? we can say we have to attract fans but how do we do that without knowing what they want from the 'experience' of attending a GW game.
Long Suffering Fan2/24/2011 10:41:30 PM
9366 in Fairfax tonight to watch Mason beat Northeastern.
GWLaw912/25/2011 12:55:07 AM
Pre-game cookouts on the quad or other vacant lots/streets etc. help bring the students out. Let's face it, what do college kids crave more than free food? Ok, well maybe there are a few other things.... But, it seems to me that the last few saturday games walking from the car to the Smitty, my kids and I passed some large outdoor gatherings that appeared to be just that kind of "get out the student crowd" event. I do think there is a lot going on to push the team to the students. The Nemanja-ment thing on the Academic Center, for example.
When I was an undergrad -- 84-88 -- they used to hang a banner on the railing that said "GAME TODAY." The students packed the old wooden bleacher side of the gym, all the way up to the rafters. It was cool to go to games. The players were in your classes, at frat parties, etc., they were your fellow students and you went to support them. Everybody went. The records those years were nothing to write home about (14-14 - Mike Brown's senior year; 12-16; 10-19; 13-15). Average teams. Yet, big crowds. Why? Because we were college students -- and we weren't so crusty and jaded (to paraphrase VanPelt's rant on why the Maryland attendance was so low Wednesday night) to believe that we would only go to OUR COLLEGE'S games if they "put a product on the floor worth watching." You went for the same reason that if you were a music fan you might go see the Troubadors concert, not expecting to hear the equivalent of Manhattan Transfer. It's called SCHOOL SPIRIT.
Bigfan2/25/2011 4:37:35 AM
I suspect this might not play the role it seems, but quite a number of the few peopel attnding Wednesday filed in after the 7 p.m. start time.
You can't go to dinner before a game, or even happy hour without starting at 5:30 or being real tense about time. And people in Washington tend to work quite late..
What about moving back the start time, if not to 8 (too late a start time could be discouraging, too, one guesses), to 7:30? Not exactly a universal start time in the sports world, but we may have to do something.
On promotions, when we went to the George Mason debacle, they were giving things away all the time. Even had a system to drop giveaways down literally from the rafters, which wasn't thought of in our $40 million dollar renovation. For paying fans, as well as students. None of us are drawn to the games for something like that, but it creates a real atmosphere of excitement which the Patriot Center had (along with a very good basketball team and a superb,nice guy coach).
CSH2/25/2011 3:28:20 PM
Bigfan, that might work for nonconference games, but I'm pretty sure the start times for A10 games are out of our hands. Occasionally a game will be bumped to a later time for TV, but I don't think we can decide when our conference games start. On a somewhat related note, we had a pretty big crowd for homecoming last year against Charlotte, a 6PM game on a Saturday. I'd like to see the A10 look into scheduling more weekend night games.