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niuguy Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 05:22 PM)Huskie359 Wrote:  I don't think student indifference is a problem isolated to mid-majors or NIU. I remember checking out a thread on the Illini Board after our game there...and there was a comment something to the effect of "We've got a good game going here, and what little of the student section we had leaves after halftime. I could have sworn it was an NIU thread.

While students are nice, NIU's biggest marketing should be prioritized as follows:

1.) DeKalb/Sycamore residents. The local population is the lifeblood of any university's attendance. You have to get the townies to buy in. In other college towns - football is the lifesource of the local economy. NIU can improve leaps and bounds in this aspect. NIU must create a better connection with the locals.

2.) Alumni - I think NIU actually has hit this segment pretty hard. Bottom line -you are only going to get so many alums to make the trip in from the suburbs. I live 35 minutes away, but with a young family I simply can't make every game.

3.) Students - students are fickle, and will generally follow the crowd. I could see a push at all incoming freshmen every year. You have to get them right away. Obviously the greeks help too...but like I said above 18-22 year old kids are fickle and they'll sometimes do whatever they damn well please.

Well put and I agree.
10-10-2010 07:12 PM
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17Huskies Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 05:22 PM)Huskie359 Wrote:  I don't think student indifference is a problem isolated to mid-majors or NIU. I remember checking out a thread on the Illini Board after our game there...and there was a comment something to the effect of "We've got a good game going here, and what little of the student section we had leaves after halftime. I could have sworn it was an NIU thread.

While students are nice, NIU's biggest marketing should be prioritized as follows:

1.) DeKalb/Sycamore residents. The local population is the lifeblood of any university's attendance. You have to get the townies to buy in. In other college towns - football is the lifesource of the local economy. NIU can improve leaps and bounds in this aspect. NIU must create a better connection with the locals.

2.) Alumni - I think NIU actually has hit this segment pretty hard. Bottom line -you are only going to get so many alums to make the trip in from the suburbs. I live 35 minutes away, but with a young family I simply can't make every game.

3.) Students - students are fickle, and will generally follow the crowd. I could see a push at all incoming freshmen every year. You have to get them right away. Obviously the greeks help too...but like I said above 18-22 year old kids are fickle and they'll sometimes do whatever they damn well please.

I agree for the most part, a few comments:

1. It should be the easiest market to hit, and even if you move up to the rockford market slightly, there isn't much for families to do. These people can easily come out for our weekday games as well.

2. I feel like Alumni are most affected by winning. Give them a team they hear mentioned on the radio or see getting some votes in the newspaper, and they are much more likely to find their way to the stadium on Saturdays.

3. IMO, students are most affects by the competition (although time seems to be a reason as well after this Saturday). Thinking back to when we've had ranked teams in (yes so long ago), the students have come out in full force. I'm pretty interested (assume we go 3-0 or 2-1 in the next 3 games) to see the student attendance for the Toledo game.
10-10-2010 07:33 PM
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sterling1man Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Attendance for HC.
Students definitely require a nische marketing approach.
They are fickle, but research shows, the more times you here a message the more likely they are to think about it, develop an interest and actually go to the game.
Yes as Trav says it must become the in-thing to do.

Remember the students of today are the paying customers of tomorrow.
There are many ways to get them interested.
Competitions.
Cheap good food at the games.
Making sure they have a really good time.
10-10-2010 08:01 PM
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Huskie359 Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Attendance for HC.
I think another marketing idea would be to provide a $5 dollar discount to all DeKalb, Sycamore, Rochelle, Genoa Kingston residents. Make the people of this town take ownership of this team and make them feel special. This is a win-win situation for both the university and the community. To hell with being chicago's team...NIU should be the team of DeKalb county (Estimated population 103K.) Conquer this aspect first, then get Rockford & Aurora/Naperville on board then worry about chicago.
10-10-2010 08:52 PM
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randyfensfanclub1 Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Attendance for HC.
I think the whole idea of the east side for student parking is a joke. Looked about 20% filled, if that. They pay around $10 a game (season in advance) to have prime spots. I don't know how many just came to drink (as years past) but 15 minutes after the game there were about 10 vehicles in the lot. (2 being the sprinter and the other that is at every game)


That is a crock. It should be 1st come, first serve. I thought segregation ended in the 60's. They give the students, who don't even use the lot regularly, the best spots. I am sure some groups/frats buy passes and uses them for 2-3 games a year, and more importantly homecoming. (to them) We make WAY too much out of Homecoming to the students and campus as a whole there. We promote ONE game about 1/2 as much as all other games combined.

I am all for season ticket/pass holders on the west side, but the east side needs to open up. Have students together with all kinds of alumni and other people. Yes, perhaps you will get less drunk greek rowers together, but maybe it opens up to the rest of campus and others. To me the whole atmosohere on the east side was a party and utterly ridiculous being empty. A half dozen parties with really bad music blairing, like a contest vs. the next car. Is this what we want? Is this what goes on everywhere else? To an extent, yes, but not all in one spot. It is a football game/tailgate. Not a drunken stoop and go home early, which it seemed to be.
10-10-2010 09:23 PM
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huskiealum03 Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 09:23 PM)randyfensfanclub1 Wrote:  I think the whole idea of the east side for student parking is a joke. Looked about 20% filled, if that. They pay around $10 a game (season in advance) to have prime spots. I don't know how many just came to drink (as years past) but 15 minutes after the game there were about 10 vehicles in the lot. (2 being the sprinter and the other that is at every game)


That is a crock. It should be 1st come, first serve. I thought segregation ended in the 60's. They give the students, who don't even use the lot regularly, the best spots. I am sure some groups/frats buy passes and uses them for 2-3 games a year, and more importantly homecoming. (to them) We make WAY too much out of Homecoming to the students and campus as a whole there. We promote ONE game about 1/2 as much as all other games combined.

I am all for season ticket/pass holders on the west side, but the east side needs to open up. Have students together with all kinds of alumni and other people. Yes, perhaps you will get less drunk greek rowers together, but maybe it opens up to the rest of campus and others. To me the whole atmosohere on the east side was a party and utterly ridiculous being empty. A half dozen parties with really bad music blairing, like a contest vs. the next car. Is this what we want? Is this what goes on everywhere else? To an extent, yes, but not all in one spot. It is a football game/tailgate. Not a drunken stoop and go home early, which it seemed to be.

fully agree. and it was open to all until about 2004 or so when NIU thought it could pull this off. the east side lot used to be filled completely with a mixed group of fans. now they've relegated just about everyone to the boondocks where tailgating is completely subdued and the excitement of pre-game completely diminished.
10-10-2010 10:00 PM
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numbersdontlie Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 04:58 PM)Big Redd Wrote:  
(10-10-2010 11:13 AM)projectmayhem011 Wrote:  
(10-10-2010 10:36 AM)sterling1man Wrote:  Without aggressive marketing, do not expect attendance to surge amongst students.

you obviously wern't/arn't a business major...

Marketing isn't just a switch you can flip on and off at a whim. You need a dedicated long term strategy and vision in order to develop a good action plans and packages.

side note: i can believe I'm defending the marketing department.

Bottom line is keep winning. People are willing to show up for a winner.

If you are looking for short term increases in attendance, drop ticket prices. However if you do that you are downgrading much of your long term revenue because you just screwed your season ticket holders.
You obviously aren't in Finance, specifically budgeting and forecasting because you'd know lowering ticket prices (for this school this year) would not pass a cost benefit analysis to increase profits.

Really? Why don't you break it down for us professor...
I'd love to know what kind of fixed costs you're assuming along with assumed increases you have in fans at certain price points.
NIU isn't just counting ticket sales, but parking, & concessions as well. I'm really not sure what the breakdown is ppn for concessions and parking but my wife and I usually get a drink and pay for parking, so 15-20 bucks on top of the tickets I'm already paying for.
(This post was last modified: 10-11-2010 07:41 AM by numbersdontlie.)
10-11-2010 07:40 AM
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huskiehog64 Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 10:00 PM)huskiealum03 Wrote:  
(10-10-2010 09:23 PM)randyfensfanclub1 Wrote:  I think the whole idea of the east side for student parking is a joke. Looked about 20% filled, if that. They pay around $10 a game (season in advance) to have prime spots. I don't know how many just came to drink (as years past) but 15 minutes after the game there were about 10 vehicles in the lot. (2 being the sprinter and the other that is at every game)


That is a crock. It should be 1st come, first serve. I thought segregation ended in the 60's. They give the students, who don't even use the lot regularly, the best spots. I am sure some groups/frats buy passes and uses them for 2-3 games a year, and more importantly homecoming. (to them) We make WAY too much out of Homecoming to the students and campus as a whole there. We promote ONE game about 1/2 as much as all other games combined.

I am all for season ticket/pass holders on the west side, but the east side needs to open up. Have students together with all kinds of alumni and other people. Yes, perhaps you will get less drunk greek rowers together, but maybe it opens up to the rest of campus and others. To me the whole atmosohere on the east side was a party and utterly ridiculous being empty. A half dozen parties with really bad music blairing, like a contest vs. the next car. Is this what we want? Is this what goes on everywhere else? To an extent, yes, but not all in one spot. It is a football game/tailgate. Not a drunken stoop and go home early, which it seemed to be.

fully agree. and it was open to all until about 2004 or so when NIU thought it could pull this off. the east side lot used to be filled completely with a mixed group of fans. now they've relegated just about everyone to the boondocks where tailgating is completely subdued and the excitement of pre-game completely diminished.

Part of the east side is also donor parking, just fyi...
10-11-2010 08:01 AM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 12:59 PM)HuskiemobileMan Wrote:  
(10-10-2010 12:13 PM)sterling1man Wrote:  If we pay an athletics marketing department, I want to see some action.
Seeing HMM, 7 etc in capes, the huskiemobile traveling over campus(NIU should pay them to advertise), ticket booth and television sets(NIU greatest moments) in the commons and dorms,... uniting theists and atheists under NIU football with chalk slogans on the sidewalks?
I asked the athletic department to help me fund a vehicle wrap for the Huskie Sprinter and they told me they could not help fund it. Not sure why, but it would be a driving billboard that thousands of people would see every game I drive to. All this for a grand or two sounds like a cheap price to pay. Oh well, I am going to look for sponsors from businesses around DeKalb.


Liabiltiy. Everything nowadays boils down to liability.
10-11-2010 08:22 AM
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Dog Fan Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-10-2010 08:52 PM)Huskie359 Wrote:  I think another marketing idea would be to provide a $5 dollar discount to all DeKalb, Sycamore, Rochelle, Genoa Kingston residents. Make the people of this town take ownership of this team and make them feel special. This is a win-win situation for both the university and the community. To hell with being chicago's team...NIU should be the team of DeKalb county (Estimated population 103K.) Conquer this aspect first, then get Rockford & Aurora/Naperville on board then worry about chicago.

After the game on Saturday, they were handing out discount coupons for DeKalb businesses (restaurants, stores, etc.). Nice idea! I know for sure I will use several of them. They also handed out paperback copies of the book "Call of the Wild" in some sort of reading program with the DeKalb Public Library. These are great ideas, and I could see how pleased many fans were to get these.
10-11-2010 08:50 AM
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HuskieFan84 Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Attendance for HC.
mayhem.. the tickets are free for students. Dropping the price isn't going to change anything, the alum attendance isn't awful. Student attendance is embarrassingly atrocious and the cause of the giant drop off.

The difference between now and 2003/04 is that students wanted to be there. It was an event.
10-11-2010 09:02 AM
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randyfensfanclub1 Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Attendance for HC.
I guess our lack of attendance is because NIU is an academic mecca first, since the signs I have seen on the toll road don't mention a word about football. Graduate school/off campus sites are the thing. Can't afford to mention football, and I don't even think there is a coach's show any more.

Also find it strange how the school's undergraduate academic rating keeps falling according to publications.

Hate to admit, but people only go when the have a great season. And again, look at NW, Purdue and Illinois if you want to talk attendance. NW markets constantly (only ones) and still on had 33k vs. Purdue, with likely 5k cheering on the Boilers. Chicago area is a pro football (pro sports) town with other options for your money. Bandwagon too, such as with the Hawks going from 14k to 24k in 2 years. Again, winning. However, I do think with minimal cost in some signs and ads, you would attract a few more people in the western suburbs if you gear towards them. Families in particular. It is a cheap alternative to many other things. A family to a Bears game is going to be well over $300. Baseball, basketball, hockey well over $150, likely over $200. Have specials like 4 tickets, pop and hot dog for $60. I think they used to (still do and don't know?), and it works for minor league baseball. They will then likely spend more money on other concessions and souveniers.

I am not sure what else can be done with students. Many here have gave great ideas such as special buses, giveways. Not sure what else can be done. Just wonder how many at the top are listening?
10-11-2010 09:35 AM
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Huskie359 Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Attendance for HC.
I think another good idea for the NIU marketing department would be to contact the Kane County Cougars marketing dept and get some pointers. The cougars have a product far less exciting than college football in Minor League Baseball yet they still seem to do well with a family friendly atmosphere. Talk to them, find out how they market, hell make it an assignment for a marketing class.

I don't like minor league baseball but a number of people I know go regularly with their kids. What are the attractions? Is it bounce houses for the kids, put 3 of them up at every NIU home game... is it speed pitch, how about a football equivalent. Is it lawn seating? Open up the south endzone for family lawn tickets. Get creative...NIU football can be one heck of a great experience and a heck of a value (Lord knows it is more interesting than Class A minor League Baseball.) Just need to find a way to promote it.
10-11-2010 09:49 AM
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Dog Fan Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Attendance for HC.
As I sat at the Temple game in the flaming sunshine (yes, my brain got a bit fried along with the rest of me), I thought to myself: "This is as good as it gets. Decent college football in a very intimate setting, where you can park almost next to the stadium." I have learned to appreciate what we have after attending our games at Michigan, The Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Sheer bedlam trying to navigate through throngs of drunken beasts. To park close to the stadium, you need to donate your annual salary plus your firstborn child. To pay to attend the games, you need to budget and do without something. I am thankful for what we are and what we have. As long as we have a quality program - academically AND athletically - I will enjoy the ride.
10-11-2010 10:44 AM
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NIU007 Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Attendance for HC.
I wonder if the Marketing department has an issue with spending too much on football specificallly. After all, there are a lot of other sports programs that probably get very little marketing. Some of the other sports probably would wonder with good reason why football should get all the dollars.
10-11-2010 10:50 AM
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BleedsHuskieRed Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Attendance for HC.
They should open up the east side of the stadium to the general public 3 hours prior to game time. Let everyone else come 6 hours early (not the current 5). Charge a bit more than it costs to part at the Convo and I think people would jump on that.
10-11-2010 10:51 AM
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HuskieFan84 Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Attendance for HC.
007.. I would hope they wouldn't wonder. Football is king in college sports, I find it hard to believe the track team or tennis team doesn't know that.
10-11-2010 10:53 AM
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NIU007 Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-11-2010 10:44 AM)Dog Fan Wrote:  As I sat at the Temple game in the flaming sunshine (yes, my brain got a bit fried along with the rest of me), I thought to myself: "This is as good as it gets. Decent college football in a very intimate setting, where you can park almost next to the stadium." I have learned to appreciate what we have after attending our games at Michigan, The Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Sheer bedlam trying to navigate through throngs of drunken beasts. To park close to the stadium, you need to donate your annual salary plus your firstborn child. To pay to attend the games, you need to budget and do without something. I am thankful for what we are and what we have. As long as we have a quality program - academically AND athletically - I will enjoy the ride.

I was kind of thinking that too, it was so nice out (well, a little hot, but not bad at all), it took me only 35 minutes through light traffic on I-88 to get there, I parked some distance away but at no cost, got good seats (there really aren't any bad ones at HS) at a fair price, and concessions aren't ridiculously overpriced. And the team's pretty good. When Turner and Wolfe were playing it was worth the price of admission just to watch them.
10-11-2010 10:55 AM
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NIU007 Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Attendance for HC.
(10-11-2010 10:53 AM)HuskieFan84 Wrote:  007.. I would hope they wouldn't wonder. Football is king in college sports, I find it hard to believe the track team or tennis team doesn't know that.

It's a valid question though, as to how much should be spent on football vs. the other sports.
10-11-2010 10:57 AM
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Max Power Offline
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Post: #40
RE: Attendance for HC.
Why spend money to market non-revenue sports? Football revenue drives the rest of the athletic department, for better or worse.
10-11-2010 11:07 AM
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