Marketing campaign raises local awareness

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    The success of the “Next Season is Now” marketing campaign can be more accurately gauged by awareness raised rather than tickets sold, the associate director of athletics for external operations said.

    Scott Kull said the campaign’s greatest impact has been the amount of awareness it has raised for the football team.

    “I think it has done a lot of what we had set out to do,” said Jason Byrne, director of athletics marketing. “To create the excitement we wanted, to give our players – our student-athletes – a chance to be exposed or shown in a different light is what we wanted to see.”

    The mini-site has received more than 6,000 hits, Byrne said.

    “It seems like everybody wants a poster, so it’s been good to have some demand for that,” Byrne said.

    About 1,500 fans attended Saturday’s Spring Game, Kull said. Fans had the opportunity to buy apparel and children could play on inflatable games or get their faces painted, Byrne said.

    “We haven’t publicized the Spring Game a lot in the past years, so we didn’t know too much what to expect, but we felt the numbers were good,” Byrne said. “We felt that the people who came had a good time, and that was the most important part.”

    The marketing department anticipated lower ticket sales than last season, Byrne said, but the numbers have still been good. The deadline to renew season tickets was set for May 1 before being pushed back to May 15 after the team’s schedule was announced.

    “When the schedule comes out, we want to make sure the fans have adequate information while they do make that decision,” Byrne said. “We hope they renew based on support of the program, but we understand there are other issues they may need to take into consideration.”

    Byrne said the marketing department has plans for the fall campaign to work with different athletes and incorporate the program’s historical achievements, such as the 1938 undefeated national championship season in which the team was led by Heisman Trophy-winner Davey O’Brien.

    “We’re further along than we feel like we were in the past as far as some of the elements that we’re doing, but we’re pretty much tracking the way that we wanted to,” Byrne said.