When the Ospreys and the Owls get together, anything can happen.
Like you might get a stuffed Teddy Bear and a free dinner when you enter the arena.
I jest a little, but Kennesaw State’s Athletic Department was offering a nice little Teddy and a $20 from a popular restaurant in Ted’s Montana Grill for those taking advantage of a special internet offer.
When you are a mid major, NCAA, D-I basketball program, that is 9-17 on the season and the area is in the midst of a nice mild sunny day in the South, what do you do to bring fans to the games?
That is the dilemma facing Kennesaw State’s, Brandy Chenoweth well before the start of each team’s season.
Chenoweth is Kennesaw State’s Director of Marketing and Fan Experience and she handles the markeing and promotions for all of the Owls’ 18 sports. Prior to coming to a sleeping giant in Kennesaw State, Chenoweth was a marketing intern at a much larger athletics program at Clemson University.
Chenoweth says being at a smaller program like Kennesaw State offers advantages as well a chance to get more creative.
“Our partners are great to work with,” explained Chenoweth. “I love the challenge. We are in (Metro) Atlanta and there more competition for how people will spend their entertainment dollars.”
Chenoweth says being with a smaller athletic department means every email and social media inquiry is read.
She welcomes the input and it helps her decide on what might be popular promotions for each team.
The Saturday, February 14, Valentine’s Day Couple Promotion was hard to beat:
For Saturday’s game, $25 would get you:
A Kennesaw State Teddy Bear
A $20 gift card to Ted’s Montana Grill
Go to any NBA, NFL, MLB or major college game and you will quickly see the “game day experience” is more than the action taking place on the court or field.
Chenoweth realizes this, and I have to think she is doing yeoman’s work with a fairly small budget.
So far this basketball season, the team has had school nights, honored military members and the “Ugly Christmas Sweater T-Shirt” giveaway promotion was in my opinion, pure genius.
While other universities are getting a little crazy with their promotions for women’s basketball like the University of Kentucky offering fans a chance to win a stake in the next year of winnings for a thoroughbred race horse, Kansas State offering free bacon and Colorado requiring students to attend a women’s game to get tickets for a men’s game, Chenoweth’s ideas fit more with the traditional sports event promotional item.
“The Valentine’s Day promotion was offered because Valentine’s Day is a hard day to get people to come out to a sporting event,” said Chenoweth.
The truth is the attendance on Saturday for the Atlantic Sun match up between Kennesaw State and North Florida wasn’t great, but the fans in the KSU Convocation Center were engaged and entertained. The line to get a picture taken with “Sturgis”, the live owl mascot was long.
“Sturgis” is a Great Horned Owl that I have feeling the University has big plans for, especially with college football making its debut at Kennesaw State this fall. Football is the next step in becoming a big time athletic program and it will help with visibility in the South and bring out more and more fans to other Kennesaw State sports.
“It is another step in building and establishing a great tradition and game day environment at Kennesaw State University for our students and fans,” Kennesaw Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams stated. “I can picture that day now when the owl comes flying into the stadium on a football Saturday.”
“We ARE building a proud tradition here and I’m so glad to be a part of it,” added Chenoweth.
Promotions for the rest of the spring 2015 semester include a Greek Night for at a basketball game, trading cards to be given away at a baseball game and KSU headbands to given away at a softball game.
A quick scan of the list of promotions and dates they will be offered by Kennesaw State sadly doesn’t show a bobblehead giveaway.
“Oh we have a bobblehead coming up,” interjected Chenoweth with a big smile on her face. “We’ll be letting you know.”
North Florida may have defeated Kennesaw State on Saturday afternoon, 67-51, but KSU is winning in the fan engagement and promotions universe. Come out to a Kennesaw State sporting event; not for the promotion, but to see Division I athletics right in your backyard.
Check out Kennesaw State’s upcoming promotions at http://www.ksuowls.com/sports/2012/8/21/FAN_0821120150.aspx.
Check out everything Kennesaw State athletics at www.ksuowls.com.