A comprehensive report, “Student Attendance at Collegiate Sporting Events,” commissioned by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) and the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and released Friday can help schools focus their efforts to engage students.
Let’s see what it says!
Among the key findings:
— Average student affinity was 7.1 out of 10, with 81% of students attending at least one live sporting event.
— Interest in the sport, game time, ticket price, opponent and team record were the most influential in students’ determination whether to attend a sporting event.
— Students indicated their favorite parts of the game-day experience were watching live game action (23%), in-stadium atmosphere (17%) and tailgating (15%). Of overall respondents, 28% chose stadium and concession food as the most enjoyable part of attending home games, with that option ranking first among Power Five and FBS schools.
— Of students who follow the team on Facebook, 72% attended three or more home football games. Of those who didn’t, 44% attended three or more games. Facebook followers of teams were 63% more likely to attend three or more home games than students who didn’t follow the team on Facebook, and that trend held for other social media. Twitter (61%), Snapchat (47%) and Instagram (48%) made students more likely to attend three or more home games.
— Students who said WiFi connectivity was not important in their decision to attend games did so at a higher rate than students who said it was.
— Although 67% of students agreed watching games is “more comfortable at home,” it scored lower than 2.5 on a scale of 5 on how likely it would be to prevent game attendance.
— Personal errands, hanging out with friends and family and using the internet were the biggest competing interests in deciding whether students attended three or more games.
— Nearly a quarter of respondents reported leaving before a game is 75% complete. Potential incentives for them to stay for the entire game included free T-shirts, a sponsored post-game party, loyalty points and concession discounts, in that order. Loyalty points and meet and greets with players yielded the strongest results.
Stadium and concession food more enjoyable than tailgating? Sounds like Michael Adams’ dream come true.
If I were an AD, those last two points would be my biggest concerns. When you’re duking it out with taking the dry cleaning in to get ’em in the door and free T-shirts to get ’em to stay all game, you’ve got problems with marketing a compelling product.
Then again, why worry so much? It’s probably something that can be fixed with better WiFi and a sixteen-team national playoff.