“I think what you find is that you end up enjoying some of the away games more.”

So, where do you figure the ‘How can we keep our young alumni and recent graduates engaged?’ problem sits on Greg McGarity’s top ten honey do list?  Twelfth?

No, I’m not just counting the young alumni with trust accounts…

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36 Comments

Filed under College Football

36 responses to ““I think what you find is that you end up enjoying some of the away games more.”

  1. Suite jesus

    Let’s continue to lead the league in early kickoffs. ..young folks love to get up before sunrise, sit in traffic, and see a team like Nicholls State.

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    • Hell, middle aged folks don’t like to do that either especially when we come close to throwing up on our own shoes from gagging on the cupcake. 😉

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    • MGW

      That, cost, and the middle finger. They do everything they possible can to make it as unfun, and expensive as possible, while pissing on our shoes and telling us it’s raining.

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  2. The sport has some fundamental structural challenges that those who run college athletics just don’t get. The TV gravy train isn’t going to be there forever. Younger fans/alumni find the in-stadium experience isn’t worth the price. Older fans are either dying off or deciding that the in-stadium experience isn’t worth the hassle. Finally, as parents steer their sons away from football for their long-term health and safety, the talent pool risks drying up. If the revenue streams start to recede, these universities are going to be paying for 90,000 seat white elephants. The people in charge have no ideas beyond loud music and wifi to deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The other Doug

    UGA needs to focus on making it worth going to the game and paying for the tickets. No, it’s not free WiFi. I’d start with assigned tailgate areas so they can meet up with all of their friends. Catching up and keeping in touch is a strong motivator.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cousin Eddie

    He isn’t worried at all. As long as the big donors keep rolling in the bucks he knows the current group of new grads will be someone else’s problem. He is always so short sided and reactionary it will never be an issue until someone points to it for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JCDAWG83

      The big donors aren’t enough to keep the program in the black. The program needs the tens of thousands of ticket buyers who pay a few thousand dollars a year for 2-4 seats to keep going. Losing five thousand fans who pay $4000 a year is a $20,000,000 loss. The “big donors” aren’t going to make that up.

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      • DawgPhan

        UGA also doenst have the sort of BSDs that other programs seem to have that could make up that difference. Some programs have a guy that can write that check, UGA is not one of them.

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        • The other Doug

          There isn’t a program in the SEC that has a donor who can stroke a $20 million check every year. Yella Wood is probably closest, but he is only worth about $600 million and I doubt enough of that is liquid to write a big check every year.

          The reality is these programs need the average fan, and they are slowly slipping away.

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        • JCDAWG83

          Nobody with that kind of money got that kind of money by writing seven figure checks to college football programs. Guys that wealthy have money because they are smart with it. There are some guys who have made good money in contracting or in some family business that stroke a six figure check for luxury boxes and access to the coaches and being able to feel like a big shot but there aren’t enough of them to make up for the drop off of several thousand average fans.

          Between the university sending out subtle messages in the alumni magazine that white males are not valued and the AA making the game day experience more and more “urban” focused and turning the games into a three hour marketing program for sponsors, the football program is going to wake up one day and find that all those horrible white males that control most of the money and built college football into what it is have decided to go elsewhere. It is conceivable that “Atlas Shrugged” was written about college football.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Dawg in Austin

    Oh, I don’t know, Senator. I believe McGarity does think of fans like the professor from Wash U does: like credit card holding suckers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. paul

    Unfortunately, the very same problem that threatens to destroy the television experience, far too many commercials, also has a huge negative impact on the live event as well. Way too much time sitting around waiting for the timeout ref to wave his arms. But don’t worry, they’re going to move the live action along more quickly so we can get a few more commercials in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’ll probably do like NASCAR – have a split screen during commercials to keep the play on the field moving along.

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      • JCDAWG83

        That is an excellent idea. It would make the game flow like it was intended to and the fans at the game won’t have to sit and watch the tv official on the field for an hour every game.

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  7. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    As it relates to UGA football, they talked about it over and over and over again in that piece. The gameday experience. That is not relegated to what happens inside the stadium. The gameday experience is 316, jefferson highway, GA15, GA441. It’s parking. It’s tailgating. Access to places to hang out and experience Athens on Gameday. It’s embracing people who want to go to Athens just to tailgate and watch the game downtown.(these may get season tickets one day) It’s embracing people who want to come to tailgate but cannot afford the expensive reserved lots. It’s allowing parking more liberally. It’s not towing cars whose shadow covers a non-parking spot.

    It’s a combination of game times. It’s good games and opponents.

    It’s a million small decisions made by UGA, UGAAD, ACC Government, adjoining counties, that create a game day experience unlike any other.

    To steal your comparison, it’s turning Gameday in Athens into a Masters type experience, 6 days a year, every year. It’s providing the Chick-fil-a experience for everyone. It’s putting out enough trash cans. It’s hiring people to supply new trash cans. It’s portapotties. It’s opening, and guarding, campus buildings so people can get electricity, bathrooms, running water.

    It’s a paradigm shift to embrace the activities outside the stadium as equally important as those inside the stadium to the game day experience.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 86BONE

      Right on Snoop!!

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    • suite jesus

      Agree wholeheartedly- and raise you an obligatory reference to the “Michael Adams Rocking Fun Zone” formerly located on North Campus.
      Oh what great memories we have of the awesome times we had there.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      And sadly, that simple concept seems to elude every AD in America today. All we hear, not only from UGA, but seemingly every school, is more wifi, bigger jumbotrons, louder music, and all kinds of things not at all related to football or the stadium. Clean and functional bathrooms can’t hold a candle to a new waterfall feature.

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    • Southernlawyer11

      You and I preach from the same pulpit good sir. As someone on the cusp of millennial and GenX I think I have a good feel for both sides of the coin. I think that most millenials would even agree (and the article eludes to it) that, in a vacuum, nothing can replicate the experience of being inside the stadium when it’s really rocking. That’s why your points are so important…..these universities ABSOLUTELY must start outside the stadium with LOGISTICS first. Millenials don’t so much care about parking and walking a long way, but the millennial doesn’t want to tailgate in their outer ring parking space…….they want to be close to the stadium in the heat of the gameday experience.

      UGA needs to take charge of a great tailgating experience and roll out the red carpet for young people who don’t have a Clark Howell parking pass. The lack of a central tailgating area (north campus) where you know you will run into old faces is killing the connectivity component.

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  8. Bright Idea

    So much college football on TV has over saturated the sport. People see so much of it on TV that going to the game ain’t such a big deal anymore. Add in the rising cost of tickets and the hassle and it is too easy to stay home. No amount of gimmicks can be refreshed enough to keep them coming.

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  9. The Georgia Way

    Rest assured, we were already in front of this as we initiated the Young Alumni Ticket Lottery back in 2013.

    This innovative addition to our post-graduate education program teaches our young alumni life-valuable lessons on risk and the time value of money.

    And this is yet another Bulldog Point of Pride!

    #YOURREFUNDISCOMINGVERYSOON #COMMITTOTHEG

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  10. 83Dawg

    We have one of the best bands in college football. When we want music in a break (and boy are there a LOT of breaks), we don’t let the Redcoats play and enjoy them. No, we play pop music at craptastically high sound levels.

    Let us say this again. We play recorded music when we could like, oh, I don’t know, listen to live music from a very very good actual BAND.

    This is the modern Georgia game experience in a nutshell.

    Canned music, blaring commercials, and no appreciation at all for the actual students, who are jammed into a corner of the stadium instead of getting half-decent seats like we used to.

    And no, things weren’t all better back in the day. The concession stands were a lot worse, believe it or not, and the bathrooms were the same, and the scoreboard was on the tracks end of the stadium and featured this French-looking bulldog in a striped sweater holding a medieval war hammer, for some reason.

    But the Redcoats had a bass guitar and a speaker and an amp. The cheer the cheerleaders favored was “Get the damn ball! Get the damn ball!”. Leonard’s losers was still a thing, the junkyard dogs were still a thing, and when Larry England announced the other team had “third down, and THREE YARDS TO GO ” we all stood up and yelled for the dawgs, and I am sounding really old and grumpy.

    And yes, yes i did date a member of the Redcoats and still have a thing for them. She taught me (1) what a flugelhorn was and (2) a whole lot of other things…

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    • steve

      Nice. It was different (and better for the students, IMO) for the live audience 50 yrs ago. Otherwise, why would so many be addicted and find a common bond when two strangers with a ‘G’ on baseball hats meet? If nature had a way of inserting new DNA into my genome it happened the second I heard the Redcoat band for the first time in 1966. What a life-changing experience. Even though my uncles, mom and dad had all finished at UGa, I truly didn’t feel connected until that first high note from the band and the screams from the rest of the student body (who had pretty good seats that were covered by a student ‘activity fee’…?..$11.00 ?).
      And like you 83, I dated a girl that should have been in the band but wasn’t. In fact, she should have just skipped to being an instrument herself. She was about 5’4″ and weighed about 80 lbs. Looked like a flute with a bouffant. This was before I understood eating disorders, but it didn’t much matter because ‘eating wasn’t drinking’ and she could and would drink. I had borrowed my roommate’s ’65 white mustang and …the rest is a little hazy. To this day I don’t know how she got home. Never saw her again. Never tried. Like a flute you had to listen close to hear her and in those days I had a bad case of selective hearing.

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    • Otto

      I also believe that the Auburn, and LSU bands play more interesting music, let them play some more Motown or 80s music that fans can sing along to. I wasn’t a fan of the piped in music in my early 30s, and it is a reason I couldn’t get into to going to Falcons games before the NFL turned me off to their version of the game.

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    • Rugbydawg79

      That Bulldog was holding a whooping stick , board with a nail as I recall -wonder where it is today, always seen during the Vine Dooley Show in the sixties

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  11. JCDAWG83

    Most programs are fighting a losing battle against demographics. At Georgia, 60+% of students and young alumni are female, a substantial percentage did not grow up going to Georgia games with their parents. This is the same as most universities, South Carolina has over 50% of it’s students from out of state, those students aren’t going to have the same commitment to their school as kids who grew up attending or at least being fans of the program. While the current students enjoy going to the games as students, once they graduate they will not be willing to commit the money or time to become season ticket holders, especially if they get jobs more than a few hours from Athens or wherever they attended.

    Add the increasingly miserable game attendance experience with interminable tv timeouts, canned music, commercials on a giant screen, sponsor logos everywhere in the stadium and no banners made by fans or students allowed and noon kickoffs and you have all the ingredients to run off the current season ticket holders. I’m not even bringing up the increasing difficulty and hostility to tailgating. I can think of no “customer” group outside of Georgia Power or a local water utility company’s that is more taken for granted than Georgia football season ticket holders. BM seems to feel they can do absolutely anything and their customers will gladly take it and blindingly continue to buy.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      Somewhere some feminist is smiling. 🙂
      I think we should reinvent this. Provide all free tickets, free Cokes and hot dogs, free parking to all the male students. And make the Fat Cats In The Box Seats pay for it. They’re hoarding all those seats anyway. 😉

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