Magazine article USA TODAY

Fans Require Incentives to Attend Games

Magazine article USA TODAY

Fans Require Incentives to Attend Games

Article excerpt

Whatever happened to that old school spirit? Even universities with winning teams and hallowed athletic traditions are finding it difficult to keep students and faculty in the stands. A study by sports administration students at Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., suggests that even die-hard fans must be wooed with marketing incentives.

"The students looked at the reasons why the core fans--university faculty, staff, and students--don't attend, and they found that, even in a university town, it's necessary to market a team in a way to generate interest," explains Vance Tammen, assistant professor of physical education. "Even hardwood powerhouses like Kentucky and Indiana are seeing fewer faculty and students in their arenas."

Using the Internet, the students surveyed Ball State faculty and staff, asking how many men's basketball games they had attended during the past season. The university has had winning teams for the last 11 years and played in post-season tournaments seven of the last 10 years. Among those responding, 331 said they did not go to any games; 63 attended one game; 81, two to five games; 179, five or more; and 42 were season ticket holders. …

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