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In episode 64 of the Sports Marketing Machine Podcast, Jeremy Neisser sits down with Scott Peace, Associate AD for Marketing at Kent State, and discusses his background in sports marketing and the strategies he implemented to increase attendance at college athletic events.

Within the last 24 months, Scott and his team has increased attendance for numerous sports, including:

  • 155% increase for Wrestling
  • 39% increase for Men's Basketball (team finished 17-17 this year)
  • 83% increase for Field Hockey
  • 49% increase for Women's Volleyball
  • 35% increase for Women's Soccer


Scott shares that he emphasizes the importance of intentionality, creativity, and purpose in marketing efforts. Scott shares the success of using premium giveaways and tying in activations and programs to attract fans. He also discusses the challenges of winter break and the need to expand offerings to regular fans. Scott highlights the importance of branding the student section and utilizing various communication channels, including texting, to engage students. He concludes by emphasizing the goal of providing an experience that makes students want to come back.

In this conversation, Scott Peace, the Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions at Kent State University, discusses the strategies and tactics they use to engage and excite fans at their sporting events. 

He talks about the importance of creating a memorable fan experience, including the use of a DJ, student section banners, and engaging promotions. Scott also shares insights on their paid advertising efforts, including social media advertising, bus advertising, and movie theater advertising. He emphasizes the importance of open communication with coaches and the need to manage expectations. 

Scott also discusses their use of software tools like Vasi and Eloqua for ticketing and email marketing. Finally, he shares their plans for football and the focus on enhancing the fan experience.

Takeaways

  • Intentionality, creativity, and purpose are key in sports marketing efforts.
  • Premium giveaways and activations can attract fans and increase attendance.
  • Challenges during winter break require strategic planning and expanding offerings to regular fans.
  • Branding the student section and utilizing various communication channels, including texting, can enhance student engagement.
  • Providing an exceptional experience is crucial in encouraging repeat attendance. Creating a memorable fan experience is crucial for engaging and exciting fans at sporting events.
  • Paid advertising, including social media advertising, bus advertising, and movie theater advertising, can be effective in reaching non-student fans.
  • Open communication with coaches and involving them in the planning process helps manage expectations and ensures alignment.
  • Software tools like Vasi and Eloqua can streamline ticketing and email marketing efforts.
  • Enhancing the fan experience and focusing on the details, such as tailgates and game-day atmosphere, can contribute to a successful season.

Chapters

00:00 - Introduction and Background

06:17 - Strategies for Men's Basketball

12:43 - Lessons Learned and Adjustments

26:31 - Managing Expectations of Coaches

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