How to Turn Your Events Into “Experiences”

We asked Athletic Directors, “What’s one thing you’ve done to improve the ‘experience’ of attending or participating in an event in your Athletic Department?”

ADs Share "Event Marketing" Approaches

Anyone who has attended a game knows what an incredible experience it can be. Regardless of who takes home the win, cheering on your favorite team can be loads of fun. Leading Edge asked three Athletic Directors, “What’s one thing you’ve done to improve the ‘experience’ of attending or participating in an event in your Athletic Department?”

1) Make fans feel like they’re at a professional game.

Matthew Ayers, a District Athletic Director in Old Fort, OH said, “If you make the fans and players believe that they are sitting at a professional game, fans will be more engaged, and players will perform harder. You can do this by playing music during timeouts, quarter changes, or halftime. You can use a fun voice to announce players and get people excited. You can also ensure that no one enters the court during halftime and shoots on baskets.”

2) Go cashless.

Kelly Lewis, a District Athletic Director in New Hanover, NC stated, “This may not be a widespread popular answer, but going cashless has been the biggest improvement for us. We also offer a point-of-sale option at the gate for those that aren’t familiar with or don’t want to purchase their tickets online. It averages about three seconds for someone to purchase a ticket using a card at the gate. This has cut down the wait time for spectators standing in line, as well as reduced costs of security and game workers.”

3) Engage your fans by including giveaways.

Molly Tomlinson, a High School Assistant Athletic Director in Deerfield, IL shared, “Whether it’s raffling off prizes to fans in the stands, having our broadcast students interview fans during the game’s halftime, or creating a fun and safe halftime competition that involves spectators in the stands, we try to find various ways to engage the crowd and enrich the overall experience of watching a sporting event.”

4) Bonus answer! Add a theme.

Ivan Guzman, a Middle School Athletic Director in Milwaukee, WI said, “Make a theme night for kids and parents to join in on the fun. Our department likes to have free snacks and t-shirt tosses, as well as implementing a fun halftime event!”

The outcome of the game is important, but so are the spectators who are there to cheer your players on! Improving the event experience garners support for teams and displays your care for your community.

Share these insights with your community and help more ADs and on-campus leaders create “experiences” at their events.