Terrible attendance for Spring Game....

I think there is something to the marketing not being as creative as it used to be. There is more to marketing than just ads in the newspaper or on the TV or radio. You have to be creative, and the worse the program is, the more creative you have to be to garner interest. It is especially true when TV is involved.

I’ve noticed a drop off in that regard since Chris Freet left Arkansas for Kansas last fall - not just for the spring game, but in other areas, too. He was the one in charge of external operations, which oversaw everything related to the fan experience. That included ticket sales, promotions, etc. He is generally considered one of the forward thinkers in his field.

I follow Chris on Twitter and noticed Kansas’ spring game this year has a creative touch. It is being called “late night under the lights,” which is different for KU because the last several years it has played mostly day games. They also brought in a rapper to perform after the game and the first several-hundred students who came through the gate to the spring game will be given a ticket in the pit for the after show. And, of course, it is Les Miles’ first spring game in town. The weather is supposed to be iffy in Lawrence on Saturday, so we’ll see how many show up.

Arkansas just recently hired someone to replace Chris. That position was vacant for about five months. I’ll be interested to see what he does.

Thank you Matt for the insightful observations. It is very easy to carry on the same old, tired refrain that there is no interest because of the rain and the lack of winning. But good marketing still affects things. I bet there are a lot of schools worse than Arkansas at football (now or traditionally) with much more successful and well attended spring games due to marketing. This one was weak as hell. I don’t care what anyone says.

PS: OU had over 50,000 at the scrimmage tonight, a Friday, in cold weather. That is a much better football program than Arkansas’s. Much. But certainly not 45,000 fans better. Or is it? Some here like to thumb their noses at the Sooners, but they have a great football program, a great AD, and great fans. Admirable. That would be a very good athletic program to emulate if you are HY.

Nebraska had 86,000 for their spring game. Crazy.


Nebraska had 86,000 for their spring game. Crazy.

[/quote]Great numbers true. However, I believe the majority of Nebraskan’s live within 70 miles of their stadium. A much easier drive when the recent wins are low.

Emulating Oklahoma would be easier with 11 or 12 wins.


Highly doubt Arkansas would have the same turnout if 70% of the fans lived near NWA.

Fans will be back when we start winning again

Matt -heard anything new about the game day experience enhancements you’ve alluded to in the past?

Not yet. I think I’ll have something for you soon.

Arkansas had a pretty nice run of spring game attendance during the Petrino years, and the first few with HDN. The 2008 spring game, which was Petrino’s first, had somewhere between 30 and 40 thousand. I got there a little behind schedule, and had to park by the baseball stadium. I’ve been to games at Ole Miss and Mississippi St. that were in November that didn’t have near that size crowd, and way smaller at Missouri. I can remember going to an August scrimmage on a Saturday evening in Nutt’s second year that almost completely filled the west side lower level, so it would have been around 20,000. Oklahoma is rolling these days, but during the 90’s they had a period of time from Gary Gibbs, Howard Schnellenberger, and John Blake that they had lots of crowds that were far short of capacity.

I’ll have some more on this in the future, but Hunter told me there will be some new things added outside of the stadium, similar to what is being done at Texas. There also is an emphasis on limiting on-field presentations, having a better mix of and doing things that will get the students more invested in attending games.

The new senior AD who was recently hired from Rutgers is the point man on the initiative.

Hallelujah! Thanks for the follow-up