It is no secret that coming across a university that has successful programs in both in football and basketball is rare. Most of the time, its more successful sibling, cough cough football, overshadows the other sport. This is particularly true when it comes to college basketball.
Some universities have been down in their basketball budget and attendance for years. Alabama, Clemson, and Texas A&M decided to turn their numbers around and try to make basketball more popular. How did they do this?
There are three key factors when it comes to making basketball more appealing to the traditionally football-oriented fans- the coach, the arena, and the marketing. Each of the above-mentioned universities paid special attention to one of these factors.
Alabama decided to hire Avery Johnson, a well-known NBA coach. Johnson brought a special kind of energy to Alabama and hit it off with the fans instantly. Consequently, this led to a better sale of the tickets and more and more people are coming to watch the Crimson Tide.
A similar outcome presented itself in Clemson, but not because of the coach. Namely, the university succeeded in the renovation of their Littlejohn Coliseum. The task was expensive and demanding, but it paid off. The new arena enticed everyone, even those who weren’t the biggest basketball fans, to come and see the new look of the arena. Many of those spectators started watching games in the process. Since the renovation, the ticket sales have skyrocketed.
The people at Texas A&M University showed how good marketing can rekindle the interest in basketball. Jason Cook, a senior associate at the university, along with his team conceived an interesting strategy- let the students promote. This proved to be a great success since students knew the ways of the university, as well as the schedule of the popular events. This provided them with an opportunity to organize basketball-related events, thus persuading fellow students to go and watch their team. Needless to say, ticket sales went up.
It is difficult for a university to have two successful teams in different sports. Miami is a rare example of how it can be done. For others, there are strategies to gather more spectators, as seen by Texas A&M, Alabama, and Clemson.