Marketing the ‘Big Game’: Developing a Student Rewards Program in College Basketball, p. 115-121

Ted Peetz

Nicholas was finally getting settled at his new job as assistant director of marketing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). He believed his degree and internship experience with his alma mater’s athletic department had prepared him well for his new position. During his interview he discovered that part of his job responsibilities would include working on a task force charged with developing marketing strategies to increase student attendance at the university’s men’s basketball games. The athletic department had recently noticed a pattern occurring with student attendance at home contests. They were having difficulty “selling” the allotment of free student tickets for games against weaker opponents and lesser known non-conference foes, which created a lackluster atmosphere and a decrease in revenue potential. In contrast, ticket allotments against strong conference opponents like Brigham Young University (BYU) and their long-time rival University of Nevada Reno (UNR) were taken quickly, causing many to be turned away because of the influx of student support. The problem facing Nicholas and the marketing department was how to generate an increased level of response for non-marquee games to help improve student attendance numbers throughout the season.