Indiana State Football In 5 years

TJames

The JSW Level
get students to actually show up....

and stay for the entire game. and maybe even cheer a little bit and act like they enjoy beng there. that would be a good start.
 

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
Gimmicks are exactly that, gimmicks. That said, wasting money on said gimmicks will not get asses in seats. Before you enhance the gameday experience, there needs to be the college football experience present. It's not.

1) Location, Location, Location - The first thing that must be done is getting that on-campus stadium built. There are very few schools that do not have stadiums on-campus, or right on the fringe of campus.

2) Tailgating Experience - Once the on-campus stadium is built, they need to make sure they have enough land around the facility to handle the best college football tradition out there, tailgating. Building a new stadium and overlooking this is just setting it up to fail. Ever been to Notre Dame, IU or Purdue on a game day? Cultivate and foster that experience to build loyal followers and draw in new fans.

3) Student Ownership - The athletic department needs to work with student groups to help students take ownership in the program. When I was at State, there was very little student interaction with the players and program. That has to change. How? I don't know.
 

SycamoreSage

The Captain Level
Location is not the problem

I must disagree with you about the site of the stadium being the primary answer to solving the attendance problem. In the past we have had 18,000 to 20,000 at Memorial Stadium for Indiana State football games. Memorial Stadium -- though in a completely different configuation before 1969 -- has been the home of Indiana State football since 1925. At one time going to the stadium for a football game had a sense of tradition with parades, rail cars, etc. but recent administrations have chosen to ignore most traditions.

Land for tailgating is available at the site of Memorial Stadium.

The time to study and ascertain ways to increase interest in ISU football is NOT after a string of disastrous seasons, including three consecutive seasons with 10 or 11 losses. Winning, and being consistently competitive, will solve a number of problems. The time to seek solutions is when there is a product to sell. Manure is still manure wherever it is located.

If "location, location, location" was the panacea, why can't we get more than 200 or 300 students into Hulman Center on campus for home basketball games?
 

TJames

The JSW Level
student participation

when i worked at isu in the athletic department, we tried very hard to get students and student organizations to participate in the football program.

yes, we tried gimmicks. and even with the football program made consecutive trips to the i-aa playoffs in 1983 and 1984 (winning teams to be sure and the 1984 team was ranked No. 1 in i-aa for most of the regular season), the students still didn't show up in big numbers.

we scheduled games at night so that they didn't compete with purdue and iu afternoon home games. there were ticket price reductions, ticket giveaways, kids days (which didnt turn out well because parents just dumped their kids out at the stadium and let them run wild), and various other promotions.

so the lack of student support at isu game has not been for the lack of trying by the isu athletic department, although here have been my biggest complaints (even when i worked there). Also some ideas to make things better:

1. not many billboards around town, the area and the state promoting isu football and football ticket sales.

2. not many television and radio commercials around town, the area and the state promoting isu football and football ticket sales.

3. the football program has always been the poor stepchild of the men's basketball program. if given some much-needed nurturing however, maybe (just maybe) the program could turn into the athletic department's Cinderella.

4. be innovative with their marketing and promotion of the football program on campus and in the greater terre haute community.

5.. in that vein, use the marketing classes at isu to help devise ways of communicating with the student body. make it a class project where the best ideas get some sort of prize and where the project will be graded in class.

that idea was used on a short-term basis when alvin reynolds received two votes for the heisman trophy in the mid-1980s. a marketing class took on that goal as a project and it worked. signs went up all over town and campus promoting alvin. it was the talk of the city for several weeks, the "our pal al" campaign.

6. have the alumni association help set up bus road trips from various cities in the area and state to attend games in the fall. bring alums in from the outside.

7. get into area elementary schools with marketing and promotions.

8. have a "can do" attitude instead of a "no we can't" attitude.

9. have better communications with former players and work with them in developing (or re-developing) a connection to the football program. be open to talk to former players instead of just tolerating them.

when former players offer their help (whether it be financially or in other ways), don't automatically turn them downout of hand without first completely exploring the situation.

i will say, though, that under ron prettyman's leadership as the school's athletic director, communication with former players has gotten noticeably better. but there's still a ways to go yet.

10. thinik big. think outisde the box. yes, i know that funds are limited. but that still shouldn't limit ideas on how to better promote and publicize the football program.

11. hire former pacers, colts and indianapolis ice marketing guru ray compton as a marketing consultant. he's always had great ideas for putting fannies in seats.

12. quit complaining about what isu doesn't have and start working at making things better.

and some other comments as well:

1. what's happened to the annual homecoming parade? its just a shell of what it used to be. bring it back!!!!

2. didn't the marching band used to be a lot bigger and a lot louder in years past? i've seen bigger high school bands than what i've seen at recent isu games.

3. bring back the cannon at the football games.

4. contrary to popular opinion, isu's football program does have a positive history. make better use of it. where are the banners from the 1983 and 1984 playoff appearances? they should be where fans (and recruits) can see them near the playing field.

place pictures up in the locker room of former players who have been in the nfl (also good for prospective recruits to see as well as current players to show what can happen if you have success).

5. make the hill area behind the visitors bench at memorial stadium a perfect location for the students to tailgate and congragate. let the students razz the visiting teams a little bit (sort of like they used to do near the visiting dugouts and bullpen at sycamore field in baseball or like they used to do in men's hoops).

right now, things are a little too comfortable for visiting teams. with the proper amount of security in the area, students can still get on the visiting players and coaches without causing some sort of incident. try to un-nerve the visiting teams a little bit.

well, those are just some of my proposals and suggestions. but hey, what do i know? i only worked there for nearly 15 years.
 

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
I must disagree with you about the site of the stadium being the primary answer to solving the attendance problem. In the past we have had 18,000 to 20,000 at Memorial Stadium for Indiana State football games. Memorial Stadium -- though in a completely different configuation before 1969 -- has been the home of Indiana State football since 1925. At one time going to the stadium for a football game had a sense of tradition with parades, rail cars, etc. but recent administrations have chosen to ignore most traditions.

Land for tailgating is available at the site of Memorial Stadium.

The time to study and ascertain ways to increase interest in ISU football is NOT after a string of disastrous seasons, including three consecutive seasons with 10 or 11 losses. Winning, and being consistently competitive, will solve a number of problems. The time to seek solutions is when there is a product to sell. Manure is still manure wherever it is located.

If "location, location, location" was the panacea, why can't we get more than 200 or 300 students into Hulman Center on campus for home basketball games?
During my four years, there were never that few students in the stands. If the program has fallen on hard times like that, I'm not sure what I could say. Hell, my fraternity alone rolled 20-30 deep for pretty much every home game (aside from holidays or breaks) during my time at State. If that is how bad it's become, sounds like the basketball marketing folks need as much help as the football folks do.

As for the home football games, I honestly do think having a stadium on campus is the first step. Folks love football and if you give it to them free within walking distance, that is a giant leap as opposed to driving down the Bash. I would have attended many more home football games during my four years if I could have walked to them. Some kids are on campus without vehicles, transportation, etc.

As for tailgating, if I want to have a couple or 6 beers before I go into the stadium, I don't want to have to worry about driving back to campus after the game if I'm a student. Not to mention, having it on campus helps with recruiting -- not only players, but future students as they'll come through campus and be on campus before the game. Further, holding events on campus prior to the game would be much easier -- like a small pep rally, some sort of FB tradition like the Walk, Touching the rock, etc.

Finally, I do understand it's ultimately up to the people. Hell, we've been open since September and only have 234 members and 4900 posts. Thats less than 20 posts per day here, and some of those are automated by myself to help drive conversation.
 

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
when i worked at isu in the athletic department, we tried very hard to get students and student organizations to participate in the football program.

yes, we tried gimmicks. and even with the football program made consecutive trips to the i-aa playoffs in 1983 and 1984 (winning teams to be sure and the 1984 team was ranked No. 1 in i-aa for most of the regular season), the students still didn't show up in big numbers.

we scheduled games at night so that they didn't compete with purdue and iu afternoon home games. there were ticket price reductions, ticket giveaways, kids days (which didnt turn out well because parents just dumped their kids out at the stadium and let them run wild), and various other promotions.

so the lack of student support at isu game has not been for the lack of trying by the isu athletic department, although here have been my biggest complaints (even when i worked there). Also some ideas to make things better:

1. not many billboards around town, the area and the state promoting isu football and football ticket sales.

2. not many television and radio commercials around town, the area and the state promoting isu football and football ticket sales.

3. the football program has always been the poor stepchild of the men's basketball program. if given some much-needed nurturing however, maybe (just maybe) the program could turn into the athletic department's Cinderella.

4. be innovative with their marketing and promotion of the football program on campus and in the greater terre haute community.

5.. in that vein, use the marketing classes at isu to help devise ways of communicating with the student body. make it a class project where the best ideas get some sort of prize and where the project will be graded in class.

that idea was used on a short-term basis when alvin reynolds received two votes for the heisman trophy in the mid-1980s. a marketing class took on that goal as a project and it worked. signs went up all over town and campus promoting alvin. it was the talk of the city for several weeks, the "our pal al" campaign.

6. have the alumni association help set up bus road trips from various cities in the area and state to attend games in the fall. bring alums in from the outside.

7. get into area elementary schools with marketing and promotions.

8. have a "can do" attitude instead of a "no we can't" attitude.

9. have better communications with former players and work with them in developing (or re-developing) a connection to the football program. be open to talk to former players instead of just tolerating them.

when former players offer their help (whether it be financially or in other ways), don't automatically turn them downout of hand without first completely exploring the situation.

i will say, though, that under ron prettyman's leadership as the school's athletic director, communication with former players has gotten noticeably better. but there's still a ways to go yet.

10. thinik big. think outisde the box. yes, i know that funds are limited. but that still shouldn't limit ideas on how to better promote and publicize the football program.

11. hire former pacers, colts and indianapolis ice marketing guru ray compton as a marketing consultant. he's always had great ideas for putting fannies in seats.

12. quit complaining about what isu doesn't have and start working at making things better.

and some other comments as well:

1. what's happened to the annual homecoming parade? its just a shell of what it used to be. bring it back!!!!

2. didn't the marching band used to be a lot bigger and a lot louder in years past? i've seen bigger high school bands than what i've seen at recent isu games.

3. bring back the cannon at the football games.

4. contrary to popular opinion, isu's football program does have a positive history. make better use of it. where are the banners from the 1983 and 1984 playoff appearances? they should be where fans (and recruits) can see them near the playing field.

place pictures up in the locker room of former players who have been in the nfl (also good for prospective recruits to see as well as current players to show what can happen if you have success).

5. make the hill area behind the visitors bench at memorial stadium a perfect location for the students to tailgate and congragate. let the students razz the visiting teams a little bit (sort of like they used to do near the visiting dugouts and bullpen at sycamore field in baseball or like they used to do in men's hoops).

right now, things are a little too comfortable for visiting teams. with the proper amount of security in the area, students can still get on the visiting players and coaches without causing some sort of incident. try to un-nerve the visiting teams a little bit.

well, those are just some of my proposals and suggestions. but hey, what do i know? i only worked there for nearly 15 years.
Lots of great ideas.
 

JamesHat

The Varsity Level
I must disagree with you about the site of the stadium being the primary answer to solving the attendance problem. In the past we have had 18,000 to 20,000 at Memorial Stadium for Indiana State football games. Memorial Stadium -- though in a completely different configuation before 1969 -- has been the home of Indiana State football since 1925. At one time going to the stadium for a football game had a sense of tradition with parades, rail cars, etc. but recent administrations have chosen to ignore most traditions.

Land for tailgating is available at the site of Memorial Stadium.

The time to study and ascertain ways to increase interest in ISU football is NOT after a string of disastrous seasons, including three consecutive seasons with 10 or 11 losses. Winning, and being consistently competitive, will solve a number of problems. The time to seek solutions is when there is a product to sell. Manure is still manure wherever it is located.

If "location, location, location" was the panacea, why can't we get more than 200 or 300 students into Hulman Center on campus for home basketball games?
Times have changed, people these days are used to the conveniences of getting what they want -- NOW!

I just find it hard to believe there is any opposition to improving facilities. A new stadium will show recruits that we are serious about investing in our products. Memorial stadium was a cheap-ass solution 83 years ago and it still is today.
 
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