SU puts fans first with new athletics initiative
SU puts fans first with new athletics initiativeApril 26, 2002Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
The SU Athletics Department has launched a new initiative called Fans First, intended to convey the University’s appreciation of its fans, increase attendance at athletic events, improve the game atmosphere, enhance customer service, and develop means to gather fan input for future plans.
Fans First is the brainchild of Athletics Director Jake Crouthamel and a committee of SU senior staff and friends of the athletics program with professional experience in customer service and marketing.
Crouthamel introduced Fans First at an April 23 news conference on the floor of the Carrier Dome. “There has been much said about the declining attendance in the Carrier Dome,” Crouthamel said. “While the emphasis seems to be on the empty seats, we want to direct our focus on those who are occupying seats. Certain components of this initiative may not be readily apparent to some, subtle to others, and, as we gain momentum, hopefully significant to all.”
The first stage of Fans First focuses on new season and single-game ticket offerings for the 2002 season prompted, Crouthamel said, by past feedback from fans. Among the highlights:
– the “O-Zone,” located in the lower east endzone, reserved for highly spirited fans who want to be close to the action and cheer with neighbors who are equally enthusiastic;
– upper east endzone seats for $99, the lowest season ticket price in more than 10 years;
– expanded season ticket holder benefits, including a VIP discount card good at selected area businesses and an appreciation day during which season ticket holders can buy half-price individual game tickets for the North Carolina and Rutgers games;
– the “SUper Saver Family Pack individual game package for North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Rutgers (two adult and two youth tickets, two game programs, a parking pass and a $5 concession coupon for $65-a total savings of $15);
– “Select a Seat,” at the annual Spring Game (held April 27), during which fans could try out specially marked seats available for the upcoming football season and purchase tickets at the Dome Box Office; and
– a new group sales program for football, providing ticket pricing incentives for large groups.
Athletics Department and the Carrier Dome management staff have been meeting with a task force from the Student Association to resolve students’ concerns about seating for football and men’s basketball games, Crouthamel said, and an announcement is forthcoming.
Other aspects of Fans First will become more evident in the fall, at the beginning of football season and with the approach of basketball season, Crouthamel said. Plans include enhanced customer service training for event staff, new gameday promotions, development of a research program to better acquire fan feedback, and fostering more interaction between the Syracuse community and SU student-athletes, coaches and staff.
“This is just the beginning,” Crouthamel said. “Fans First is an ongoing process with a clear focus on customer service. We invite all SU sports fans to join us in the Carrier Dome this fall and see in person what Fans First is all about.”
For more information on Fans First, visit www.suathletics.com. For ticket information, visit www.dometix.com.