Selling UVU Sports

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Sports marketing on campus, or lack thereof

Brad Curnow | Sports Writer | @JoJoCornrow

Sports Column

I wandered the halls on campus the other day—“took a lap” if you will—because I wanted to see what I would find in the way of sports advertising on the walls. I couldn’t believe what I found. A volleyball schedule on a window in the PE Building, homecoming scribbles in the food court and brief notices for upcoming games flashing on the various overhead TV screens.

As a transfer student, I came from a school that had no intercollegiate sports, and they were proud of that. I was excited to come to a school that had an athletic program. I was excited to be proud of my school and show that pride by supporting our Wolverines.

Several months before I started school I was even looking up information on the teams so I could be an informed student spectator. I was excited to be on a campus that was excited about its growing athletic program. Much to my dismay, when I arrived I didn’t see very much around to build up the excitement towards campus sports.

I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing out on something, so I spent some time asking other students if they felt informed about UVU athletics. I found that the most informed students usually know someone in the athletic program because they have an “in” with the programs. They know when their friends play and what’s happening with campus sports through their contacts.

In contrast, I found that the average student doesn’t feel they know what sporting events are coming up, or even what sports are in season. Some students said they only catch a glimpse of events on the overhead TVs as they walk between classes. Several students pointed out the short ads they see promote the sporting event a day or two before it happens.

I spoke to Travis Raymond, a transfer student from BYU, to get an idea of what we see at UVU compared to other campuses. He said every door he went through at BYU had posters containing information about upcoming sporting events. Cardboard cutouts of the athletes occupied hallways all over campus. With these promotions, not only did he know which sports were in season, he was also kept current on their record, along with the athletes on each team.

A Utah State transfer student, Garrett Hadley, shared the same sentiment. He always knew the day and time of sporting events. Both students expressed that there is nothing at UVU that brings their attention to athletics at the level of their previous schools. With their previous campus covered in sports promotion paraphernalia, students were excited to support the athletic programs throughout the entire season.

UVU became a four-year university in 2003. We’re not Utah Valley State College anymore. We are Utah Valley University. I’ve read in the UVU Review that we’re setting attendance records at sporting events this fall. This is great, but increased promotion around campus could help break even more records.  We have excellent Division I athletic programs that deserve to be promoted as such.