ATLANTA-Coming off the most successful summer of engagement and marketing initiatives to date, momentum is building for the Panthers’ first ever Opening Night home game on a Saturday, Sept. 7, against Furman. Several key initiatives and allocation of resources lead to this historic summer by the Georgia State Department of Athletics.
First, the acquisition of Taymar Sports U. to handle our outbound sales. Taymar hit the ground running in early June and hasn’t looked back yet. The numbers speak for themselves. Sales in June, July and August are up 204 percent in regards to season tickets because of this energy and excitement about the upcoming season.
Second, the investment in #INFLCR, which is an app that serves up content to our best ambassadors (our student-athletes). This was a large undertaking for our Sports Communications staff and within the first month of launching the numbers are downright astounding. In our first month, we have reached a total audience through our student-athletes of more than 145,000. Our student-athletes are pumping out videos and images of themselves in games and practices by the minute.
Third, with the help of University Housing, Spotlight Student Programming, Band/Cheer, student-athletes, and the new Student Body President, we hosted a record-setting 1,700 students for Cinema Under the Stars and Pep Rally before classes started in the stadium! The attendance surpassed our lofty anticipated goal and will be a marquee event in the future sure to triple in size and stature.
Fourth, our Community Night included a door hanging initiative led by our football team. Members of the team went out in the community and personally hung door hangers on more 2,000 houses in the adjacent neighborhoods. Let’s not forget to mention each of the neighbor monthly meetings attended by our staff as a personal touch.
Fifth, the student athletics brand ambassadors’ group was launched in July. We had to turn away applicants because we just couldn’t manage the size of the group and be effective. This group of students will be spreading the word about our upcoming athletics events, and also has the best student seating it the house!
Sixth, we partnered with the Atlanta Braves and had GSU night at SunTrust Park last THERS-day. An incredible time was had by our team and fans. We handed out more than 10,000 koozies and ticket offers to fans attending the game.
Seventh, our advertising partners continue to help us spread the word externally. The exposure and plans we helped layout with 92.9 The Game, 680 The Fan’s Football Guide (more than 20,000 copies distributed throughout Atlanta), Reeves Media, Coast 2 Coast, and Outfront Media have been crucial to spreading the word about #OurCity.
Coast 2 Coast being the most innovative to date. That’s because it has a truck wrapped in LED and is able to play sounds and clips. It will really assist us on game weeks blasting through the downtown campus following the Panther Express routes letting students, faculty, and staff know that football game weeks are a big deal. It has been driving around campus for about five hours each day this week and the response has been remarkable.
We have once again used Outfront Media to launch multiple billboards throughout Atlanta raising awareness for home games and PounceTown. Through Outfront Media, three billboards are leading to 325,151 weekly impressions. Through our billboards with Reeves Media, we are reaching an average of 1,877,422 impressions per week.
To go along with that, we saw more than 11,000 new/transfer students and their families in person this summer as a part of Georgia State’s new student orientation. We let them know about everything related to Georgia State Athletics including Family Weekend to welcome them back, as well as teaching the new students how to get their free student tickets at more than 20 orientations.
We were also proud to sell-out the Panther Athletic Club Football Kickoff Luncheon at Georgia State Stadium. Fans have shown that they love this event hearing from head coach Shawn Elliott and our student-athletes, and we will forward to continuing to grow this event in the future.
One of the final parts of our summer initiatives was sending out 112,567 postcards to Georgia State alumni throughout Atlanta and Georgia as we look to grow the number of alums who come back to see their home team.
Lastly, the Facilities and Game Operations, Marketing and Panther Athletic Club staff created a Victory Plaza tailgate town that is so turnkey it will be sure to anger our rivals. We pinpointed our most loyal tailgaters and are giving them curbside service and access to a tailgate town that is less than 50 yards from the entrance.
You don’t want to miss this season of football. Make sure to secure your ticket and help us #LightItBlue post-game here in #OurCity at Georgia State Stadium.