By NOAH CLARK
KENNESAW, Ga. — Kennesaw State University has been a school on the rise in Georgia, but it has struggled with attendance at athletic events.
Brandy Chenoweth, KSU director of marketing and fan experience, has a lot of hope and ideas that will help Kennesaw State improve in those areas for the upcoming athletics’ season.
“Football for us, in year two, is a lot of focusing our communication strategy,” Chenoweth said. “Part of marketing is fan experience and making sure our fans understand all of the information.
“That was the challenge last year,” she said. “We were just throwing so much information at people, we couldn’t really focus on specific things, and we didn’t know what our problem areas were.”
Kennesaw State University will has over 30,000 students as of fall 2016. Last year, the Owls sold out every football game of the season, but the stadium still had trouble filling up.
Chenoweth has looked to team up with off-campus housings to help promote the upcoming season.
“We are really excited to work with KSU,” said Daniel Vehar, manager of sales and marketing at Stadium Village apartments. “The athletic program at KSU is working really hard to try and improve fan experience and attendance, and, as an alum, we are excited that they even thought of us to help out in anyway.”
While focusing mainly on football, Chenoweth plans to donate hang tags for the bedroom doors to all the off-campus student housing properties in the area. The hang tags will have schedules printed on them along with magnets for every refrigerator in the apartments.
This is to encourage students and fans to become more engaged in the other fall sports.
“From a marketing strategy here, we really work on this assumption that everything has a trickle-down effect,” Chenoweth said. “We know that most of our fans are most interested in football, so we focus on that first and then hopefully it will trickle down to basketball and baseball.”
After a successful 5-1 start to its very first year, KSU had high hopes for the rest for its inaugural football season. However, the Owls dropped their last three games to fall to 6-5 on the year. Even with the early on-field success, the athletic department still could not fill up the stadium after the home opener.
Chenoweth believes that they have learned from the mistakes of last year, and she is optimistic that they can figure out all the issues that caused the lack of attendance at games.
“One thing I’ve learned in my previous experience is that winning fixes mostly everything,” Chenoweth said. “Those seats will fill up a lot quicker and more often when you have something to cheer for.
“I always joke that we are kind of everybody’s second favorite team, and that’s the hardest part right now,” she said. “That pride for Kennesaw didn’t exist, and now it’s starting to exist.”