New smartphone app allows Lion fans to earn prizes

Lion fans can now gain points and win prizes for attending athletic home events thanks to the Pride Fan Rewards App.

The smartphone app was launched Sept. 2 by the UNA athletic department and is available on the App Store and the Android Play Store for free download. The app was made to raise attendance in all athletics, said Athletic Director Mark Linder.

“The app was created because we wanted to generate excitement around our athletic events,” he said. “We also wanted to reward our fans that are faithful and loyal to coming to games.”

Fans can earn points by checking in on the app when they have arrived to the game, and when they have generated enough points, they can win a prize.

“Fans can win keychains, sunglasses, popcorn, soccer stress balls and a drawstring backpack,” said Assistant Athletic Director Tyler Unsicker.

Unsicker and Linder both said when they first launched the app they wanted to see the attendance grow at all games and so far, it has.

“Everybody looks around and says, ‘wow the attendance at the two soccer games and two volleyball games have been just phenomenal,’” Linder said. “It’s probably been the best we’ve ever had to start the year.”

Unsicker said the average attendance at the home soccer games were around 180 last year, and at the first two games this year the attendance has been 224 and 249.

“It’s a small sample so far, but I still like the way the numbers are looking right now,” he said.

Unsicker said the app hadreached over 600 downloads as of Tuesday, and the goal by the end of the school year is to get 1,000.

“So far people are really excited about it,” he said. “We’ve had good feedback.”

The app brings more to the table than just getting points too, Unsicker said.

“You can look at live stats during the game, you can add the events to your calendar, and you can see who’s checked in at the game like your friends,” he said. “There’s also a fan poll. You can vote on what songs you want to play during the game, you can see who we play and when, and you can buy tickets.”

Unsicker said he encourages all fans to get the app so they can increase their fan experience.

“Instead of just sitting at the game you can pull up the stats, look at the rosters and see what the team’s record is with your phone,” he said. “You can also share it with social media.”

Linder said the app is great for all UNA fans regardless of age.

“For me at my age I’ve become very reliant on my calendar on my phone. I think one of the nicest features is you can go to the event you’re interested in attending and add it to your calendar,” he said. “For younger folks you have the ability to engage on the social media aspect of it.”

Unsicker said they looked into three or four companies to develop and customize the app before settling on SuperFanU.

“We did our research on it and saw that SuperFanU looked the more effective,” he said. “A lot of other universities use it too, like Florida, Clemson and UCLA.”

It costs the athletic department $6,000 a year to use the app, but Unsicker said he thinks it will be well worth the investment.

“The benefits will definitely outweigh the costs,” he said.