Athletics department offers in-game promotions

UNA has big plans his year when it comes to promoting the university’s sports, said UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder.

“We try to promote all of our student engagement groups,” he said. “We do that by and our Facebook page.”

Linder said UNA teams have more than 90 home games where the department offers the fans some free gifts, raffles and give-aways.

In the past, they have raffled Xbox 360s, Blu-ray players, digital cameras and a 42” TV with a surround-sound system, said UNA Ticket Sales Director Tyler Unsicker.

“Every home event, we give away a gift card to local fans, which can include a $100 gift card to Best Buy,” he said.

As part of the athletic promotions, the department hires bands to play at tailgating events, halftime entertainment such as slam-dunk contests for basketball games and buys give-aways like T-shirts and free food, Linder said.

Linder said UNA is able to keep track of every game where students uses their Mane Cards to get into. The more students use their Mane Cards, the more likely they are to receive free food at the concession stands.

“When you come to our athletic events, we have a card scanner,” he said. “It allows us to track the number of events you’ve been to.”

Linder said it allows UNA to give a more accurate breakdown on which sports interest the students the most. It also allows the department to find the Most Valuable Fan of the season.

Linder said the athletics department stresses keeping connected with the younger students by hiring young professionals in their department.

“We try to hire young college people to maintain our relevancy by doing that,” he said.

Linder said it is important for every student to find something to be involved in at UNA, whether it is through sports or not.

“It is all about that college experience,” he said. “I would just encourage (students) to engage somewhere, somehow, some way. Create those valuable experiences for college.”

UNA athletes love to hear their fans cheering for them.

“More fans definitely get us pumped up,” said Drew Parker, broadcast journalism major and catcher for the UNA baseball team. “Just to see the fan support means a lot to us. It makes us want to play better for them.”

Parker said the free promotions have increased fan numbers.

“That’s been a really big thing this year,” he said. “A lot of people head out to the decks to get their free T-shirt. It definitely helps get the fans out there.”

Parker Hendricks, employee of the athletic department, said students should add UNA Student Promotion and UNA Athletics on Facebook and follow @UNAstudentpromo on Twitter to stay current on upcoming SWAG and give-aways.