Many community members, including some Zips fans, have showed concern that investing in a football stadium is an unwise use of public money.
Those voices will be amplified if attendance is low, and the team struggles to fill the 30,000 seat venue. That is why the marketing plan for this season is so crucial. Akron has a unique opportunity to ride InfoCision Stadium's momentum in establishing a broader fanbase.
I asked senior associate athletic director Hunter Yurachek to expound on his marketing plan. Here is the Q&A:
Rasor: How does your team plan to market the home opener to public? In other words, what is the specific plan to sell single-game seats against Morgan State?
Yurachek: Currently, the external staff's focus is on maximizing season tickets sales, which continues to go well. We will shift gears and actively begin marketing single game tickets in mid-August. When the single-game ticket campaign is in full swing, the marketing will include an extensive schedule of traditional media (radio, TV, print, outdoor billboards and direct mail) and non-traditional media (e-mail, web and Twitter). Our internal sales force of 10 will continue their summer-long campaign that has included telemarketing for individual and group sales, solicitation at local businesses, speaking at civic events, appearances and inclusion in community festival parades, etc. Also as the single game push begins, InfoCision (the company) will be assisting in a concerted telemarketing effort.
While it is not a part of the marketing plan, the word-of-mouth exposure has been great. Those who have toured the stadium and participated in the select-your-seat program have been thoroughly impressed. InfoCision Stadium does sell itself. We anticipate a person who may purchase a ticket for just the Morgan State will want to purchase a season ticket as well.
Rasor: What is your goal for season attendance average?
Yurachek: Our goal is to average 20,000+ over the six-game home season. However, as we developed the financial pro-forma for the season, we were aggressive while at the same time carrying forth what we thought were realistic goals. We tried to take into account uncontrollable factors such as weather, game times and playing during the week, as well as our good home schedule, specifically with the first game in the facility (Morgan State), Big Ten opponent (Indiana), Homecoming (Ohio) and Kent State. The attendance goal within our 2009 ticket pro-forma is an average of 18,037 per game.