Marketing to lure people — mainly students — to women’s college basketball games made a stir this month. Instead of a school t-shirt or even a hotdog, Louisville coach Jeff Walz offered a voucher for a free beer or soft drink to 2,500 fans legally old enough to drink. At Kansas State, 300 pounds of bacon was distributed.
Colorado students had to work the hardest for their freebie. They could get tickets to the Buffs men’s basketball team’s game against Kansas in December. But, as men’s coach Tad Boyle reminded in a pregame pep talk to the crowd adorned with wristbands for orderly distribution, they had to stay for the entire game. G Brittany Wilson put on a show as the women beat a competitive Iowa squad, but the stronghold for the freebie wasn’t well received among ardent women’s hoops fans nationally. Colorado did clarify it wasn’t the only promo for students to get tickets, however.
As the Associated Press reported, the point is similar to all giveaways — get people to see the product in hopes they’ll want to return on their own. But some commented that beer, bacon and tickets to see a men’s team were the wrong, ahem, carrots to dangle before a crowd in hopes they see women’s hoops is entertaining. Too easy a setup for the lipstick and pig remark, ya know.
“There’s always going to be someone complaining,” Walz told the Associated Press about his giveaway. “I’ve reached out to a few of them and called them. Once they understood what we were trying to do, they wished me a great year.”
Walz’s offer to pick up the tab drew 8,000 fans to a matchup between his No. 4 Louisville and No. 15 LSU. KSU brought twice as many students than in the past, according to the AP story. According to Bolder Daily Camera reporter Brian Howell, the Buffs didn’t fare as well for a competitive game that also aired on the Pac-12 Networks.
Attendance for the #CUBuffs vs. Iowa wbb game was 3,501 – pretty low considering the ticket dist. "promotion" and high quality of this game
— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) November 21, 2013
Marketing has remained more wholesome around the Northwest. Seattle U tips its annual Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday at Connolly Center. Drake (2-3) plays Cornell (3-2) first at 5pm followed by SU (1-4) vs. Coastal Carolina (4-1) at 7pm. Fans can purchase $1 tickets for both games by bringing any non-perishable food item to benefit Northwest Harvest.
So, keep it to bobbleheads and charities or admit we’d all do anything for free bacon? Vote below.