Every Rattler loves a good game. The only problem is that game does not seem to be basketball. The FAMU faithful will flock to a football game four hours away before they will walk to a basketball game in their own gym.
Why are FAMU supporters so cold during a sports season that’s so hot?
Senior education student Lisa Perry credits the absence of advertising.
“I’ve gone to a game before, but I haven’t heard much this year,” Perry said. “Maybe if there was more notice, more students would come out.”
In order to attract interest in games, advertising must be a big point of interest in any sport. Football season is the more popular sport, but college basketball is huge around the country.
Megan Brown, 18, a freshman animal science student from New Jersey, isn’t hype about attending the games because the word is not out.
“I’m not really excited because I haven’t heard anything,” Brown said. “Maybe if they had giveaways or the ‘Marching 100’ performing I’d come.”
Director of Athletics Marketing, Earl Kitchings, doesn’t believe it’s the advertising that has not worked. He thinks the fault lies in Rattler pride.
“Students are interested in college basketball on TV or professional games,” Kitchings said. “Sometimes I question the student body spirit”
Getting the students interested in basketball is a task that is embraced by Kitchings and his staff. The plan is to use several different tactics including dorm storms and passing out promotion material to the students while they enter or leave their on-campus residences to get more awareness about the basketball teams.
“We are taking a more aggressive approach this year,” Kitchings said.
“We may even do a dorm storm to get more students to come out, but the effort is on the students to go out to the games”
The slogan for the men’s basketball team is “Guess who’s back” and the women’s slogan is “Caution, women at work.”
Assistant Director of Athletic Marketing Kenny Plummer is also optimistic about student turnout. He hopes to create a buzz by having giveaways from Empire clothing, Steak and Shake and Lazyboy.
“We did a milkshake giveaway for the football season that worked very well,” Plummer said.
“We hope the same thing happens this time for basketball.”
Even with giveaways and the ‘Marching 100,’ a successful season always helps. Senior health care management student Kris Mumford just wants to see the team win.
“I’ll go to some of the games, but I hope we win.”
Kitchings feels the same way about advertising basketball to the Rattler nation.
“Winning cures all negatives and the coach is doing everything he can to change that.”