Basketball season is here and the athletes are ready to play. But the question is: are the fans ready?
Based on past games, it’s apparent fans rarely attend the women’s basketball games despite their talent.
The team had two All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference players in seniors Kim Watson and Yolanda Dixon and barely averaged 75 people per game last season.
Some students said attendance is low because the marketing department does not place alot of effort in attracting fans to Gaither Gymnasium for basketball games.
“The promotion sucks,” said William Allen, 18. “They should put the team on TV more frequently,” said the freshman business student from Milwaukee.
Allen said the marketing department doesn’t do the best job it can in getting the word out to students about activities, especially when it comes to basketball
In an attempt to avoid repeating the situation of games being poorly attended this season, the FAMU Athletic Department has a few ideas it is looking forward to implementing.
Earl Kitchings, the athletic marketing director, said he is doing his best to get the word out and promote both women’s and men’s basketball.
“Students need to be more willing to read and find out information on their own,” Kitchings said.
“There are TV promotions, radio spots, raffle giveaways and fan cards being distributed to the students.”
Kitchings said at other universities there is a history of women’s games being rarely attended, probably because of the lack of adrenaline-pumping action like slam-dunking.
However, Kitchings wants to make it known that there is an equal distribution of promotion in both genders, but the outcome of the promotions is different.
Not all Rattlers believe the marketing department is doing a poor job of promoting the basketball programs.
“I think they are doing a good job promoting the basketball program,” said Andrea Moore, 19, a sophomore business student from Philadelphia.
“Last year I know they put up banners in the cafe and had flyers … I think they’re still doing their job well.”
While Gaither Gymnasium warms up for the basketball season, hopefully, the seats will also warm up equally for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The men’s next home game is Thursday against Cleveland State at 7 p.m.The annual Lady Rattler Invitational begins on Friday; the women’s team will face Savannah State at 6 p.m. in Gaither Gymnasium.