“FAM-U I LOVE THEE, ” but why are students nowhere to be seen for spring sports?

Photo courtesy: Ashley Bigbee

Sporting events at Florida A&M are a place to unite those within the Rattler community, especially within the student body. Students put their studies aside to root for their peers throughout the week or on the weekends. However, the stands have become more vacant from the beginning of the school year compared to the end, leaving many spring sports needing a solid fanbase from students.

Within athletics, there are six spring sports: baseball, softball, golf, bowling, track & field and women’s tennis. However, on an Instagram poll
of 104 students deciding which particular sports season they would be more likely to attend, fall sports took the lead with 76.92%, winter with 13.46%, and spring sports with slightly less than 10% of votes. This leaves the question of why more students might need to attend these spring games.

Jared Holiday, a fan of the different teams on campus, gave his insight into what it’s like to be at these games and paint a bigger picture behind these

“To me, it’s important to go to various games because some are entertaining,” Holiday said. “As a former athlete, I liked when my friends or
other classmates would come to my games, so I believe we should do the same for them.”

Comparing football, a popular fall sport among most, Holiday did notice how “everybody knew when the next football game was, unlike the spring
sports, I have no idea when the next game is unless I talk to my friends who work in athletics.”

Crowd involvement was a significant thing that Holiday noticed as well.

“For fan interactions, like with the football games, the student section and the DJ interacting with the crowd to get them hype.” Holiday continued to say, “at basketball games, it’s either hit or miss because it’s harder for people to get excited in the crowd, and with sports like baseball, there’s not
any crowd interaction as far as I’ve seen.”

Considering all of this information, Fayth Kemp, who currently works as the internship coordinator and assistant to the director of marketing and
special projects at Florida A&M Athletics, she uses her time and experiences here as a student to improve the student fan experience at games, especially in the spring.

“Being a 2023 senior, I’ve seen a clear shift in student game attendance. I only got a semester and a half before COVID to see and experience the
culture of FAMU that everyone used to brag about,” said Kemp. She had then said that because of different COVID-19 protocols that were in place,
there was a decrease in “the student attendance and interaction at games has decreased since we came back from the virtual year since the pandemic.” By the time the school had fully returned in person, she had claimed that numbers started to increase slowly, but “it’s definitely not
what it used to be.”

By being in her current position at athletics, Kemp learned how to bring back students to the games no matter what risk-taking might take place.

“After working with the Marketing Department, I’ve noticed that we get an excellent turnout when we offer students an incentive at the games.” Kemp continues by saying, “For example, raffling off a pair of Lebrons or having different activations from sponsors always brings out a crowd.” However, Kemp hopes that even without giving out some type of incentive here and there at games, students will show up more than they have previously to support these student-athletes.

To stay up to date with FAMU Athletics, follow their Instagram and Twitter @FAMUAthletics for team schedules, news, and other sporting events.