ST, how was your visit with Associate AD?

Athletics Department, Facilities, etc.
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Neckfansince71
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Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:48 pm

Scott,

I think we are curious about your visit with the new Associate AD! How did it go? ;) jc
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ST_Lawson
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Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:06 pm

Ha....ok.

Actually, a lot of the things that we had talked about and ideas that you guys have put out there she's already planning or are at least thinking about. There were a few things that were a bit more "news" for her that it sounds like she might look into: Band Day, coordinating with Amtrak for train+game tickets, etc. Remember, she only started in August, so wasn't really able to get a lot of things up and running for the first half of the season. She's contacted and gotten a lot of good feedback/interest about the upcoming "Superhero Day" where first-responders and military personnel get discounted tickets and kids can wear superhero costumes and race Rocky on the field, etc. They're planning something for the last game against Indiana State as well but didn't have everything quite finalized yet to be able to announce anything. She's hoping that pretty much as soon as the spring semester is over they can sit down and really nail down all the promotions and events for the 2019 football season. If they can get that set and publicized during the summer, that'd make it much easier to do whatever kind of "coordination" we might be able to do (like pulling together money for some tickets for groups or something).

She's going to try to do a lot of different "event" type days during basketball season too, so keep a lookout for announcements for that fairly soon. I also suggested things like having local pep bands come in and play sometimes during break when the regular pep band students are away, and she seemed interested in possibly making that work.

She said she's been trying to get various student groups involved in things whenever possible, and that the Purple Platoon app (does points for checking in at events and stuff, can use points to get stuff) has been steadily increasing in users. It's not huge numbers yet, but it is growing.

Really it sounds like she has a lot of great ideas, but obviously is limited by budget and timeframe (because of when she started on campus). It's going to be a journey to build attendance back up at athletics events, but I'll say that I met her predecessor a few times (met with him once like this and also talked to him quite a bit when we went down to Tallahassee for the women's basketball tournament game) and it feels like she really has a better handle on the types of things we need to do to fix the situation.

Otherwise, I just kinda told her my situation/background and if there was anything that we (like, you guys) or myself personally could do to help, to just let me know and we'll do what we can. I also told her she's welcome to take a look around here and that we're pretty well-behaved (as fan message boards go).

Don't make me regret telling her that...

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Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:42 am

Thanks for sharing this Scott! I have had the pleasure of interacting with her via email. While you always get a much better impression in person rather than electronically, I was quite pleased with her enthusiasm. I really think she is going to do well at WIU, and I hope she sticks around. Our parent group is building quickly, and we are all willing and excited to help her in any way we can.

I feel like at this point, all First Responders and Military should get in free. Why even charge the $5? Get the Hero's in the stadium, sell the game experience, and make a few bucks on concessions. All this, the large group discounts included, should just be about getting a "customer" in the door, and then selling them on returning.

If you look at this as business, which in today's climate in athletics you have to, we have a great product. WIU is a good team and MVFC is the BEST FCS Conf in the country. What is lacking is our Customer Service (game day experience), Marketing, Community Involvement and Employee Relations (facility improvements and player care). The new football facility will help a ton. With all sports. It sounds like Diane is excited to tackle the rest! Count me in the Cassimire Fan Club!
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Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:50 am

Her email is dl-cassimire@wiu.edu if anyone would like to send her some ideas, or just welcome her to Western. I'm sure she'd love to hear from fans. Be nice though! :)
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ST_Lawson
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Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:15 am

GV Dad wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:42 am
I feel like at this point, all First Responders and Military should get in free. Why even charge the $5? Get the Hero's in the stadium, sell the game experience, and make a few bucks on concessions. All this, the large group discounts included, should just be about getting a "customer" in the door, and then selling them on returning.
I agree, but something else she mentioned is that in some situations, like where they do cheaper tickets for groups or whatever, that stuff has to be sponsored, and sometimes she's limited on things like price and numbers by what the sponsor wants to do. So, they can't always just say...ok...all kids under 12 get in free or all military gets in free, or whatever. There's a lot more to think about outside of that.
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
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Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:33 pm

ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:15 am
GV Dad wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:42 am
I feel like at this point, all First Responders and Military should get in free. Why even charge the $5? Get the Hero's in the stadium, sell the game experience, and make a few bucks on concessions. All this, the large group discounts included, should just be about getting a "customer" in the door, and then selling them on returning.
I agree, but something else she mentioned is that in some situations, like where they do cheaper tickets for groups or whatever, that stuff has to be sponsored, and sometimes she's limited on things like price and numbers by what the sponsor wants to do. So, they can't always just say...ok...all kids under 12 get in free or all military gets in free, or whatever. There's a lot more to think about outside of that.
Is that a school rule or NCAA?
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ST_Lawson
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Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:52 pm

GV Dad wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:33 pm
ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:15 am
I agree, but something else she mentioned is that in some situations, like where they do cheaper tickets for groups or whatever, that stuff has to be sponsored, and sometimes she's limited on things like price and numbers by what the sponsor wants to do. So, they can't always just say...ok...all kids under 12 get in free or all military gets in free, or whatever. There's a lot more to think about outside of that.
Is that a school rule or NCAA?
I don't really know off the top of my head. I do know that there's a bunch of regulations for FCS playoff games that are in addition to the regular rules, and I know that you are not allowed to give away playoff game tickets, but I don't know what rules are applied for regular season. Just FYI, we also can't fire off the canon during playoff games.
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Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:25 pm

ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:15 am
GV Dad wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:42 am
I feel like at this point, all First Responders and Military should get in free. Why even charge the $5? Get the Hero's in the stadium, sell the game experience, and make a few bucks on concessions. All this, the large group discounts included, should just be about getting a "customer" in the door, and then selling them on returning.
I agree, but something else she mentioned is that in some situations, like where they do cheaper tickets for groups or whatever, that stuff has to be sponsored, and sometimes she's limited on things like price and numbers by what the sponsor wants to do. So, they can't always just say...ok...all kids under 12 get in free or all military gets in free, or whatever. There's a lot more to think about outside of that.
I guess I don't understand that either, I can kinda understand giving out free tickets, but don't understand the discounted tickets, they should be able to do that on their own. So maybe it is some sort of NCAA or conference rule.
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Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:07 am

I wish I would have thought of this before your meeting. One thing they need to get better at, which could be immediate and very easy, keep their website updated. I went in the other day to see the Spring schedule for Softball. The spring schedule isn't there, but the Fall short season was. All the games had been played, but none of the scores or results were updated. That's unacceptable and sloppy. It prob takes 5 mins to update game results. It is attention to detail issues like these that are just maddening! One of the biggest Marketing tool any business has is their website. If that's sloppy and unprofessional, how is the rest of your business ran?
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ST_Lawson
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Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:43 am

GV Dad wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:07 am
I wish I would have thought of this before your meeting. One thing they need to get better at, which could be immediate and very easy, keep their website updated. I went in the other day to see the Spring schedule for Softball. The spring schedule isn't there, but the Fall short season was. All the games had been played, but none of the scores or results were updated. That's unacceptable and sloppy. It prob takes 5 mins to update game results. It is attention to detail issues like these that are just maddening! One of the biggest Marketing tool any business has is their website. If that's sloppy and unprofessional, how is the rest of your business ran?
As a web developer, I have to agree with you on that. You HAVE to have an updated website...can't get by with info that's months old (at this point, 3 of the 5 fall matchups are over a month old) with not even any scores posted. And if you click on the live stats links, it takes you to a page that looks like it's from a game against SDSU (that's what the scorebox says) that we lost 5-4, although the page "title" and text in the tab say it was NDSU, and the players listed are players on NDSU's team. I looked on NDSU's softball schedule page and that game was actually from April 23rd....of 2017: https://gobison.com/boxscore.aspx?path=softball&id=7820

As for the 2019 spring schedule, it's possible it's just not finalized and announced yet. Last year's schedule wasn't published until December 13th: https://goleathernecks.com/news/2017/12 ... h=softball

Still, that's not an excuse for not having past results updated and correct. I'll see about contacting the athletics department about it when I get a chance, but if anyone from athletics happens to be reading this: I'm a university web developer, I love Leatherneck athletics, and I would gladly do whatever I can to help get the website tidied up.
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
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