Nadine Babu

Nadine Babu fell in love with Gopher Basketball and The Barn when she enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1996. Fifteen years later, the passion lives on. You can find her tailgating and sporting her Maroon & Gold at any Gopher football or basketball event. Nadine is the CEO and Social Media Strategist at Babu Social Networks and completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at the Carlson School of Management. She manages and writes for GopherHole.com, which has been the leading online home for passionate Gopher fans since 1996. Her dedication to college basketball has brought her to eight Final Fours, dating to the first one in Minneapolis in 2001.

Nebraska Going the Extra Mile(s) to Improve Basketball Program

Posted by: Nadine Babu Updated: March 6, 2013 - 6:09 PM

 

A practice facility has been the talk amongst Gopher fans since Tubby Smith arrived at the University of Minnesota.  That is pretty much where it's started and ended with...talk.  We know that there are plans in the works, but in 6 seasons, there has not been any funding finalized or ground broken.  Some people think we need a practice facility to win, others think that it's not a necessity.  Of course it's not a necessity like food, air and water (and college basketball for many of us) - but I will tell you, it sure would help our hoops program. 

 

The University of Nebraska staff was kind enough to give me a private tour when I was in Lincoln for the Gopher football game last fall.  I've got to say, it's a huge selling point.  I can't imagine a 16 year old kid coming into the Hendricks Training Complex and not be impressed.  I was given my tour at about 10pm on a Saturday night, and there were players that were taking advantage of this beautiful facility.  They have a place to go 24/7 to watch film, practice, eat, or just kick back and watch TV with their friends and teammates.  With the U, court time is limited and our players don't have the chance to just shoot around whenever they like.  This facility hasn't made Nebraska a winner yet, but I'm sure that Tim Miles will use this as another tool to get recruits, and sell the program.  For those of you that haven't had the opportunity to see this beautiful complex, here are some of my photos: 

 

 

 

Nadine Babu

Twitter:  @NadineBabu www.twitter.com/nadinebabu

Nadine Babu is the CEO and Social Media Strategist at Babu Social Networks and completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at the Carlson School of Management. She manages and writes for GopherHole.com

 

 

Gophers Need to Dig out of the Slumping Ticket Sales Hole

Posted by: Nadine Babu Updated: November 2, 2012 - 5:48 PM

I had initially wanted to write a blog on Gopher basketball season ticket sales, however, after seeing the turnout for the Gopher football game against Purdue last weekend, I figured I needed to address the lagging sales for both programs.  Some of you may read my previous article on the lack of student tickets sold (www.startribune.com/local/yourvoices/166589686.html), and ideas on how to rectify that situation.  Students are incredibly important to a college game, and they are the ones that create the atmosphere, and give you a home field/court advantage.  However, it's no secret that public season ticket holders are the ones that pay the bills, making it imperative to sell those tickets.

For those of you who say winning will cure everything, you are right – it will.  Jerry Kill said that at his press conference on Tuesday, and he is correct. However, we've had some down years in both football and basketball, and the truth is, you can't always rely on winning because you won't always win (unless your name is Tom Izzo and this is Michigan State basketball).  So you need to implement other ideas to sustain and grow your fan base.

In football, we're actually having a decent year, we're 5-3, one game away from being bowl game eligible, and just got our first Big 10 win against Purdue on Saturday.  After the past few years, this is a pleasant change.  However, if you were at the Purdue game on Saturday, you would have noticed that the glaringly low attendance.  TCF Bank sold the fewest tickets in its short history, selling only 41,062.  For those of you who are more visual, the stadium looked like this at kickoff:

 

 

And this during the last few minutes of the 4th quarter: 

 

 

As you can see in the graph below, there has also been a decline in the number of basketball season tickets sold over the past several years. The public season tickets are in gold, student season tickets are in maroon, and their coordinating number totals are also color coded. Despite the excitement surrounding Tubby Smith’s initial years at Minnesota, the graph shows the grim reality of ticket sales during his tenure.  While I fully expect more student season tickets to be sold (as students are lot more last minute), I don't see the public ticket numbers going up drastically, meaning the ticket office will have to rely on specials and various promotions to fill Williams Arena this coming season.

 

 

2007: 9343 Public & 1295 Student

2008: 8926 Public & 2105 Student

2009: 9,147 Public & 2,011 Student

2010: 8,931 Public & 1,456 Student

2011: 8,382 Public & 1,285 Student

2012: 7,411 Public & 810 Student (as of 10/29/12), anticipating more will be sold for the year)

So, what incentive to be a season ticket holder?  Obviously supporting your school, getting the seats you want, and sitting by the same group each game.  However, if you don't care about those things and just want to attend the game, you would take advantage of specials the U of MN is putting out there.  I do not have priority seating for football, I do order a chair back, and my season tickets were a total of $340.00 ($275 for the ticket, $45 for seat cushion, $20 for handling), instead of $50 had I purchased all the games individually through the specials the U offered:

New Hampshire - Groupon for $10

Western Michigan - All alums, and anyone with the link 2 free tickets

Syracuse - $10 special

Northwestern (Homecoming) - $20 tickets to start, went down to $10

Purdue - $10 tickets

Michigan - $10 special for tickets posted on the Gopher Sports Facebook

The ticket office also offered a number of specials last year for basketball as well.  Many disagree with me, and like the short term solution of offering a discounted or free ticket, but I would rather think long term and focus marketing efforts on season ticket holders. A long term solution would result in more overall revenue, and less work for the ticket and marketing offices as they struggle to fill the stadium and arena week to week.  

Public basketball ticket sales have dropped 20.68% and student season ticket sales are down 37.45% since 2007.  This past year was the most significant drop partially due to the fact that the Gophers finished 9th in the Big 10 conference, and decided to go ahead with Gopher Points and reseated Williams Arena resulting in new seat fees for many season ticketholders.  Rolling out Gopher Points this past summer was poorly timed, and should have been postponed until there was some demand for basketball tickets, and the team was doing well. 

When you even take a look at the first exhibition game against Minnesota State - Mankato, the attendance was 8,907 Last year's lowest attended exhibition game was against Augustana (S.D.) had an announced attendance of 10,644.  That's over a 1700 person difference from one year to the next. That’s 1700 fewer tickets sold, but also 1700 fewer people buying concessions, merchandise, game programs, parking spots, as well as 1700 fewer people adding to the game day atmosphere in Williams Arena.

Looking at the raw numbers of the ticket sales over the last few years, it’s clear there is a problem.  The more difficult part is coming up with some solutions. Here are a few of mine; some are from posters on GopherHole.com, others are from friends, and many are my own. 

Appreciate your current season ticket holders.  It's much easier to retain a customer, than find a new one (that’s an entirely different blog).  Unfortunately, the U is not able to keep loyal fans happy.  How are some ways you can do this:

  •  Give a discount to season ticket holders.  Right now, season ticket holders are paying a lot more than non-season ticket holders.  When you're purchasing 18 - 20 games a year, you should get a better value than someone that's going to 3 games.  That means either lowering the price of season tickets, or raising the price of single game tickets.  That can be determined with supply and demand.  Right now, there is little demand, so giving people a discount makes more sense.  It's better to get $28 for each game, and have a seat sold all season, than $35 for a few Big 10 games. 
  •  If you cannot give discounts to season ticket holders, offer them other coupons or discounts.  Give out 2 free parking passes per year, $5 coupons for the concessions, a free club room pass a year, there are a lot of things you can do that won't cost the U much, but will make people feel more appreciated.
  • Have special season ticket holder open practices, that have 30 minutes of Q &A with the players and Tubby either before or after.  Make this an exclusive event that only season ticket holders can attend.
  • Give out passes to the club room a few times a year for season ticket holders.  Let them enjoy a VIP experience.  This costs the U nothing, as everything in there is a cash/food bar.  
  • Send each season ticket holder a media guide with their tickets, or a panoramic poster of The Barn, similar to what they U did with TCF Bank after the inaugural game.  A gold t-shirt would be outstanding too, or distribute one on each season ticket holder's seat during a "gold out."
  • Before you even give out coupons for a game, or run specials, give season ticket holders the 1st chance to buy up those tickets at a discounted price.
  • Have a reception for season ticket holders before a few games at McNamara.  You can have a cash bar, and a few hors d'oeuvres – not a huge cost, but a nice touch. 
  • Let season ticket holder trade their tickets in.  Theaters do this, as do some of the Twins and Timberwolves season ticket holders.  If you can't make it to one game, be able to trade in a pair of tickets for another game to bring 2 guests (that could turn into future season ticket holders), as long as there is availability for the other game (you can also make a handful games exempt from this, like a Wisconsin game). 
  • Begin some kind of loyalty program. After the first year, you get a t-shirt, after five years, a sweatshirt, after 10 years, a piece of the Williams Arena floor, etc.  Also, award them with Gopher Points for each milestone.  Gopher points should also reward student season ticket holders.  If a student has gone to games for four years, and been a die-hard fan, they should get more points than a student that never went to a game. 
  • For those season ticket holders that have already left, invite them back for a reception.  Have people come to Williams Arena after work, and have food and drinks for them.  Mark each seat in The Barn that's available, so people can see what great seats there are still left.  Have Tubby and the players there.  If you get just a few people to come back to the Gophers, you make up for all your food and drink costs.  I know I dropped my season tickets last year, and the only marketing outreach I've received this year was one phone call from the ticket office.  After spending over $600 a season on tickets for quite a few years, you'd think they'd want me (or anyone) back as a customer. 
  • As the season goes on, pro-rate the season tickets.  If we're halfway through the season, let people buy just 1/2 of the season, instead of single game tickets. That encourages new season ticket holders all season long, especially if the team gets hot (which we're looking to do this year).
  • For these poorly attended non-conference games, give guest passes out to your season ticket holders.  It can be a last minute thing, but a day or two before, if it looks like there will be 5000 empty seats, send out an email to let people bring friends to the game.  If you aren’t going to sell that seat, you may as well at least have a butt in it, and possible future customer. 

These are some simple ideas.  Is giving someone a media guide going to get them to renew their season tickets?  No.  But if you can a number of small, and inexpensive thing to make people feel appreciated as season ticket holders, and receive some benefits, they will be a lot less likely to drop them. Bottom line is, stop focusing on giving away or running inexpensive specials to sell one or two games, that's a short term fix.  Focus on your season ticket holder, and the thousands you've lost over the past few years is a great place to start. 

 

Nadine Babu

Twitter:  @NadineBabu www.twitter.com/nadinebabu

Nadine Babu is the CEO and Social Media Strategist at Babu Social Networks and completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at the Carlson School of Management. She manages and writes for GopherHole.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gophers win over New Hampshire...were beer sales as successful?

Posted by: Nadine Babu Updated: September 12, 2012 - 12:42 PM

For all of you that don't have the pleasure of being able to go to TCF Bank, and enjoy a nice cold one while watching the Gopher beat New Hampshire 44-7, I thought I'd share my experience with you.  My seatmate Galen and I left after the 1st quarter to check out the beer/wine lines, see how smoothly the process went, and took some picture to share. 

 

This is what the line looked like:

 

 It took us under 10 minutes to get our drinks and finish the transaction.  Quite honestly, I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly the process was on the 1st game they offered beer, and thought the drinks were priced very competitively for a stadium or ballpark; it's not higher than anything I'd seen in other venues. 

 

 

 Here are a few issues we noticed.  We ordered 3 drinks together.  You are allowed 2 drinks per person, and since we were both there, thought it wouldn't be an issue.  However, the concession stand woman said she'd have to do 2 different transactions because she could only do 2 per transaction.  That seemed like not a huge time saver.  I could see if one of us had asked for over our 2 drink allotment, but that didn't seem right. 

 

On top of that, they had run out of change by the beginning of the 2nd quarter. There was no change, at all. That really surprised me, as it wasn't even that late into the game.   The only other complaint was the lack of televisions outside by the beer tents.  We went to the non-plaza section by Gate A, and there were no tv’s out there.  If they did have them, I don’t think the fans would mind lines as long as they could see the games. 

These are nitpicky things, and things that I’m sure will be worked out by the next game.   

 

I'd say the 1st day of beer sales at TCF Bank was a success.  The University of Minnesota reported that they received $111,119. Exact numbers are currently not available because premium/suite alcoholic beverages can differ in price, and sales numbers will need to be audited over the coming weeks to ensure accuracy (per the U of MN).  Approximately 15,327 servings of beer and wine were sold at the stadium, including an estimated 11,118 servings in the general seating area and 2,209 in premium/suite areas. 

For those of you wondering if beer sales caused any issues at TCF Bank, you will be happy to know that there were zero arrests, they haven’t ever had that.  There were only 2 people kicked out of the stadium, and it was reported that they had the least amount of issues the U has had since the stadium opened. 

 I think if they can make the transactions quicker, get proper change, and let people buy as many as they have people for the transaction (to cut down on number of transactions), they will be able to grow that number by at least 20%.  More money for the U and more beer for the fans is always a good thing!

 

Nadine Babu

Twitter:  @NadineBabu www.twitter.com/nadinebabu

Nadine Babu is the CEO and Social Media Strategist at Babu Social Networks and completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at the Carlson School of Management. She manages and writes for GopherHole.com

 

 

 

 

Gophers Students Can Have a Tailgate for Others to Envy

Posted by: Nadine Babu Updated: September 4, 2012 - 5:30 PM

I had the pleasure of watching the Gophers earn their first win of the season at UNLV this past weekend.  It may not have been the prettiest game, but it was a win.  Even with the Gophers making a number of mistakes (expected with a young team, particularly opening up on the road) they managed to pull out a win and have some momentum going into the season.  I was extremely impressed by the number of Gopher fans that traveled to UNLV, I knew we had sold our ticket allotment, and expected about 5,000 fans.  It looked like the Gophers filled almost 1/3 of Sam Boyd Stadium. 

 


 

 

Having seen the passion and dedication of these fans on Thursday night gave me some hope for the upcoming Gopher season: if people are willing to travel 1600 miles to Las Vegas, then going to games in their own backyard at TCF Bank Stadium should be a breeze, right?  Home field advantage is so crucial, even for non-conference games, and while it’s great to see so many adult/non-student fans show up at The Bank, the Gophers NEED to have a greater student presence to really give us that home field advantage and build momentum as we go into the Big Ten season.  As it was reported a couple of weeks ago (http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/166352516.html) that the Gophers are having a tough time selling student tickets.  In response to this, I offered some simple solutions to sell more student tickets (http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/166589686.html).

 

Part of why I think that students aren’t buying tickets is that there is no Game Day Experience specifically for them.  Students want to have fun before the game, get pumped up to go to the game, and then show up to the game ready to cheer the Gophers on to victory.  What they need is a good tailgate experience, and one company, GameDay Envy (https://www.facebook.com/GameDayEnvy), offered to be part of the solution to this! They are a a company that offers full service tailgating. They provide everything needed to throw a superstar tailgate event.   Since there is currently no student tailgating, they offered to sponsor a student tailgate for this Saturday's game vs. New Hampshire.  GameDay Envy has purchased 4 parking spots at the Ski-U-Mah lot (2301 6TH ST SE Minneapolis, MN 55455), to add to my group's 3 spots - so we should have a nice area to tailgate in. 

 

So, what exactly is GameDay Envy providing?

 

 

Tailgating Trailer

·         47" Vizio HDTV with Dish Network

·         Karaoke

·         DVD Player

·         Nintendo Wii

·         Stereo with iPod Dock

·         Grill with Propane

·         Private Restroom

 Games

·         Ladder Ball

·         Pole-ish Horseshoes

·         Bean Bag Toss

·         Giant Jenga

·         Washers

 Tailgating Accessories

·         Tailgate Passes in the Ski-U-Mah Lot at TCF Bank Stadium

·         Plates, Cups, Napkins, Utensils, etc.

·         Tables, Chairs, Bar & Bar Stools

·         Canopy Tents

·         Honda Generators

 

 

This is the Cadillac of tailgates, and all students have to do is bring food (if they want to cookout, as grills will be provided) and drinks.  My tailgate crew is very excited to have the students join us this weekend as well!  It's a small gesture to try to give the students a place to congregate before the game, and realize how fun the ENTIRE game day experience can be.  If students, especially new students, can experience a great home opener, my thought is that more of them would be inclined to purchase student tickets after seeing how much fun they can have both at the game and in the tailgate lots. 

 

Please pass along the word, and invite any students you know via the Facebook invite, the lot opens up at 7am, so come early, space will be limited:  https://www.facebook.com/events/450212915001946/?context=create

 

GO GOPHERS!!!!!!

 

Nadine Babu

Twitter:  @NadineBabu www.twitter.com/nadinebabu

Nadine Babu is the CEO and Social Media Strategist at Babu Social Networks and completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at the Carlson School of Management. She manages and writes for GopherHole.com

 

Why Don't The Students Like TCF Bank Stadium? Because The U Hasn't Given Them a Reason To

Posted by: Nadine Babu Updated: August 20, 2012 - 6:51 PM

“Build it and they will come” is how the University of Minnesota approached the building of TCF Bank stadium, clearly, the fans and students expect more…and it’s not just about winning more games, it’s about creating a lasting game day experience that fosters school pride, passion for the Gophers, and the creation of lifelong memories.  So far after 3 years, our beautiful TCF Bank Stadium has done little of that. 

It reported in the Star Tribune by Mike Kaszuba that The University of Minnesota has only sold 2000 of the 10,000 Gopher student football tickets http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/166352516.html .  This quickly became a national story having stories from CBS Sports to The Big Lead, to many other media outlets.  This is not the kind of press that the Gophers want to be known for going into their fourth season at TCF Bank. 

 There was a lot of criticism brought to this story, since there could be a number of tickets purchased in the next few weeks, before the Sept. 8th home opener against New Hampshire.   Jason LaFrenz, the Gophers assistant athletic director, said  "Other than that first year in TCF Bank Stadium, we've traditionally sold the majority of our students tickets in the 10 days before the first home game," he said. "That's when we sell all of our tickets.”  He also said that still hopes to sell 8,000 student season tickets this year.  The last time we came close to that was in 2010, so I found this from the Minnesota Daily:  www.mndaily.com/2010/07/28/student-ticket-sales-slump-half-unsold which states that  as of July 28th, 2010, 5500 tickets were sold out of the 10,000.  They ended up selling 7800 that year.  It's about 3 weeks later in the year, and we're at 2000.  If we follow in that same pattern, it looks like we'll end up selling about 1400 more tickets, for a total of 3400. 

When you look at the decreasing ticket sales it went from:

2009:  10,000

2010:  7,800

2011:  6,000

2012:  Currently 2000 with 3 weeks to go

This is what the student section with 6000 tickets sold looked like last year at the beginning of the Iowa game:

 

 

And this is what it looked like during the 2nd quarter of the Illinois game, the last game of the season (both games were Gopher victories):

 

 

This is really unacceptable, any way you look at it.  So you ask why?  This is an absolutely beautiful new on campus stadium, that many of dreamed about, and others lobbied for for years.  There are many reasons for the decline in Gopher Football Student ticket sales:

·         We lose, a lot.  Trust me, I've heard the argument time and time again, that winning will cure all.  And I believe it will, however, you can't run a college athletic program relying on that.  There will always be down years, and to counteract those, you have to develop the experience, and make people love going to the games regardless.  This one is in the hands of Jerry Kill, and I do believe it will come, but in the meantime, administration can focus on things in their control off the field.

·         Cost.  Currently, students tickets are $84 for the season, with a $7 handling fee, so a total of $91.  That's not out of line, but it is a bit of a sacrifice for students to pony up that much money. 

·         Lack of tailgating options.  I don't have a lot of good things to say about the Dome, but the tailgating options were plentiful compared to campus, and affordable.  We tailgate at the Ski-U-Mah lot, and it's $1000 to tailgate there for the season, the spots across the street in the stadium lot are $2500.  If $91 for tickets are too much, this is so far out of the realm of pricing for students, they could never imagine getting a spot.  The way pricing was set up in general was very short sighted.  Instead of filling up these lots (I have heard they are sold out, but I know our lot is about 1/2 full, and has not been full since the Air Force game) they wanted the quick big price tags, instead of creating an entire community of tailgating.  It's really a class system, where they've alienated students and discouraged them from coming to campus until game time, because  there's nowhere to go for them.  So more often than not, they pre-game at their apartments, frat houses, dorms, etc. and end up having so much fun, the ones that even have tickets don’t attend. 

·         The overall game day experience.  There is none.   I know I have a blast at Gopher Football games, but it is simply because of the group I tailgate with that I love.  We have a blast, we're typically the first ones in the lot six hours before game time, but we are usually amongst about 10 other fans for the first hour or two.  This is not the culture that Jerry Kill wants, he has expressed many times that he wants this to be an all day party, that people get excited for, and the entire state of Minnesota can enjoy and participate in. 

I don't think that anyone denies that this is clearly a problem, a school with over 50,000 students and more than 30,000 undergraduates should have no problem filling up a student section, or at least be pretty close.  There's no point in focusing on blame at this point, what we should be focusing on is solutions.  It's easy to recognize the issues, and pick apart everything done wrong in the past 3 years since TCF Bank opened, but it's a lot more difficult to come up with ways to rectify the situation.  Here are some ideas that I've seen on GopherHole.com www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/forumdisplay.php, spoke to about with friends, or came up with on my own:

·         Lower ticket prices.  It's a short time hit to get more people interested and have less of a financial burden on them.  2000 tickets at $91 is $182,000.  8000 tickets at $40 is $320,000. Not only would it create more revenue, but you would have a home field advantage, and a great college football experience with so many students there.  This doesn't mean the tickets need to stay $40 - it's simple supply and demand.  If interest in Gopher football increases, ticket prices can too. 

·         Reduce pricing for early ticket sales.  Make it worth it to buy early, then you're not scrambling with 3 weeks left before the season trying desperately to sell them (and getting a lot of bad press for it).  Offer a $20 discount if they buy before August.  As a college student, that's a pretty nice incentive. 

·         Giveaways.  Everyone that purchases student tickets is offered into a raffle for a new iPhone, or an MOA gift card, or gift card at Sally's. 

·         Give Gopher Points credit for student ticket.  They know when they graduate they will get Gopher Points for it.  During my undergrad and grad school, I had student season tickets for so many years, and I got credit for none of them with Gopher points. 

·         Bundle tickets. The first year I was on the Barnyard board (The Men's Basketball student section) they had sold 300 season tickets.  The next year, it grew to 1700, and one of the big reasons was bundling tickets.  If they got just basketball tickets it was $99, if they got football and basketball it was $59 for basketball.  Do this with basketball and hockey.  This way, when one sport is stronger than the other, they can feed off each other.   Another option is giving priority tickets to those who buy more than one sport, that's what Indiana did to sell over 12,000 football tickets, and they are no Ohio State or Michigan, they are struggling at football as much as we are. 

·         Have others sell your tickets for you.  We also had a referral program for basketball.  If a student can sell 10 tickets to their friends (even 5 at this point) let that student get their student ticket for free.  You can roll this out to Resident Assistants, chairs or organizations, presidents of fraternity and sororities, etc. 

·         Young alumni tickets.  Let recent grads buy student season tickets if they're available.  Many 23 year olds can't afford to buy full prices public tickets.  And I know as a recent grad, I didn't want to sit the whole game and get yelled at for standing and cheering, let them buy these, and one step further, contact all recent alums under two years out and offer this...NOW. 

·         Guest Pass. You can no longer buy a guest pass for someone at the same price as a student ticket.  At this point, loosen those rules up.  I don't care if someone is bringing their friend, Dad or cousin, it's a body in the seat.  This is another thing they can change if they sell out, but as for now, let any student buy two tickets for the $91 price point. 

·         Give away free food.  Last year, Jerry and Rebecca Kill bought the entire student section lunch.  Why not do this for 7 games.  To get students in there early (since they aren't coming for kickoff) offer free food 30 minutes before kickoff.  It would at least incentivize some students to get there early.  Dan Monson did this for an entire season, he actually funded it and it was called "Monson's Meal."  He wanted that energy from the students from tipoff, not halfway into the 1st half.  It worked.  It's amazing what a motivator free food is for college students.

·         Cheap tailgating options.  The U has a ton of contract lots, why on earth can one or more of these not be given to students?  Have them pay $5 or $10 a car, which is more than what they're getting not letting anyone park there.  If they absolutely cannot find a lot or two, just set up big tents for the students.  Have flip cup tables, beer pong, beer sales (that would actually raise money for the U).  If they did tents like this, it would obviously have to be monitored for students 21 and older, but that's a still a better portion of students coming to games than right now. 

·         Look at what other schools are doing.  Copy them.  Follow their lead, go to games at Ole Miss, South Carolina, and other schools that have incredible game days.  No need to re-invent the wheel. 

·         Utilizing marketing.  If the U isn't sure what to do, then enlist the help of some MBA students, and have them do case studies and offer ideas.  I'm sorry, but having Norwood Teague drive around in a golf cart, and sending a video of MarQueis Gray to students is not a marketing plan.  There has to be a strategy behind it, it needs to be interactive, and it needs to appeal to students.  These would be great components into a marketing plan, but there is so much more to be done.  And I hate to say it, but you have to spend money to make money.  I know the U isn't huge on spending money and advertising, but they need to. 

 

Quite honestly, I could blog for about 100 more pages on this, and I'm not expert, just someone with a marketing and social media background that loves the Gophers.  Norwood Teague has an opportunity to shape this campus forever.  It's not going to be an easy task to un-do what's been done the past 3 years, but with his vision, fundraising abilities, and track record, I hope he really does shake things up.  As dedicated Gopher fans, we deserve better. 

Nadine Babu

Twitter:  @NadineBabu www.twitter.com/nadinebabu

Nadine Babu is the CEO and Social Media Strategist at Babu Social Networks and completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at the Carlson School of Management. She manages and writes for GopherHole.com

Update:  Just in case you missed this.  This was former Gopher, and current Minnesota Twin's reaction to this blog after he read it:

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