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?
· 47" Vizio HDTV with Dish Network
· DVD Player
· Nintendo Wii
· Stereo with iPod Dock
· Grill with Propane
· Private Restroom
· Ladder Ball
· Pole-ish Horseshoes
· Bean Bag Toss
· Giant Jenga
· 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
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