COMMENTARY: Recent Herald editorial about athletic marketing misleading

Lindsay Thomas

Your recent editorial entitled “Pack the House – Home games should be marketed better to students” was inaccurate, misleading, and omitted several relevant facts.

First, the Lady Topper Spread the Red Education Game was about much more than “seeing kids having fun” at the game as you stated. This event culminated a month in which the information surrounding the game was used as a teaching tool. Also, many of the elementary school students who attended the game were visiting a college campus for the first time in their life, certainly a worthwhile experience.

The editorial suggested we should do more to target students on campus and suggested we send “an e-mail a day or two before home games.” That would be nice; however, the WKU Mass Student E-mail Request Instructions found online clearly indicate that the WKU Athletics department is only allowed two e-mails per term. We are not allowed to send a mass e-mail to students before all home games as you suggest, as we must follow the same rules as the rest of the campus departments.

You mentioned teams could help promote by going door to door and around to tables in Fresh Foods. Well, we already do this. The soccer, volleyball, football, men’s and women’s basketball teams have already been out on campus during their season with handbills, t-shirts, and other items to promote certain games.

You mention we should be stronger in our methods of promoting games on campus than sticky notes and yard signs. These are hardly the only means we use to promote games. We place individual sport posters and schedule cards in dorms and all major parts of campus for the entire school year; game-day flyers go up on campus; Big Red makes frequent appearances on campus; we use two Big Red dry erase boards to promote upcoming games in both the bookstore and Garrett; we email the Code Red student group before games; and, we sponsor luncheons with RA’s, did a free t-shirt for them in the fall, and they in turn help us promote games in their halls. We also use Twitter and Facebook to reach out to students on a frequent basis. Additionally, our coaches and staff speak to Greek organizations, we keep SGA informed of our games, and we purchase ads in the Herald for special events. The Code Red student group that we developed is a new group of over 350 members that received a free t-shirt and red towel for signing up online.

Our students are an integral component of all that we do, and we are always striving to improve all aspects of our events to make them more entertaining and enjoyable for students. And, we certainly appreciate you devoting an editorial on WKU Athletic Marketing. However, it would be helpful if your editorials were based on the facts, as this one certainly was not. Thank you for your time, and Go Toppers!

Lindsay Thomas

Assistant athletic director for

marketing and ticket sales