FSU Athletics Marketing/Sales Efforts Pay Off

Much of the revenue raised from FSU Athletics marketing efforts helps build a better gameday atmosphere for fans
Much of the revenue raised from FSU Athletics marketing efforts helps build a better gameday atmosphere for fans

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University Athletics Department has nearly doubled its advertising and sales efforts over a year ago thanks to the tremendous support of participating community sponsors.

During the 2008-09 athletics season, the department raised $89,623 through its advertising and sales campaign. To date, with the department continuing to sell for the 2009-10 season, this year’s total is roughly $155,000, resulting in more than $65,000 of additional revenue for the FSU Athletics program.

"For our community to support us the way they have speaks volumes of their commitment to Ferris State University and to the athletics department,” said FSU Associate AD Jon Coles “They see athletics as a great investment for their advertising dollar and also a way to support the livelihood of educational athletics."

The efforts were largely due to the sales team consisting of Coles, part-time employee Larisa Draves along with two student interns in FSU senior hockey player Matt Case and Alicia Thomas, who has been a student employee of Ferris Athletics for the past four years. This year marked the first time the department had utilized students as part of its sales campaign.

“Both Matt and Alicia were able to give great insight and a student perspective into advertising strategy for our clients,” Coles said. “We couldn’t be more happy with their efforts.

“Our first objective, even in athletics, is to educate and give our students a positive experience,” he added. “Matt and Alicia were not only successful, but gained invaluable experience and we are thrilled to provide this opportunity for learning to students.”

Sponsors helped support FSU Athletics by advertising in various ways such as posters, schedule cards, dasher boards, banners, website logos, in-game promotions and more. Businesses qualified for free hockey season tickets by purchasing over $800 worth of advertising this year.

Coles noted that most of the revenue received from advertising efforts is spent on creating a positive game atmosphere for fans and helps purchase giveaway items such as student section jerseys, t-shirts, footballs, cheer sticks, gift cards and more. It also enables the department to broadcast home and away contests and charter busses for various things such as FSU’s upcoming basketball trip to Central Michigan (Nov. 16) and for transporting residents from Canadian Lakes and Reed City to campus for hockey and basketball contests.

“The environment this support helps create is not just good for the fans, but it also helps to create a top-notch setting for our student-athletes to compete,” said FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.

Additional dollars raised from the sales campaign also help purchase marketing elements such as radio commercials, posters, flyers, magnets and signage. It also helped pay for a Bulldog Hockey commercial that will air during primetime hours prior to home hockey weekends on cable channels such as ESPN, TBS, Fox News, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network and the USA Network.

The funds raised also help the department feed hundreds of volunteers each year, host on-campus recruits and pay for things such as banquets and ceremonies. Through trade, the department is also able to travel and recruit at a low cost in the midwest and Canada thanks to the support of the local car dealerships.

“ In the current economic conditions we face, to see a 73% increase in generated resources is an incredible accomplishment for Jon and the others involved in the sales process,” Kirinovic said. “It is evident that the businesses in this community see the advertising opportunities we provide as a wonderful way to maintain their current customer base and attract new customers as well.

“In addition, it makes them a member of our team that assists in providing a great competitive environment in which our athletes can compete,” he added.

Below is a list of FSU Athletics sponsors for the 2009-10 season:

Army National Guard/ROTC
AT & T Phonebook
Babb Ford
Bernie’s Doughnuts
Biggby Coffee
Big Rapids Foot and Ankle
Big Rapids Furniture
Big Rapids Public Schools
Blue Cow Café
CK’s Place
Chemical Bank
Country Inn and Suites
Dairy Queen
Dental Health Care Associates
Detroit Red Wings
Different By Design
Edward Jones- Steve Miller
Eugenia’s Bridal
Evergreen Physical Therapy
Falcon Head
Farm Bureau- Paul Jefts
Ferris Faculty Association
FSU Birkham Health Center
FSU Copy Center
FSU Dining
FSU Optometry
Gary Trimarco
The Gate
General Mills/Yoplait
Holiday Inn/Bennigans
Huntington Bank
Isabella Bank and Trust
Jimmy Johns
Ken’s Sports
Little Caesars
MC Sports
Papa Johns
Patterson Flowers
Phillips Automotive
Pioneer Group
Pizza Hut
Preferred Office Machines
Quality Inn and Suites
Reed City Spectrum
Roger’s Jewelers
Roly Poly
Ruby Tuesdays
Snyders Market
Sunny FM, 97.3
Tan Lines
WBRN/Y102/Big Country