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CommunityEngagementPlan:
LackofStudentAttendanceinSportingActivitiesandEvents

SydneySander,ConnerBurns,JasonBridger,SavannahHolmes,andZachHuckaby

PortlandStateUniversity

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StatementoftheProblem
ImmersionwithinsportsissomethingthatthestudentbodyofPortlandStateUniversity
struggleswith.Thiscommunityissueisbeingbroughtupbecausethelackofsportsinvolvement
isresultinginalessersenseofcommunity.Sportsinvolvementisimperativetotheculmination
ofabetterstudentcommunity.Thisissuehasmanycausesthatfactorintotheproblem.Firstoff,
theadvertisementofsportsandtheoveralleffortthatisputintospreadingtheawarenessof
sportsisnearnonexistent.Althoughthereissportsadvertisementtosomedegree,thereisamass
amountofstudentswhorarelyeverknowwheneventsareoccurring.Inaddition,intramural
sportssuchasrugbyandbaseballhasverylittlepromotion.
Gameattendanceisdependentonthepromotionofsportseventsandthereafteraffects
ourstudentbodycommunity.Sportsisanexcellentopportunityforstudentstobuilda
communityaround.Sportsareahugepartofmakingthecollegeexperiencememorableand
contributesalottothestudentbodycommunity,nottomention,sportsisbroadenoughto
encompassthemajorityofthestudentbody.Eventscanprovidestudentswithactivitiestoattend
asagroup,aidinginthestudentsabilitytoestablishfriendships.

ListofPotentialStakeholdersandBriefExplanation
FromWikipedia:
Projectstakeholders
areentitiesthathaveaninterestinagivenproject.These
stakeholdersmaybeinsideoroutsideanorganizationwhich:

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1.

sponsoraproject,or

2.

haveaninterestoragainuponasuccessfulcompletionofaproject

3.

mayhaveapositiveornegativeinfluenceintheprojectcompletion.

Thesecondandthirdpointsherearewhatweshouldbemostconcernedwith,butwecannot
ignorethefirsteither.

NonAthleteStudents
Studentswhoarenotathletesatothermajoruniversities,includinginOregon,
havethrivingcommunitiesbasedonsportsandsportsculture.Examplesinclude
UniversityofOregon,OregonStateUniversity
Thisgreatersenseofcommunityservestobondstudentstogether,introducethem
tonewpeople,takeprideinmorethanaschoolsname,andbecomemore
involvedandpassionatewiththeirschoolingeneral
Studentstuitionandfeemoneyisprimarysourceofrevenueforuniversity,
studentsarepayingforbutnotutilizingoursportsentertainment
StudentAthletes
Studentathletesaresufferingthemostfromalackofsportsawareness:whenthey
goouttoplay,theylookinthecrowdandoften,moreofthevisitingteams
supportersaretherethanPSUsstudents/fans.
Thisisdemoralizingtoathletes,couldbecausinggametosuffer
AthleticsDeptStaff

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Thesearethepeopleweneedtogetincontactwithtofindhardnumbersabout
sportsparticipation,etc.
Alsohaveinterestinincreasinggameattendance,asitgivestheirdepartment
greaterlegitimacy
PSUSportsFans/CommunityMembers
PSUstudentsarenottheonlyVikingsfans!Communityfansalsoinclude,butare
notlimitedto:
PSUAlum
Portlandresidents
FamilyofPSUstudents
Misc.VikingEnthusiasts
Thesepeoplearesufferingfromalackofgameattendancebecausetheirfavorite
teamsarenotbeingproperlysupportedbywhatshouldbetheirmostloyalfan
base:PSUstudents
CommonexcuseIhaveheardbeforefornotattendingVikgames:
IwouldgoifIwasnttheonlyonegoing
VikingAthleticsPartnership/CLevelSportsManagement
TheprivatefirmthathaspartneredwithPSUAthleticsDept.totakeover
marketing,advertising,broadcastservices,andticketandsponsorshipsalesfor
allPSUathletics'sportsprograms
Weshouldidentifywhetherornotthereisavailabilityforstudentinput,andhow
willingCLevelwillbetoworkwithastudent/staffcommission/input.

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DoesCLevelcurrentlyhavesuchopportunitiesavailable?Ifso,whydo
wenotknowaboutit?
WhatspecificdutiesdoesCLevelhave?PSUAthletics?
Whatishandledbywhichorganization?
HowmuchisthepartnershipcostingPSU?Couldthesamequalityofpublicitybe
createdwithastudentandstaffledcommission/board?

Thislistofstakeholdersisinnosensetobeconsideredexhaustive,andwascreatedwithout
majorresearchintothetopics.Questionsposedherehavebeengeneratedbythegroup,without
inputfromotherstakeholders.

CurrentlyProgramsorPoliciesinPlacetoAlleviatetheIssue
Currentlytheadvertisementofsportingeventstostudentsispresentinafewsheetsof
papersondoors,theoccasionalFacebookupdate,andrarelyamessageontheMcDonaldssign
above6thavenue.Althoughthroughsocialmediaandwebsites,PortlandStateattemptstokeep
studentsactiveinattendingsports.
PortlandStatehasasportswebsite,GoViks.com,whichisextremelyhelpfulinfinding
datesandlocationsofthesportingevents.TheFacebookpagenow,opposedtoearlierinthe
term,updatesregularlyopposedtoearlierinfootballseasonwhereitwasveryoccasional.Often
enoughthepostsareaboutgamesthathavealreadyhappenedandfewaboutexcitingstudentsto
attend.PortlandStatedoeshaveadedicatedTwitterhandlebutismainlyusedforliveupdatesof
thegames.OnTwitterasportingeventusuallyisaroundtwentytotwentyfivetweetsaboutthe

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gamealloccurringlive.Whengamesinthefuturearenotifiedonsocialmediatheyareoftena
halfhourtoanhourawayfromthestartofthegameandnotverytimely.Fromthewebsite
anyonecanseeanyofficialschoolrecognizedsportsschedule,roster,andnewsaboutthesport.
Atthebeginningoftheterm,housingstaffwaspushingtheuseofamobileapplicationnamed
Involviotobeabletohavethesportingschedulesgivenotificationsonwheneventswere
happening.RarelythereisanEmailnewsletteronmajorfootballgame.

RegionalandNationalResearch
AtPortlandState,itissecretthatstudentsattendanceatsportingeventsislacking.This
canbeseenbysimplyattendingsportingeventsandnoticingtheoverabundanceofempty
bleachers.Thisisespeciallytrueatfootballgames.Collegefootballisoftenknownasthemost
popularcollegiatesport.Researchshowsthatthatstudentattendanceatcollegefootballgamesis
declining.
ArecentWallStreetJournalanalysisof50collegeswithtoprankedfootballteamsfound
thattherehasbeenadecreaseinaveragestudentattendancebymorethan7percent.Some
examplesofthewidespreaddeclineareasfollows:
UniversityofIndianahasseenadropof29%sincetheyear2009.
AtLouisianaStateUniversity,attendancefell5.5%from20122013.
MichiganStatehasseenan11%declineinstudentattendancefrom2011.
OregonStatehasseena10%decreaseinstudentattendancefrom20092013
AttheUniversityofKansas,74%studentticketswereunusedlastseasonandstudent
attendancehasdropped44%overallsince2011

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PortlandStateAttendanceFigures
InthearticleBetweentheHorns:FootballbytheNumberswrittenbyRandallTheiland
publishedbyPsuvanguard.com,wegetasensenumbersatPSUhomegames.In2011,PSU
averagedabout6,000fansperhomegame.Thisfigureincludesnonstudentfans.Thatsameyear
MontanaState,alsointheBigSkyConferencealongwithPSUandotherschools,garneredan
averageanaverageof17,000fansattheirhomegames.OtherBigSkyschoolshavemanagedto
averageasmuchas16,000in2011(Theil).

WhyArentStudentsGoingtotheHomeGames?
Itisanationalproblem.Thesameissuesarehappeningtobig,athleticmindedschoolsas
welltothosethatdontmakesportsasbigofapriority.
1. Studentscanwatchgamesinwaysthatdonotinvolvebeingatthestadium.These
alternativevieweroptionsprovidebetterlineofsiteandmanyinstantreplaysthatmay
notbeavailableatstadiums(Espn.go.com).Theseviewingoptionsmaybebutarenot
limitedto:
Ontelevision
Computers
SmartPhones
Tablets
Atsportsbars.

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2. Studentsalsoworryaboutconnectivityissueslikepoorcellphonereceptionandlackof
WiFiatstadiumsinhibitingaccesstosocialmediaorotheronlinefeatures
(Insidehighered.com).
NationalSolutions
Tailgating
AttheUniversityofIllinois,someofthetheparkinglothasbeenreservedinorderto
provideroomfortailgating.Certainschools,however,believethatstudentsarespendingtoo
muchtimetailgatingandnotwatchingthegameandperhapsneverenteringthestadium,thus
onlyexacerbatingtheproblem(ChicagoTribune).
FreeTickets
SomeSchoolsarenowprovidingstudentswithfreeticketstofootballgamestocoax
studentsintoventuringintowitnessthegames.PSUalreadyallowsstudentsintosportingevents
forfree.
ServingAlcohol
Otherschoolsareconsideringservingalcoholtofansaluxuryalreadyavailableat
PortlandState.Thismayeliminatetheneedtowatchgamesatsportsbars.
InstantPlaybackandWiFi
Anotherconsiderationseveralcollegesareattemptingistheabilitytohaveinstant
playbackonplays.Thisimprovestheaudienceslineofsightandmayhelpoutthosewhohave
justmissedanimportantplay.PSUcurrentlyhasthisfeatureduringhomefootballgamesaswell
assomebasketballgames.SomestudentswouldalsoliketoseeWiFirouterinstalledinto

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stadiumstoaccesstheirsocialmediaaswellasotherinternetservices.PSUsbasketballstadium,
ThePeterW.StottCenter,haswifithroughoutitsentirety.

CommunityPlan
Thecurrentproblemthatwereresearchinghastodowithsportsawarenesswithinour
school.Sinceamajorityofstudentsareveryunawareofwhensportsschedulesare,itsmore
likelylessstudentswillattend.Problemslikethiscanbesolvedbysimplymoreawareness
withinourstudents.Advertisingisoneofthemainkeystoattendance.Thismeaning,sending
outmoreemails,postingonFacebook,andevenflierswithinthedormsnotingthatgameshave
freeconcessions.
PortlandStateAthleticsandoursportsmanagementteamhavejustannouncedthatthey
areproudtowelcometheVikingAthleticPartnership.Thisnewpartnershipisdesignedto
enhanceandexpandoutsideoperationsfortheVikingAthleticsprogram.Theywillmanage
marketing,advertising,broadcastservices,andticketandsponsorshipsales.
Somethingthatwillforsureinvolvemorefreshmanisspreadingmoreawarenessinthe
dorms.WereallinterconnectedviaFacebookwithourRAsandourLCAs.Wecouldutilize
thisbyspreadingthewordaboutsportsschedules.TheRAspostaboutcertaineventsgoingon
anyway.SportsagendasshouldbesomethingthatgoesintheRAsagenda.Apostthatcould
addedisWereallmeetingonourfloorlobbyat5oclockforthebasketballgame!for
example.Toputthisintoaction,contactwithRHAwillbeessential.
Itdoesnthavetobejustwithinfloors.Ondine,beingthemaindormwherestudent
eventsareheldcouldwithstandmoreadvertising.Examplesincludecommercialsbeingshownin

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thetelevisionsinVictorsduringdininghours.EvenVikinggearinaglasscasebeinghunginthe
lobbywithabannersayingGetyourVikinggearatthebasketballgames!AtStottcenter!with
alistoftimesandopponentsontheside.
WorksCited
Cohen,B.(2014,August27).RetrievedDecember3,2014,from
http://online.wsj.com/articles/atcollegefootballgamesstudentsectionslikelytohavee
mptyseats1409188244
New,J.(2014,September11).Collegesworryaboutfutureoffootballfans,asstudent
attendancedeclines@insidehighered.(n.d.).RetrievedDecember3,2014,from
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/11/collegesworryaboutfuturefootballf
ansstudentattendancedeclines
Theil,R.(2012,May2).BetweenTheHorns:FootballbythenumbersPortlandState
Vanguard.RetrievedDecember3,2014,from
http://psuvanguard.com/sports/betweenthehornsfootballbythenumbers/
Schuster,B.(2007,August27).Wherehavethestudentfansgone?RetrievedDecember3,2014,
from
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ctbigtenattendancespt082420140823
story.html#page=1
Rovell,D.(2014,February17).Willnextgenerationoffansshowup?RetrievedDecember3,
2014,from

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http://espn.go.com/collegefootball/story/_/id/10458047/nextgenerationticketholderco
ncernstudentsshowcollegefootballgames