How to fix Fullerton College’s sports attendance problem

Edwin Flores

Last year, the Hornets football team became State and National Champions after defeating American River College, an accomplishment that went unnoticed by many students.

Fullerton College has the best community college football team in the nation and yet, the Nathan Shapell Memorial Stadium at Yorba Linda High School isn’t reaching max capacity.

State and National champions!
FC's football team celebrating after defeating American River 29-27 on Dec. 10, 2016. Photo credit: Fullerton College Athletics/Matt Brown

Steve Klippenstein, assistant professor of the art advertising and graphic design program at Fullerton College, stressed how there isn’t any exposure of sports on campus.

“I don’t see anything on it,” said Klippenstein. “I think a lot of the students aren’t aware of our teams…That’s one of the things with community colleges to a greater extent than say Cal State Fullerton. We’re more of a commuter school and a lot students squeeze classes in-between work schedules.”

A reason behind this could be that there isn’t a sense of attachment between students and FC.

At larger college campuses, sports games are bigger social events because more students are living on campus and everyone wants to be involved, described Klippentstein.

From an advertising perspective, he suggested an easy starting point to promote athletics would be to put up posters on campus in high traffic areas along with email blasts to remind students of the games.

However, there still may not be a greater turnout at the games.

“In order to get students more involved in sports, they must care,” commented Marcus Wilson, FC’s business management coordinator.

Schools that do a great job at this are USC and UCLA. They try to integrate athletics into every promotional event both on campus and on social media.

Some may argue that schools like USC and UCLA have larger budgets to spend on marketing campaigns compared to FC.

However, Wilson explained, not all marketing costs money.

“Promotions and advertisements can be expensive but events on the quad, for example, they could have the football team show up in their uniforms and have students meet the players.”

Kathy Standen, a marketing professor at FC, agreed with Wilson’s ideas but added a solution that involves her marketing experience and knowledge.

First, a student who is a graphic artist can create large banners and posters and place them in high traffic areas. Next, a student with web programming experience can aid in social media. The final step would be to notify students about upcoming games via weekly emails.

According to Standen, this solution would not only allow students to gain experience for their future careers, it would give athletics programs the exposure they need.

However, in my opinion, the best way to increase attendance at sporting events is to focus on promoting football first, since they have bragging rights in being State and National champions.

The first step for FC would be to purchase more display monitors and place them in the dining hall and library.

There is currently only one large monitor downstairs in the library but it doesn’t completely capture one’s attention as it isn’t in a high traffic area. The dining hall also has a monitor, but it is fairly small and is easy to ignore.

Advertising
A student graphic artist changes the content of this display monitor weekly using Google Slides. This monitor is located upstairs in the Business and Computer Information Building. Photo credit: Edwin Flores

Next, would be to find a graphic artist and a web programmer who are both students. Working together, they would create google slides, posters and banners for the display monitors, campus and social medias.

Then, events on the quad should be held during the busiest day of the week so that students are able to meet the players in their uniforms.

Also, free transportation should be provided for students to get them to and back from the games.

The final step involves reminding students weekly via email about upcoming games.

This would allow FC to increase attendance at football games first, then focus on other sports.

If you are interested in taking an advertising class please contact Steve Klippenstein at [email protected]

Students who are interested in marketing please contact the Division of Business and Computer Information Systems at (714) 992-7032.

To find out about upcoming games, check out Fullerton College Athletics.