Inside Marketing: Behind the Scenes at Football

A Day in the Life – Marketing and Promotions

Hey Panther fans, this is Assistant A.D. of Marketing, Matt Newhouse, giving you a little look inside what the marketing and promotions team does on gameday while you are sleeping and tailgating.  The following timeline and events are a brief overview for this past Sat., Sept. 7, against Chattanooga that had a 2 PM kickoff.  I hope you have as much fun at the games as we do putting them together for you.

7:30 AM – Staff arrival at GSU Sports Arena in the marketing office for the initial intern assignments and gameday setup with any changes from details sent earlier in the week.  We make sure to cover the Georgia’s Own Credit Union Cash Drop in full detail since there are so many people at the Dome involved.

8:00 AM – Most everyone leaves for the Dome but we have a group of 4-5 that stay on campus and head to the residence halls to promote the game and shuttle locations with bullhorns

8:30 AM – We arrive at Dome and head to loading dock to unload a moving truck that is used by the marketing and operations teams to transport thing from the GSU Sports Arena to the Georgia Dome the day before each game.

9:00 AM – By this time we have everything off the truck and split into gates and specific areas for setup on the concourse and the inflatables for Pounce Town.

We have small group go out into the seats and tag single game purchasers for ticket package upgrades.

1-Tent2-Seat

11:00 AM – Three hours prior to kickoff we have our final promotions and game production meeting and fuel up (eat) for the rest of the day.

11:30 AM – When our meeting is finished it is our job to inform the masses about Panther Walk and lineup for the team arrival from the hotel.

12:00 PM – Two hours before kickoff is the team arrival and Panther Walk.  Then we lead the team in to gate D, down to the field, and across to our locker room. We had a really good crowd for this today.  It will really pick up as we build this tradition.

3-Band  4-Pounce

Everyone on staff heads back inside to get ready for the doors to open and make any final checks to their areas.

12:30 PM – Doors Open 90 minutes before kickoff. Passing stuff out at gates/Pounce Town, getting contestants for promotions, greeting students as they enter the student section and tell them about students getting on the field for pregame.

5-Fans  6-Fans

1:00 PM – We begin our ‘run of show’ on the video board with corporate partner announcements, video commercials, music and audio clips, upcoming event information, and fan enhancements like mobile apps and social media interaction on the main video board via tagboard with #AllBlueAllIn.

7-Computer  8-Computer

1:40 PM – Gather the National Anthem performance group and go over logistics with them.  We also prepare the Georgia’s Own Credit Union Kickoff Kid/Pounce’s Kids Club (PKC) MVP for the opening kickoff in case we kick first.  We have to get the field camera operators, contestants, promotions hosts, and our staff assistants on the field in specific places for all of our promotions and presentation elements.  This allows the game presentation manager on staff to coordinate the field activities with the video production with precision.

1:47 PM – Starting Lineups – I love our new video graphics for the starting lineups, team intro video, and kickoff video done by our friends at Old Hat Creative and the new ribbon and message boards by PantherVision.

1:52 PM – The GSU Marching Band intro video plays and the band takes the field – I love the pageantry of college football!

1:56 PM – National Anthem performance by the St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School and then we have to get them off the field for the band to form their final formation and the team entrance.

2:04 PM – Kickoff and Game Time!  We immediately review promotions for the first quarter and prepare for the first one of the game.

9-OnField  10-Script

Q1 – Our first quarter fan promotions include the Starwood Season Ticket Holder of the Game, the Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que Music Time Machine, and we will honor a faculty member at the end of each first quarter this year that is a big supporter of Athletics and that our student-athletes recommend as someone who really helps them in the classroom.

Q2 – In the second quarter we run the Kick for Cash from the GSU Bookstore.  The student missed his opportunity to win the $5,000 scholarship and came so close on the $200 GSU Bookstore gift card, but still walks away with a free GSU sweatshirt from the bookstore.  One of the favorite fan promotionswe run near the end of the quarter is the IceBox T-shirt toss.  Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt?  The answer is nobody.

In the second quarter we also have assigned student workers that go around the student sections and ask about the student experience and what we can get better.

For this game we also gather our team heading up to the catwalk to drop the cash drop vouchers on to the field and double check that they have everything they need before heading up top.  Then they make their way up to the catwalk just before halftime so that we make sure they get in place well in advance of the on-field promotion.

Halftime – At halftime we have the GSU Marching Band perform some great tunes and perfect formations as usual.  Meanwhile we prepare the students on the sideline for the cash drop.  Once the band clears the field we get the students in place and begin the promotion.  Once it is over we get everyone off the field so when the teams return to the field there are not any vouchers or trash left on the playing surface.  Our operations and promotions teams did a great job with this.

11-CashDrop  12-CashDrop

At the end of halftime we will close Pounce Town by shutting down the inflatables, putting away the tables and chairs, and getting ready to assist with the shutdown of the other gates as well during the third quarter.

Q3  – In the third quarter we have the Willy’s Sombrero Shuffle, the Georgia’s Own Royal Blue Rumble, and the kickoff kid video recognition.  The Pantherettes perform yet another solid routine at the end of the third quarter.

13-Promotions  14-Promotions

Q4 – The only fan interactive promotion we have in the fourth quarter is another t-shirt toss.  We also place the spirirt shaker recycle bins around gate D and the exits to collect these from fans to use at other events and keep the dome seating areas clean.

Post game – Once the game is over we load truck with everything left at the gates, the inflatables from Pounce Town, and the spirit shaker recycle bins.  Once of our staff members gets the PKC MVP kid set for a player interview that we put on the kid’s club website at PouncesKidsClub.com.  We also make sure our youth groups that attended the game as part of a group ticket package or charitable ticket program have the opportunity to get autographs from our team on their way to the buses from the locker room.  This is really a big deal for the groups that come to our games and a highlight for them.  Once the team is loaded on the buses we have a recap meeting to talk about the good, the bad, and how we can get better.  It’s always good to talk about things while they are fresh in your head.

I want to hear from you!  Give me your thoughts and what you like and don’t like about our game presentation.  We want it to be the best you have ever experienced.  I love getting feedback from the fans about how we can get better.  If you have any questions that I can answer about why we do something and not something else instead, send that my way as well.  If I don’t know the answer I will find it for you.  I want to be transparent for the fans and student at Georgia State.  We can engage you in so many different ways but we need you engage back with us.  We are building something special at Georgia State and we want all of you to be part of it.

I am #AllBlueAllIn.  Are you?

–Matt Newhouse
Assistant AD – Marketing
(404 )413-4022
mnewhouse@gsu.edu

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