Crowd turnout for sporting events had been declining in the first semester. To combat this, Queens officials have pushed for extra advertising for sporting events on and off campus.
“We think we have a phenomenal product and we want people to be a part of it,” said Stephanie Withey, director of marketing and promotions for the school’s athletic department.
In an attempt to increase student attendance, freshmen Renée Brozowski and Jenna Lloyd worked with Queens staff to advertise a “Blackout”. The two Student Government Association (SGA) members urged students to come out and support the Queens male basketball team by wearing all black to the event.
“For our first time, it went well, especially in the first half,” said Jenna Lloyd, member of the Campus Life Committee and freshman member of the SGA, “Hopefully people will want to do this again.” With student turnout at home games noticeably low, the athletic department was supportive of the SGA’s efforts.
Advertising began with the hanging of a banner in Trexler, followed by multiple appearances by Rex and the cheer team, passing out flyers. Then, just days before the Blackout, students peppered the campus with black t-shirts raising awareness of the event.
In addition, the SGA has been assembling a spirit team that they can count on to attend home games. Willing participants were slow to sign up, but registry snowballed as word spread among friends.
“It does change the atmosphere of a game when you have a ton of people there supporting you,” Lloyd said. Men’s basketball has always had the best turnout of all sports, and yet they still struggle to seat 1½ sections according to a member of the cheer team. But, on the night of the event, students in black crammed into the student section, some overflowing out next to the court to get closer to the action, all out to support their team.
The SGA is already considering promoting rival games with less populated venues for the women’s basketball team and perhaps even other sports in the future, according to Lloyd.
Turnout for soccer and volleyball games has varied this year. The crowd is a decent girth depending on their opponents. Other athletes like those in the swim team don’t have the space for an audience. But, most likely, people just simply aren’t interested in some sports. This, coupled with the difficult commute to the sports complex, could be hindering turnout to these games, according to a member of the cheer team.
“I think you always want the whole school to come out, so we are constantly striving to get more people to come,” Withey said. “We will always push to inform and get the community involved.” The SGA urges anyone interested in joining the spirit team to contact Renée Brozowski for more information.