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01/24/2011

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Helixcardinal

Your ideas are great but most are targeted to students. The student section was full at pretty much all home games. It's the community that needs to step up

Lud

Don't forget Darrin Nelson -- not only is he a worthy all time Stanford great, he also works in the athletic department, so selling him on it might help you land the job

Scott Allen

Love some of these ideas, especially the bronze statues, Flicks highlight package, and Shayne Skov night. I think Nos. 7 and 8 are the real keys to filling the seats. The students, for the most part, seem to be behind the team.

Kevin Leung

Agreed with the above comments that students are pretty much on-board. As far as the situation with frosh, schedules are openly available (some students have them on their doors during the season), tickets for students are automatically free (so RAs don't really need to sell to them), going to the football game is on the schedule for New Student Orientation, and pretty much everyone knows about the Axe and The Play. Although we don't have an official football ambassador position, there's enough buzz and expertise to make it unnecessary. I do think the community is very important, though. Students are excited; let's get everyone else excited, too

alicia

I agree with HelixCardinal - great ideas for reaching the students, but the student body is limited in number. The challenge here is reaching the community and the alumni specifically.

Alums from state schools with big football programs have chastised me for not attending more games. But I live 550 miles away, I say. I attend two home games per year (thank you Southwest) and they consider that a low number, despite the distance! Yet I suspect that's more than most alums attend -- and a LOT of those alums live within the Bay Area Sphere of Influence (BASI). Now why the low turnout from alums?

My guess: 1) They weren't really into football as students (now returning to your "build the student interest" idea); 2) There are a lot of competing interests, particularly among busy working parents. All the Stanford alums I know spend far more time talking about their kids' basketball games, etc., than following other sports. So... build going to Stanford football into a family experience to draw these folks.

Finally, there's the biggest problem: People in the community don't feel the tie to Stanford football. Here in LA you grow up as either a USC fan or a UCLA fan, even if you didn't go to one of the schools. And USC is a private university, so saying it's the whole "state school" issue is a non-starter. How do you build a sports interest and sense of loyalty among the locals? I wish I had an easy answer to that. I'll consult our marketing staff and get back to you...

Eugene

These are great ideas. I remember when Denny Green was new, he came and visited my frosh dorm. It made me feel "special" and I bought in even more. I have to confess I was already a huge sport fan, but that made me feel even more invested.

I'm going to suggest a #9. The marketing department should host a town hall meeting where all those who LOVE stanford football can bounce their ideas off of the staff. To encourage attendance at said meeting, Shaw can show up and introduce his new staff.

Pat

Re Point 1:

Don't forget that a lot of the players (at least freshman year) live in the residence halls, too. Simply having the ones that live in each respective dorm join the coach when he visits could help build a connection with the residents as well.

Great list.

Athlete

This is all fine, but about the swim teams, the basketball teams, the volleyball teams, the tennis teams, the water polo teams, the baseball team, the softball team, etc, etc? What is this football-centric view? I enjoy watching Stanford Football, but give the elite sports on campus their due. We are not the best athletic department in the country because of the football team - almost every year it is DESPITE the football team. True they have improved greatly, and that has been great, but if you're going to do all this for football, better do it for all the other sports as well.

el Palo

Local awareness is really important. Here's an anecdote that illustrates that: My wife was at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo at Christmas time this past year. She went to a sports memorabilia store to see if they had Stanford football stuff (they didn't). When she asked the clerk about this, he scoffed and wondered why. When he was informed that Stanford was #4 in the BCS he was really surprised that they had become that good. You wonder how is that possible only 15 miles from the stadium and I say it is poor media penetration beyond Palo Alto.

My thoughts are that Stanford should have a media day and invite all local press, particularly TV. Have a media liason that makes a specific effort to reach out to local TV stations. David Shaw is a very congenial looking guy-- plaster his face on buses and billboards, put him in TV ads.

DB

@Athlete

You must not realize that ALL Stanford sports are funded by football or donations. No sport other than football is self-funding.

drew@drewfagan.com

I moved to Palo Alto when I was 6 years old, in April of 1945. I went to my first Stanford football game the next year. In those days, Stanford football games admitted kids under 12 for free and we sat loyally in the worst seats in the old stadium, right by the tunnel.

Before moving to Sacramento, in 1948, I vowed I would one day go to Stanford myself. I did. Class of '61. And I've been a loyal fan ever since.

What's a Card?

"Indoctrinate the youth", Ah, such wise words from one so untested. Raising our children in the right way, when my son asked me if he could attend Stanford, I replied, "Don't ever darken my door again". He was in utero during the '82 Big Game as we watched in amazement as Cal snatched victory from the greedy selfish hands of Stanford.

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