We have had a lot of interesting discussion on the poor attendance issues on the part of both students and alums in our basketball games this season. Yeah, I get it. It's finals week. Our record is not great. So enthusiasm for our program is not sky high. However, threading through the discussion it is also becoming clear how inept the UCLA marketing department has been in terms of ginning up interesting in our program.
The UCLA's marketing department's track record is kind of a joke. These are the geniuses who drew up the infamous monopoly ad (which put Neuheisel in an awkward spot and made our football program a laughing stock in CRN's first season). These are the same people who took out ad in Fresno Papers, inviting Fresno fans to flood the Rose Bowl in our home game. If you don't remember that you can refresh your memory here. Now we are learning that apparently these guys have been going out of their way to quash enthusiasm among students and stiffling Howland's efforts to boost our program (emphasis added):
CBH took us to marketing in response to the Arizona schools last year. Those games were among the most pathetic attendances in recent memory, especially for a pac-10 game. As yo may recall, we were edged by a slim margin, a margin that a full student section could have changed.
When talking to him while we were camping out for the next BB game, he wanted to know why there was no interest in our team. He mentioned his years at Pitt and how students would flood the arena regardless of record, but couldn’t understand how a team, one that had gone to 3 straight final fours, drew no interest. We explained to him the new ticket situation (one where marketing literally cut almost all packages in half, including seniors) and how people go home on weekends rather than come to games (there are plenty of other reasons to explain this, many inexcusable).
CBH ended up marching into marketing with a few of us. We talked to the head of recruitment (forget the name) and the head of marketing, Scott Mitchell. The first reaction from Scott was: get the students out because it is above us. CBH insisted that we stayed because it affects us. Coach argued on our behalf all of the points we shared with him earlier. Had this not happened, the Den would likely not have been allowed to meet with marketing and convince them to change some of the ticketing policies (attendance based for one). However, from my understanding and information, CBH isn’t the favorite coach in marketing….
Can any one explain WTH is going over here? What is the excuse for the UCLA marketing department in standing in Howland's way to boost UCLA basketball by having a filled up student section?