2017 off season

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2017 off season

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:04 pm

Some UP student leaders are planning to overhaul the student section at basketball games. Let's hope this catches on!

http://www.upbeacon.com/article/2017/04/asup-president-rivera-senator-donkers-announce-plans-to-revamp-student-section

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Re: 2017 off season

Post by PilotNut on Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:18 pm

This is great news--I am glad to see some student leadership once again stepping up to lead the charge!

I think it is smart to pick a new name at this point, and having invested parties (i.e. a Board) is a critical component that has been lacking.


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Re: 2017 off season

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:05 pm

The goal of the project is to establish an organization focused on creating a game day experience that is both dynamic and engaging for the student body. It will be led by an executive board — consisting of a President, Vice President, Director of Communications, Graphic Designer and Program Director... Each member of the board would have an annual stipend of $3,000, according to Donkers.

Shocked  Shocked  Shocked

It wasn't clear from the article if this money is coming from ASUP (student government) or athletics, but either way - $15,000 for stipends is some serious scratch. Very excited to see what comes of this. [EDIT: Upon a re-read, it looks like the initial funding will come from athletics, with future funding coming from student membership fees.]

But I must gently point out that several members of this message board - which may or may not include yours truly - along with several friends all pitched in something like $50 of our own money to buy the first run of t-shirts for what eventually became Purple Pride. (Back when it was entirely student organized, not operated by athletics.) This was back in 2004-05, and I will not so humbly aver that in the years following the student section has not really come close to being as good as it was then. Students do still show up in decent numbers (well, for weekend games at least), but they are quiet, rarely stand, and only do half-hearted cheers even at key points in the game.

I am very hopeful for what will come of this, but I am still of the belief that a student section at its best arises organically and doesn't operate under the umbrella of student government or the athletic department.

As far as a name, I'm in the "what is old will one day be new again" camp... would love to see Purple Haze or Co-Pilots make a return.


Last edited by Stonehouse on Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:26 pm

I must admit that this is something I attempted to do with our student section while at UP too. But, my efforts were not nearly as thought out as theirs appear to be. I have to second Stonehouse's comments. The money doesn't make sense to me and they are fighting a lot of apathy. It's hard to replicate organic (see Villa Drum Squad).

Before me there was also Pilot Riot, which had its ups and downs for a few years before disappearing with the leaders as they graduated.
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:36 pm

SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:Before me there was also Pilot Riot, which had its ups and downs for a few years before disappearing with the  leaders as they graduated.

This has been the largest issue for UP student groups - even if some students do manage to get something off the ground, once the leaders graduate it's really hard for it to continue on. That certainly happened in our case. The guy who took over after us tried to turn it into a personal money-making/meet-freshmen-girls venture and it was all downhill from there... all the momentum we built flamed out.

I love the fact that ASUP and/or the athletic department are willing to invest this type of money in student leadership. I just hope that the student leaders don't only focus on getting students in the building and also give some real time and effort on what those students do once they are there. Give me 50 students standing in the first few rows and being loud on every possession over 500 kids who show up for free pizza, sit there texting, and then leave at halftime.



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Re: 2017 off season

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:06 pm

Since I can't help myself... a bit of unsolicited advice for the new executive board, just in case they somehow end up reading this.

1) Figure out a way to survey the incoming freshmen class BEFORE they arrive on campus. Ask them if they attended basketball games at their high school, and if so, if they stood and cheered during the games. Have them do a little Likert-scale gauging their interest in doing the same during college.

Take all the people that respond positively, and start communicating with them a ton over the summer. Involve them with your planning for the upcoming season once they arrive on campus. Charge each one with recruiting 10 friends. Invite them to come watch practices, have the coaches meet with them, give them a chance to get to know some of the players, etc etc. Make them feel like they are a part of something important... before the season even begins.

Story time: My high school had an awesome tradition of student support, and - no surprise - three guys from my HS were original founding members of Purple Pride. (With an honorary fourth one who graduated just a year too early but was certainly a member of the proto-Purple Pride student group that mainly consisted of a few rows of guys that did their best to make as much noise as possible.)

I have long, long, long dreamed of figuring out a way to gather all the kids who came from high schools with a tradition of supporting basketball, and joining them together while they are still excited about college and before the inertia sets in and they become unmotivated by our current lack of support.

2) While working on building a core of freshman, do your best to identify a solid group of upperclassmen that live off campus. Ideally, find 2-3 houses of people that are "influencers"... people who have a lot of friends and maybe have been known in the past to host some "student socials" on the weekends. We had three houses of guys, all of whom had wide circles of friends and brought in a huge variety of people through their personal relationships. Do whatever you can to get these people on board.

3) Don't put too much value on a "Midnight Madness"-style event. You can end up spending LOTS of time and money and energy on having this big successful event, and even if you get a lot of students to show up... there's no guarantee that will carry over to them showing up for (let alone cheering at) games. For the first year at least, make the season opener the "Midnight Madness" and spend all that time and money and energy getting the kids to show up to an actual game.

4) Pay for a mass text-messaging service. Use it.

5) Never underestimate the power of actually going out and talking to people. It's way too easy to rely on social media and emails and posters to get the message out. But speaking from personal experience - when we were ready to start selling Purple Pride shirts, a handful of us just started walking around to the dorms and talking to people. It worked like a charm, and it also helped us build personal relationships and a better sense of community for our fan group. This is where the people from point #2 can come in real handy. Most (if not all) freshmen want to feel like they are welcomed and included, and what better to help make them feel that way than to have some well-known and friendly juniors/seniors (especially those that host parties!) personally invite them to take part in something. There is *real* power in that. Don't overlook it.
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Initially the money is coming from the Athletic Department.  Here are the people you should probably copy and paste your comments to, Stoney, but I'm sure you know others who should also read your comments....just in case this forum is not widely read by those who can make a difference.   Wink

Athletic Director Scott Leykam: leykam@up.edu

Director of Marketing and Sales: Jon Brooks brooksj@up.edu

The writer of the Beacon article and the one who could contact Rivera and Donkers: Olivia Sanchez sancheol18@up.edu
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by blacksheep on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:21 am

While I applaud the athletic department trying something new, I feel like they won't be able to stay out of the way. A few years ago we had a pretty good student section until someone from the athletic department came in and shut down an inappropriate chant. While I would like the students to keep it reasonably clean, the heavy hand of the athletic department disenfranchised those students. The student section was never the same that year.
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:42 am

blacksheep wrote:While I applaud the athletic department trying something new, I feel like they won't be able to stay out of the way.  A few years ago we had a pretty good student section until someone from the athletic department came in and shut down an inappropriate chant.  While I would like the students to keep it reasonably clean, the heavy hand of the athletic department disenfranchised those students.  The student section was never the same that year.  

It wasn't the chanting about the San Diego point shaving scandal was it? I did something to that extent was was reprimanded.

Or was it the endless BYU -type chants?
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by blacksheep on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:48 am

I don't remember the details of the chant, but only remember the heavy hand of the administration.
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:05 pm

This coming Saturday (6/24) at 4pm in the Chiles Center there will be a rare opportunity for Pilot fans and Pilot players to get to know one another.

Instead of the usual Alumni Game that is played during Reunion Weekend, this year there will be a "meet and greet" of fans, players, and coaches.

NCAA rules do not allow the players to scrimmage in public prior to the regular school year, but the players and coaches will be able to introduce themselves and answer questions from the fans.

All 11 new guys, including the Porter brothers, should be on campus to begin Summer Session II, so it should be a can't-miss opportunity for Pilot fans....especially the kids!

As there are many Pilot fans who do not read PilotNation during the summer, please pass the word so that no one misses out on this great opportunity to meet the players and coaches.

Go Pilots!
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:00 pm

UPDATE:
Fans, alums and kids, bring your shoes and get ready to lace them up for a little shoot-around with the Pilots on Saturday.

Plans are still being formalized, but the hope is Pilot players from the past and present will, in addition to introducing themselves and answering questions, have the opportunity for an informal shoot-around with everyone interested in getting out on the Chiles Center court and away from the 90+ heat.

Standby for details, but it sounds as if it will be a lot of fun for anyone who is a follower of UP MBB. Start time 4pm.
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Re: 2017 off season

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:53 pm

Does UP expect anyone at all to attend this event? It is happening three days from now and there is no mention of it anywhere on the entire internet other than a post on a message board. Not even an e-mail to season ticket holders.

I believe that some of the Pilots' attendance woes in basketball is due to a lackadaisical marketing department. This event is a minor yet illustrative example.

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Re: 2017 off season

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:13 pm

NoPoNeighbor wrote:Does UP expect anyone at all to attend this event? It is happening three days from now and there is no mention of it anywhere on the entire internet other than a post on a message board. Not even an e-mail to season ticket holders.

I believe that some of the Pilots' attendance woes in basketball is due to a lackadaisical marketing department. This event is a minor yet illustrative example.
It has been a part of the Alumni Reunion Weekend planned activities mentioned in numerous mailings to UP Alums and on the UP Alumni website since February....of course non-alums and season ticket holders are also invited.  

As this has morphed from the annual Alumni Game into more of a "meet and greet" in just the last few days, I think season ticket holders will see an email today inviting them to meet the players and coaches in the HOF Room between 4 and 5 on Saturday.

The idea of a shoot-around with kids and parents is just developing.....
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