Aug. 31, 2012
CONWAY - With the Chanticleers taking the field for their season opener against North Carolina A&T on Saturday at 6 p.m., the Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics is pleased to announce the completion of year one of the 54-in-54 Initiative to improve fans' Chanticleer football gameday experience.
Highlights of the initiative include a new 36'x20' video board and dynamic sound system for Brooks Stadium, an improved student and fan ticketing system, as well as gameday improvements to student tailgating and alumni events, and a more prominent role for the CCU Fight Song in gameday festivities.
"I am very proud of the Coastal Carolina community and our staff for making the 54-in-54 Initiative a reality," said Mark Payne, associate athletics director for external relations. "We have accomplished more in the past 54 days than most institutions accomplish over a two-year period. I am hopeful that our fans will continue to help us improve their Coastal football gameday experience.
"We will continue to solicit input from our fans as we strive to build the best gameday experience in the nation."
"54-in-54" 2012 (year 1)
54 Suggestions and Action Plan for Football Gameday Experience
COMPLETED ITEMS IN TEAL
• Comment: Not enough student tailgate area.
1. Increase student tailgate area to include both sides of Chanticleer Drive West. Develop marketing initiative and improve signage to make sure all students are aware of these changes.
* Student tailgate will be expanded across Chanticleer Dr. in grass lawn adjacent to Edwards Cultural Arts Building. Additionally, space in front and behind Arcadia Hall will be available to not only student organizations but general students to tailgate.
• Comment: Improve communication to students not in organizations about tailgate area.
2. Use new student ticket system, email blasts, Facebook, twitter as well as informational sessions at orientations, CINO Rally and dining halls. Meet with University Housing to distribute information in residence halls.
* At all orientations after President's message, students and parents were taught the fight song and CINO cheer. All were asked to participate during each session.
3. CCU Student Affairs will sponsor giant inflatable television with ESPN Gameday playing in tailgate area.
• Comment: Not enough power at student tailgate
4. CCU Athletics will work with CCU Athletics Facilities to upgrade power supply to student tailgates.
* CCU Athletics will provide four portable 100 volt generators for student usage.
• Comment: Get students out to games and get rid of wristbands as tickets
5. Procure new student ticket system with new technology for communicating with students.
* CCU Marketing & Athletics Ticketing has attended all orientations this summer
* Student (Ticket Return) system has been purchased. Some of the U-Student features include....
6. Allow students to secure tickets online as well as from their cell phones.
* Included in U-Student software
7. Explore creation of student rewards program to encourage students to attend games and stay longer.
* Create new student group with leadership of current SCREAM members that will either assist in team tunnel or run out with team.
8. Create new student group with leadership of current SCREAM members that will either assist in team tunnel or run out with team.
* New leadersip team has been formed. Orientation Leaders will run out with the team for the first game. SCREAM members will run out with the team during rest of the games.
9. Increase visibility of coaches and student-athletes through creation of events calendar. Include Department of Athletics staff and student-athletes in more student-driven events.
* Fall sports assisting with move-in day.
• Comment: Parking is too difficult for seniors
10. Explore specific handicap lot for seniors and possible expansion of special golf cart shuttle service.
* Two lots have been identified as possible locations.
• Comment: Not enough parking
11. Coastal Carolina University will complete a gameday parking study this summer to include distances from lots to stadium, comparison with peer institutions, possible short- and long-term solutions.
* Coastal is in-line with peer institutions with regard to distances for donation and non-donation spaces. Additionally, for 7,000 non-student seats in Brooks Stadium there are 3,000 parking spaces on campus all less than one (1) mile from the Brooks Stadium entrance. In turn, for every 2.3 fans there is a parking space on the campus of Coastal Carolina University on football gameday. Complete parking study findings can be found HERE.
12. Upgrades to gameday page on GoCCUSports.com that include enhanced parking information.
* CCU Athletics has worked with CBSCollege our online provider to improve gameday information page.
• Comment: Offer live music at all alumni pregame tent events
13. Coastal Carolina Office of Alumni Relations will offer live music at every alumni tailgate for football, held adjacent to the Atheneum.
14. Send out alumni mailing to improve homecoming and awareness of football.
* Ticket mailing to 19,000 alumni. Important! If you are an alumni and did not receive a mailing, please contact Jean Brakefield in Coastal Carolina University Alumni Office (843-349-2846) and make sure your vital information is correct and/or updated.
• Comment: Marching band in parking lots
15. Change marching band pregame route to stadium by passing through student tailgate area. To create a parade atmosphere, fans will be encouraged to join the procession as they make their way to the games. The band will also serve as a reminder that the game is beginning soon.
* Create route that passes by student tailgate as well as Alumni tailgate area. Parade type atmosphere is the goal.
• Comment: Bigger marching band
16. Marching band actively recruited members to increase size.
• Comment: More marching band
17. Marching band will play 65 to 70% of music during games.
NOTE: Does not include times when band is not in stadium or prepping for an on-field performance.
• Comment: Have more updated songs by band
18. Band will introduce new songs to repertoire.
• Comment: Play fight song more
19. Band will play the CCU Fight Song more during games.
• Comment: Better halftimes (see also video board)
20. Band will enhance halftime performances.
• Comment: Help fans learn fight song
21. Band will play CCU Fight Song more frequently during games. CCU athletics will also frequently display words to fight song on new video board.
22. Fight song lyrics will also be on drink cups.
* New this year CCU concessions will offer both 20oz. and 32oz. drink cups with CCU fight song.
* CCU Bookstore has added coffee mugs and blankets with the fight song lyrics.
* At all orientations after President's message, students and parents were taught the fight song and CINO cheer. All were asked to participate during each session.
* Videoboard graphics with fight song lyrics will be created.
* Fight song lyrics will be included in football gameday program.
• Comment: Improve Fan Fest
23. Improve quality and quantity of Fan Fest signage, interactive games and more innovative ideas.
* Additional signage has been produced for placement around campus on gameday.
24. Inflatable helmet will be moved to Fan Fest area for photography opportunity and children's use.
25. Live music at every game.
26. More ESPN Pre-game broadcast to Fan Fest or Bronze lot.
• Comment: Improve bookstore image, location & accessibility
27. Bookstore will be relocated to Student Recreation & Convocation Center.
28. Rebranding bookstore to Chanticleer Store
29. CCU Athletics will run dedicated shuttles to the Chanticleer Store on football gamedays so fans have more merchandise options.
* Select golf carts will have signage that indicates they will drive by bookstore on way to Brooks Stadium.
• Comment: More selection of merchandise at game
30. CCU Bookstore will redesign in-stadium shop to incorporate more merchandise including Russell sideline apparel.
• Comment: Location outside of stadium gates
31. Satellite location will be outside stadium in one of two areas depending on power and approval - outside alumni tent (bronze lot) or in Fan Fest.
* Options are outside of Brooks Stadium or by Alumni tailgate location.
• Comment: Bookstore hours need expanded on gameday
32. Bookstore hours will be expanded on home football gameday. Additionally, game tickets will be available for purchase in the bookstore.
* Hours TBD. Chanticleer Store will begin selling season tickets two weeks prior to kick-off and on gameday itself.
• Comment: Offer plus size clothing
33. Chanticleer Store will offer more plus-size clothes at stadium location for purchase.
• Comment: Purchase air raid siren to let fans know game is about to begin
34. CCU Athletics will explore the possibility, within the framework of city/county ordinances, for purchasing and utilizing a crowd attention system, which will be initiated one hour prior to game as well as 30 minutes prior to kickoff.
* Air raid siren has been purchased and is on campus.
• Comment: Video board is poor quality
35. CCU Athletics will purchase a new video board for the 2012 season: screen will be 36'x20' (current board 12'x12').
* New Daktronics board has been purchased and will be installed in August of 2012.
• Comment: Better content on video board
36. CCU Athletics will have more fan/crowd shots and will be more interactive in nature to enhance game atmosphere.
* CCU Athletics video will add camera locations at football with the ability to enhance videoboard content.
* CCU Athletics has hired video coordinator with experience at BCS universities.
• Comment: Less commercials on video board
37. :30 commercials will be reduced with the exception of previously contracted partners. Additionally, new commercials will be no longer than :15 in length.
NOTE: The video board is purchased with sponsor/partner monies. Content will continue to cater to our fans and students. However, CCU Athletics hopes fans, alumni and students should understand that our corporate partners are the reason for the improvement to the video board. Our hope is that fans will support those who support the Chants.
• Comment: Improve sound system at stadium
38. CCU Athletics will purchase new sound system, which will be better configured to enhance fan experience.
• Comment: Can't Hear Referee Mic's
39. CCU Athletics Facilities will investigate sound inconsistencies by soliciting technical advice from Strategic Connections and will explore purchasing a higher quality wireless microphone system. Explore installing directional antennas on each 30 yard line to help increase the range of the wireless microphone and reduce any interference.
• Comment: Do away with inflated helmet as part of intro
40. CCU Athletics will no longer use of large helmet for team entrance and introduction. Helmet will be relocated to Fan Fest for children and fans to utilize.
41. CCU Athletics will solicit an entertainment organization in creation of a more professionally produced entrance for the team.
42. New tunnel awning will be added to Brooks Stadium.
• Comment: Music selection at games
43. Although the band will play more during games, CCU Athletics will incorporate a "fans choose the song" part of the programming.
• Comment: Let fans tailgate at halftime
44. CCU Athletics will develop a policy for fans to exit the stadium at halftime and return at the beginning of the third quarter. This policy will be announced prior to beginning of season.
* On a TRIAL BASIS, fans will be allowed to leave after getting their hand stamped at Gate 2 on the East side of the staium. Coastal officials will monitor this policy to ensure that it does not negatively impact attendance. However, fans are encouraged to take advantage of this policy as long as they return to their seats ready to yell in support of the Chanticleers.
• Comment: Lack of traditions
45. One of the few traditions CCU Athletics has is the post-game victory bell ceremony. CCU will continue to improve fan knowledge of ceremony on new video board.
* Create videoboard graphics for this with voiceover inviting fans to attend post-game ceremony.
• Comment: Ticket office is not attentive and customer friendly
46. New ticket office staff is in place with increased focus on sales and customer service.
47. Ticket office will begin accepting American Express in 2012.
48. Ticket office staff, now and in the future, will personally reach out to all season ticket holders, past and present, to introduce themselves.
• Comment: Fans purchase tickets but their seats go empty
49. CCU Athletics will purchase new ticket system with the capabilities of transferring tickets to friends and family online. The recipients of electronic tickets will be able to print tickets at home. This will reduce ticket lines at games.
• Comment: Create incentives for ticket holders
50. CCU Athletics will offer a referral program to current season ticket holders who bring new season ticket holders to football. Program details are available on the ticket page of GoCCUSports.com.
* Referal information has been sent to every current season ticket holder.
* Business cards with referral reminders are available in the ticket office.
• Comment: Sell more in the seats
51. Aramark will explore greater presence in the seating areas. Aramark is exploring the possibility of partnering with more diverse student groups to increase the number of workers at Brooks Stadium.
* Aramark has added the follwoing items to the Brooks Stadium menu for the 2012 season: cheeseburgers, corn dogs, Minute Maid frozen lemonade, soft pretzels and coffee.
• Comment: Expand offerings on west side of stadium
52. Aramark is exploring new menu options as well as new partnership opportunities with outside vendors.
* Addition of Sweet Frogs (soft serve frozen yogurt).
• Comment: Offer more choices
53. Aramark is considering expansion of menu as well as adding other items such as hot chocolate and coffee.
• Comment: Family Zone Section Moved To A Less Than Desirable Location
54. Family Zone will be moved away from end of west side stands and visiting band toward center of the section. CCU Athletics will continue to offer inflatable games for kids behind the grandstand.
* The Family Zone has been moved to midfield in Sections 128 and 129. The visiting team fans and band have been moved to the end of the stadium in sections 130 and 131. This change will allow the Family Zone to be located between the 15 and 50 yard line, based on when the fans arrive. The location towards mid-field will allow all fans in the Family Zone to have a great view of the new videoboard and still be in a desirable location near the band. Inflatables will still be located inside Brooks Stadium behind the Family Zone section.
NOTE: CCU Athletics will continue to find the right seating and locations to make all fans happy. Year two of 54-in-54 will see a student seating committee that will vote to decide student seating.
• Comment: Do more things for small kids
55. Creation of new Chauncey's Kids Club will be completed by July 15, 2012. One (1) Kids Club Day free day at football with a discounted parent ticket is being planned. CLICK HERE TO JOIN CHAUNCEY'S KIDS CLUB
• Comment: Police are too stringent on gameday
56. Conduct internal tailgating policies study and offer findings to the public prior to start of season.
*After a thorough investigation of the last four years (2008-11) by the Coastal Carolina University Police Department, CCU Athletics has found that tailgate, in-game and post-game arrests have steadily decreased. (Seel below) Currently, less than one (1) person per game has had any kind of official police action taken them.
|Year||Number of Arrests|
• Comment: Create new website that is more user friendly
57. New updated version of GOCCUSports.com will launch in late August 2012.
Former Student Athletes
• Comment: Do more to entice former student-athletes to attend games and make them feel special.
58. Members of the Letterwinners Association will be treated to a Pregame/Halftime tent in the endzone by the new video board. Food and beverages will be free to all dues paying Letterwinners.
59. Purchase CCU Branded inflatable tent 40'x40'
* Tent will also be used at select away games by Alumni office.
Gameday/Game Week Signage and Fan Enthusiasm
• Comment: Not a lot of excitement happening on campus gameweek
61. Continue to improve Teal Tuesdays on campus: students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to wear teal to promote game week.
* A University traditions committee has been formed and in conjunction with the Department of Athletics will distribute 25 t-shirts to students on Teal Tuesdays.
62. Update directional signage as well as fan enthusiasm signage.
* Directional signage locations have been identified and work orders submitted.
* Large banner signage on Brooks Stadium artwork is in the process of approval.
* 10th anniversary field stencil (field paint) has been approved and ordered.
63. On-campus faculty/staff office decorating contests will continue and be enhanced with improved prizes; decorating contests will be expanded to residence halls.
• Comment: Play game broadcast in or around concession areas
64. Coastal Carolina Athletics will explore the possibility of adding speaker system to concession areas within Brooks Stadium.
• Comment: Field markers, pylons and chains look old and battered
65. Coastal Carolina Athletics has purchased new field markers, pylons and chains for the 2012 season.