FAMU athletics nears Investing in Champions goals, renewal deadline is Friday
If recent trends are any indication, the department will get there with room to spare.
Last season, the department sold 4,300 season tickets, shattering the previous all-time high of 3,677, which was set in 2015, during Athletic Director Milton Overton’s first year at the helm.
This year, the goal is higher – that’s become a running theme for Athletic Director Milton Overton and his staff – and the sales department is already on pace to eclipse last season.
The season ticket sales goal for this year is 5,000, associate AD for tickets and corporate sales Chris Asa said.
FAMU will open the 2017 college football schedule with the Jake Gaither Classic against Texas Southern in Bragg Memorial Stadium.
Asa said the campaign has generated $535,000 so far, $500,000 of that is cash in hand. Overton hopes to generate $600,000 in revenue from this year’s Investing in Champions campaign.
Packages start the $250 “Builder” level and go all the way to $7,500 “Platinum.” Some packages include deals for the new FAMU Tampa Classic and the annual Florida Classic in Orlando, and all of the packages include parking.
“We’ve had a lot of graduate assistants and interns calling and doing customer service work,” Asa said. “Finding out what parking spot people were in and making sure the database is correct. Our marketing team has done a really good job of kind of pushing out that message via social media and via email.”
The outreach has taken some longtime customers by surprise.
“Whether it’s doing that social media component, the email component or just reaching out on the phone, calling somebody and saying, ‘Hey, how was your experience last year?’” Asa said.
“Just simple little touch points to keep people activated and engaged. It’s something we had never done before. Frankly, the biggest feedback we get is, ‘Why are you guys calling me?’ It wasn’t that they were being negative, it was nobody had ever called them before.”
Asa said the trick to growing the program is outreach.
“People have any number of choices to spend their money,” he said. “If I know I’m not going to get good service, I’m not going to spend my money. If we’re going to put FAMU’s name on it, we’re going to have a good product and good service.”
The increase in season ticket sales has, of course, come with an increase in game attendance. Last season, FAMU’s homecoming game against Hampton (a 31-14 victory over one of the top teams in the conference) was attended by 26,044 fans, making it the school’s most-attended game since 2010.
The Rattlers were third in average FCS home attendance last season, with an average of 19,710 fans at each home game.
FAMU won three of its four home games last season. This season, two of FAMU’s home games – the season-opener against Texas Southern a Thursday night game against North Carolina Central – will be on ESPNU.