Rams working hard to promote new-look athletic department

Everything seems new at CSU these days, including the way the athletic department is marketing its product

Everything seems new at CSU these days, including the way the athletic department is marketing its product

Aug. 15, 2008

By Danielle Marshall
Athletic Media Relations

"New" is a buzzword these days at Colorado State football practice. It's also an appropriate adjective to describe the university's marketing strategy. Here are a few things CSU athletics is currently doing in which the department seldom or never has done before.

RamStorming Tour
After kicking off the RamStorming tour with head coaches Steve Fairchild (football) and Kristen Holt (women's basketball), and assistant coach Bri Frech (volleyball) in Denver, the football and volleyball student-athletes have traveled to five events in Colorado with one more remaining this weekend at NewWestFest in Old Town Fort Collins.

"Passion for CSU athletics exists year-round," said senior associate athletic director Gary Ozzello. "We felt it was important to reach out to our fans along the Front Range by providing them information at these events. It was also an opportunity for our coaches, staff and student-athletes to give back to the community for their support."

The events include inflatables to test fans' throwing skills and players to sign autographs. Fans can come to pick up ticket information, schedule cards and posters for volleyball and football. For information on the last RamStorming stop Saturday and Sunday, visit http://csurams.cstv.com/ot/ram-storming.html.

The Green University
Colorado State athletics has been able to reach more fans this year in both Fort Collins and in the Denver area with help from the university. The two have teamed up to promote "The Green University" with an athletic emphasis. There have been increased radio, print ads and outdoor signage throughout Fort Collins and the Denver Metro area. Familiar faces include the Green Man, fans cheering in their CSU gear, and some of Colorado State's newer coaches, Tim Miles (men's basketball), Holt and Fairchild.

A local change has been made at the edge of campus by Moby Arena. The old marquee right off of Shields and Elizabeth streets has been brought back to life with a picture of Fairchild and a message that says "Solid. Rock. Green" promoting the Green University. Another marquee is a billboard of Holt, Fairchild and Miles, and reads, "We're ready. Are you?"

GameDay Fort Collins
A change that was put into effect before football season last year was the addition of GameDay Fort Collins. GameDay is a link on the official athletics Web site, CSURams.com, a one-stop shop for tickets, lodging, restaurants, and weekend activities in the city. There also is helpful parking information and directions for those traveling from out of town.

Fans can also purchase a GameDay Fort Collins fan kit for their business at a very reasonable cost. The kit includes T-shirts, polos, flags and banners.

A large part of GameDay Fort Collins is the addition of Ram Town. Located on the southeast side of Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, the event opens three hours prior to each home game and is free to attend. Fans wishing to tailgate in the area can purchase a spot in Ram Town for $100, which includes a tent and one parking space. The addition of the parking space is new this year after receiving feedback from the fans.

"We recognize that part of the game-day college football experience is tailgating," Ozzello said. "Ram Town is a unique opportunity for our fans to come together in a central location. Permitting each individual tailgate spot to have one vehicle makes it more convenient for our fans."

The overall goal of GameDay Fort Collins is to raise community spirit. Banners were added to light polls throughout the city, several bus stops around town advertise the upcoming football and volleyball seasons, and in movie theaters locals can see a cut-out of CAM the Ram with ticket information.

What's more, Old Town now plays host to a pep rally the night before a select home game. The pep rally for this season is scheduled for Sept. 4. The band, cheerleaders, football team and Fairchild will all be there to get fans excited for the first home game, vs. Sacramento State Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m.

For the remaining home games the band participates in Friday Night Lights. A pep band marches up and down Old Town from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Volleyball
Special attention has been paid to the upcoming volleyball season. It's being called a BIG year for Colorado State. There are BIG-time players returning: 2007 All-American and MWC Player of the Year Mekana Barnes, and 2007 all-MWC selections Jaime Strauss and Ashley Fornstrom. There are BIG-name teams coming into town: Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and the teams of the Mountain West. There is also a BIG event coming to Moby: The 2008 NCAA volleyball regional, on the road to the national championship in the annual NCAA tournament.

Volleyball now has a ticket brochure and shares in the signage around the city. Fans won't want to miss any of the action this season. Visit http://csurams.cstv.com/tickets/vbtixinfo.html for ticket information.

New hires
Much of the staff that works to promote athletics has been in the department for just over a year or less, due to a restructuring of the athletic department. New positions were created and more time is spent on creative ideas.

The CSURams.com Web site is one that has seen the most improvement with the addition of more employees. The site got a new look in the fall of 2007 and improvements are still being made.

When visiting the site, there is currently an introductory page encouraging fans to buy football season tickets. Although these pages have been done in the past, they are not done very often. The home page now has even more rotating Web ads promoting upcoming events for CSU athletics. Up until the Qwest Rocky Mountain Showdown, fans can check the site for the countdown clock to see how many days are left before the first big game.

Fans can also get a first-hand look through more photo galleries than ever before, galleries that include unique "behind the scenes" views of on campus activities such as Football Media Day 2008 (http://csurams.cstv.com/photogallery/gallery_index.html?school=csu&sport=&).

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