Every Road Leads to Springfield, #maacachusetts
by: Tania Kennedy, Assistant Director of Championships
This article falls into the category of being careful of what you think of when writing a blog story. In my previous blog, I made a note to myself that the MAAC needed to begin a PR campaign on how close Springfield, Massachusetts is to most of our school campuses. This is needed to address any misconceptions like those I heard while traveling on the road with Nate Harris, from the Mass Mutual Center, and the rest of the marketing team when fans question how far Springfield was compared to previous championship sites.
My new task is to develop methods to change fans perception on MassMutual Center’s distance from their institutions by providing them with factoids that individually address this issue on a campus by campus basis. I put together a chart that showed the time it would take to get from each MAAC campuses to the MassMutual Center and the distance between each campus and Springfield. (Click here to view chart)
In the chart, I added a column that showed the distance for each campus to the Times Union Center in Albany, and the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. For instance, in the case of Albany, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, and Saint Peter’s are closer to Springfield than Times Union Center. Loyola and Rider are nearly the same distance away from each location, and Canisius, Niagara, and Marist are a little bit further away than Albany.
Once we had developed the information, the marketing team discussed different ways to distribute this information to the MAAC fans. Nate Harris has developed one-sheeters that will be giving out by the marketing team at our future campus visits. Each one-sheeter will be specific to the game and campus we are visiting. For instance, today we are heading to a men’s basketball game where Fairfield is taking on Manhattan. We will be handing out one-sheeters that will have the Stag’s logo, and specific facts about the time it takes to travel from Fairfield to Springfield. We will also include facts about Massachusetts including the number of restaurants and hotels in the Springfield area.
I also have developed taglines that have information about the distances that the public address announcer will be reading during MAAC basketball games for the remainder of the season. For instance, at a women’s Marist home game you will hear, “Marist fans, did you know the MassMutual Center is only 100 miles away from the McCann Arena. Come support the Marist Red Foxes on the quest to their 7th consecutive MAAC Women’s Basketball Championship title. Individual session tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.com”. These reads are helpful and will get the attention of fans in the arena. Additionally, web ads have been developed to use on site that provide similar messaging on the closeness of Springfield.
Lastly, we put together graphics and text for our ESPN3 and ESPNU broadcasts. The graphics that will be displayed on the screen will have facts about the distance from a specific area (Albany, Poughkeepsie, NYC area, etc.) to Springfield, along with information about the championships including dates and ticketing. The script that the commentator reads will coincide with the graphic. If we continue to educate and provide MAAC fans with information about the MassMutual Center and the city of Springfield, it will increase the championships ability to attract more fans to the event.