JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - We broke down all sorts of things on the air during the football season and now Blake's Breakdown is making a web appearance. Look for Blake's take on things on kait8.com involving various sports from around Region 8. With tonight being a huge attendance night for Arkansas State, here's a great topic to start with on how Blake feels crowds can impact a game:
There's a reason why teams play better on the road. It's simple, it's a comfortable environment where the team is able to feed off of their fans and they feel a sense of security around the game and their surroundings. Fans who have watched Arkansas State basketball since the Nelson Catalina days have wanted nothing but to have the arena full for games again.
Most of us have memories of the Convocation Center when it was rocking. Like the time Chico Fletcher hit a game winning shot in front of a packed house and jumped up on the scorers table in celebration. Those moments are what fans want back.
While Saturday's attendance for the FAU game was a sell-out, and visual look of the crowd was impacted by the closing of one of the endzone seating areas, this was a major step in the right direction for Arkansas State. The main thing I am impressed with is the Marketing team for the University stepping up, spreading the word, and making sure fans had a reason to come to the game. The next thing I am impressed with is the fans that took advantage of a great opportunity to see a great basketball game and helped create a great atmosphere on a nationally televised contest.
The marketing aspect of the game Saturday was brilliant. Fans had the chance to buy a ticket to the men's or women's game and see the other half of the double-header for free. This got fans who normally only watch the women's games to go to the men's games and the men's watchers who only watch the men to go to the women's game. On top of that, once the fans were in attendance, the team managed to make sure the fans were entertained and had an experience they would want to comeback and enjoy. From the Paragould High School Choir singing the National Anthem to the game ball being delivered by someone repelling from the catwalk above the arena, this was an overall great experience to be had by all in attendance.
Both Brian Boyer and John Brady's teams played well, which should make you want to come back and see them again. The marketing team set up a good atmosphere and great opportunities for people to come and see a game, and the fans turned out in force to support the team. This is what I feel makes success around programs, hopefully something was taken to heart today by both the University and Fans that great things can happen surrounding basketball at the Convo, and this success can be continued for the rest of the season.
If you want to see success for the Arkansas State sports programs, you have to do what you did Saturday night. I've heard this way to often, "I'll come to the games when they start winning!" Both teams are winning. And if you want them to keep winning then you will continue to come out and support the athletic programs.
I say this as someone who enjoys getting to cover games surrounded by a great atmosphere and enjoys seeing success for the team I cover. After what I saw tonight it is important to say GREAT JOB TO ALL INVOLVED!
Be sure to check out the game story on the Red Wolves victory's at the links below: