When Golden Eagle football fans go to cheer on their team, they may also want to check out the promotions the Athletics Marketing and Corporate Sales Department are initiating. The department coordinates different events; for instance, T-shirt giveaways, drawings for prizes and themed events for the community and student body are used to encourage fans to attend Tennessee Tech games.
The department creates themes for several of its events but also has a theme for the entire year.
“Our theme this year for fall and spring is ‘Soar With Us,’” said Leveda Dexter, director of corporate sales and marketing. “So that is kind of our overall marketing scheme that we are going with this year.”
One new aspect the department added to the Tennessee Tech football game day experience is the new tailgating contest for student organizations.
Except for Homecoming, student organizations will be able to compete in two competitions during home games. In one competition, organizations will be judged based on the tent, table, attire and number of people they have at their tailgate. There is a different tailgating theme for each game. For the home opener Sept. 19, the theme was Purple Pride. Saturday’s game against the University of Tennessee at Martin will have a Red, White and Blue theme. A Black-Out theme will correspond with Golden Eagle Blackout IV Oct. 17 against Jacksonville State University. The final home game of the season Nov. 21 will have a Harvest/Fall theme before the Golden Eagles play Tennessee State University.
Along with being judged on tailgate theme, students can also compete in different contests every week, including a hamburger-cooking contest Oct. 3, a pumpkin carving contest Oct.17, and a Fall-Ath-Alon (minicontests) Nov.21. The Homecoming game Nov. 14 will not have any contests and the tailgate competition will be put on hold, but Tennessee Tech athletics still encourages students to tailgate. In all competitions, first place will receive 10 points, second place will receive five points and third place will receive three points. Points from the theme competition and the other contest that day will be combined.
After all the games are completed at the end of the season, the organization with the most points will have their choice of receiving a customized tent or cooler. Prizes will also be available for the second and third place finishers.
In addition to promotions for the student body, the department has also brought back some events that have been successful in the community the last few years. Military and Public Safety Appreciation Night will be Saturday, Oct. 3. Family Weekend and Community Day will also be Saturday.
“We have a lot going on that weekend,” stated Dexter. “We are also recognizing our football legends.”
The Golden Eagle Blackout IV will be Oct. 17. The newest Tennessee Tech Hall of Fame members will be recognized at the Homecoming game Nov. 14. The Hall of Fame induction is scheduled for Nov. 13.
The last home football game of the season is against TSU Nov.21 and will also be Senior Day and Take a Kid to the Game Day. Children with an adult, who has paid for a ticket, will have free admission.
Because of the multitude of promotional events for football season, planning begins a while in advance.
“We will start planning out weeks in advance; in fact we do planning meetings,” said Dexter. “We do two a year. For football, for instance, we set pretty much our promotions schedule in line back in March.”
The department also distributes duties among students in their internship program. Staci Imel, an intern in the department explained some of her daily activities.
“Basically, what I do is I just come in the office and whatever they need for that day, whether it is getting stuff ready for the games or getting stuff ready for promotions for the games,” said Imel. “On game days, I show up and we help get everything organized for the tailgating, and all of the promotions that we are doing for the game.”
The department is also setting up tables at home soccer games with sign-up sheets where fans can sign up for a chance to receive Tennessee Tech gear. The department is currently working on events for volleyball home games.