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University of Oregon Baseball

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon

Researched and Written by Ruth Hickok, Chris Jun Yu, Alison Kieley, and Katelyn Thompson


Table of Contents Executive Summary ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 1 Introduction ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 2 Preliminary Research The College Sports Industry History ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 3 Trends ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 4 Market Size˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 7 University of Oregon's Market Size ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 8 Industry Leaders˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 9 Market Share ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 10 Baseball at the University of Oregon History of Baseball at UO ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 11 The Team˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳12 Price and Sales Figures ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 13 Publicity˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 14 SWOT Analysis˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳15 Competition˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳17 Primary Research In-Depth Interviews Sari Gardner˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳21 Silvia Luu˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 25 Focus Group Research Questions˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 28 Method˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳28 Results˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳29 Conclusions/Recommendations˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 29 Limitations˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 30 Survey Research Questions˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 31 Method˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 31 Results˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 33 Conclusions/Recommendations˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 33 Limitations˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 35 Recommendations˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 36 Works Cited˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ ˳ 40 Appendix A: Interview with Sari Gardner Appendix B: Interview with Silvia Luu Appendix C: Focus Group Results Appendix D: Survey Results, Including Graphs

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Executive Summary 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon This year baseball returned to the University of Oregon after a 28 year hiatus. Although the regular season tickets have already sold out, there is a need for increased student support. Our team sought to research and recommend ways to increase student attendance at baseball games. The potential student market was evaluated by gathering and analyzing secondary research for the UO sports industry, history, market trends and competition. This research was then used to conduct primary research, including indepth interviews, a focus group, and a student survey. The research findings include the following: • One of the most common trends in college sports is academic institutions becoming increasingly entrepreneurial through branding. Collegiate sports are acting as businesses, conducting vertical integration. This branding increases awareness and generates support from both students and the surrounding communities. • According to market trends, the motivations for attending NCAA • Division 1 sports are winning, socializing and tradition. • Promotions have been effective at increasing game attendance. A variety of promotion types are available. • With 500 student seats available at P.K. Stadium, 2.3% of the student body of the University of Oregon will fill the student section. An estimated minimum 15,000 students will attend a UO sporting event at one point during their college career. • The direct competitors facing the UO baseball team include track & field, tennis and softball. The indirect competitors include academics, jobs and drinking. • Primary research found that students regarded baseball games as a socializing event. Students were overwhelming aware of the new baseball team and were curious about about the experience it offered. • In order to be successful, the UO baseball team needs to establish an identity. This could be accomplished by focusing on a specific team strength or through use of a figurehead. • Greek Life at the University of Oregon, comprising 9% of the student body, offers a significant opportunity for large attendance numbers. • With spring approaching, students are eager to spend time outside. This creates an opportunity for baseball marketing.

Introduction 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon This year the baseball returned to the University of Oregon after a 28-year haitus. The team has already acquired champsionship-winning coach George Horton, and had the second best recruiting classes in the nation. However, marketing efforts are needed to promote student attendance at the baseball games by building both short-term and longterm loyalty. With 500 student tickets to be given out for each game held at P.K Park, the baseball team is looking to create a strong student fan base. Student support will be vital in establishing a solid image for UO baseball The data collected from the research was analyzed in order to facilitate a marketing plan that will encourage students to attend UO baseball games. Not only is there potential for increased in attendance, but effective marketing could establish an identity for the baseball that would translate into national attention. To achieve these goals, data was collected through both primary and secondary research. First, the UO baseball industry was analyzed, including the history, market size and trends of other teams. In addition, the competition was looked at, including its possible impact on the future of UO baseball. Primary research was collected to fill the gaps left by the secondary research. The primary research began with a focus group and multiple in-depth interview to understand the target audience. A survey was then constructed based on the qualitative findings. Parallels were then drawn between the primary and our hypotheses that had been developed before conducting the survey. Recommendations were then given based on the research.

Preliminary Research 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


The College Sports Industry History Sports has become a major part of the college atmosphere, community and lifestyle. Today the majority of college students will attend at least one sporting event throughout their college career. With the increasing attention that athletic departments have received, the impact that sports has on the university experience can only be expected to increase. The public perception of a university's athletics has an enormous impact on the perception of the university itself (Lee). The sports department has historically been a defining part of the branding of an academic institution. Good public perception can help a university recruit students and athletes while giving the university opportunities for development with stakeholders or alumni (Lee). Therefore, the branding of a university's athletic department has a great influence on the success and awareness level of the university. With the growing importance of sports on college campuses, the National College Athletics Association (NCAA) was created to govern rules, objectives, and standards of the college sports industry. The NCAA was founded in 1906 with the core purpose to “govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manor, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount� (NCAAstudent.org). Today the NCAA consists of over 1,200 colleges, universities, conferences and non-profit amateur athletic organizations, aiming to enhance the experience of college sports and guard its integrity (NCAAstudent.org). The NCAA continues to promote the theory that college athletics help to create more well-rounded students ready to succeed in the world outside of 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


college (NCAAstudent.org). The NCAA sees college athletics as a catalyst for the student athlete to perform well in the rest of his or her life. The NCAA is divided into divisions, allowing like teams to compete against each other (NCAAstudent.org). Each division has its own requirements and guidelines (NCAAstudent.org). Each school decides for itself which division it competes in based on athletic philosophies, campus enrollment, financial assets and fan support estimates (NCAAstudent.org).

Trends One of the largest trends in college sports is the use of sports teams for university branding. While this is not a new trend, academic institutions are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial (Lee). With the financial wellbeing and academic success of colleges becoming more dependent on the branding provided by the athletic departments, colleges are seeking out opportunities to increase sports awareness and exposure in order to increase revenue (Lee). A case study was conducted at Troy University in order to assess the successfulness of various athletic branding techniques. Troy University had gone through a number of different mascots and titles throughout the years and, after moving from Division II to Division I, needed to re-brand itself (Lee). Troy University spent millions of dollars building new athletic and academic facilities (Lee). The university arranged for its first nationally televised football game and began to produce merchandise featuring the new look and logo (Lee). Troy University's re-branding process through the athletic programs was considered a huge success because of the awareness it generated. Many other universities nationwide have followed this trend, using the athletic department to re-brand universities in order to increase exposure 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Perhaps the most important trend in college sports marketing is creation and use of the “Sports Fan Motivation Scale.” Marketing researchers created a study to discover what motivated a college student to go to a division I NCAA game (Bristow). Researchers found that there are three motivation factors for college students to attend division I sporting events: Winning, socialization and history/tradition (Bristow). The specific motivation factor depends on the place, time and student (Bristow). The study allowed the industry to identify key factors in why students attend games. By informing the industry of the trends in students' behavior in relation to division I game attendance, marketers were given more accurate knowledge to reach their audience. For example, if the fan segment goes to the game to watch their team win, the marketing strategist should focus on the competitive nature and promising future of the team (Bristow). However, if the fan goes to the game because of the social aspect of the sporting event, the marketers should focus on the tailgate parties and other group activities that take place before, during and after the game (Bristow). Finally, if the fan is going to the game because of the historical/traditional aspect of the team, game or school, and the sport is relatively new to the university, the marketing should focus on the history/tradition of the university itself, or the traditions of other more established sports at the school (Bristow). The university could also focus on the new team and its growth and development into a new exciting tradition that the audience can be a part of (Bristow). Promotions have become another popular means of increasing attendance at football games. Promotions can include freebies, themes such as “Black Outs,” causebased publicity, or corporate sponsorships. Theme days, particularly when combined

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


with freebies, have been effective at drawing large crowds to games. The University of Oregon's football “Black Out” is an example of such a success (GoDucks). On November 15th, 2008 students attending the game against Arizona were encouraged to wear all black (GoDucks). Black hats were provided by the football team (GoDucks). A Facebook group was created to spread the word (GoDucks). Not only did it generate school spirit, but it also encouraged excitement about the game (GoDucks). Other schools, including Oregon State University, have hosted such events. With the popular emphasis on “Green Living” and wellness, more sports teams are turning to cause-based promotions. One particularly effective example was the Oregon State University gymnastics team's “Pink Meet” to support breast and cervical cancer awareness (Burnett). At this event the team changed their uniforms to pink for one competition, and the first 1,000 fans through the door were given “Pink Out” t-shirts (Burnett). The event was able to increase student attendance and resulted in a season high of 3,527 fans (Burnett). Finally, another major trend in the industry is the continued growth that is taking place nationally. Since 1989 there have been a net increase of 194 mens sports teams to the NCAA and 2288 women’s teams (DeHass). An NCAA found that 2006-07 participation for both men and women in college sports were at an all time high, surpassing 400,000 participants (DeHass).

Market Size: The vast majority of U.S. colleges and universities have affiliated sports programs. One of the most profitable sports is football, but colleges have expanded athletic programs to include sports such as tennis, sailing, lacrosse, and rugby. These 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


college sports programs aim to target three primary groups: students, alumni, and the surrounding communities. According to the U.S. Census, there are currently over 12 ½ million full time college students (US Census). The number of students in college has grown astronomically and is expected to increase over the next decade (US Census). American colleges have developed to include sports as a fundamental aspect of the college experience, which means that more students are being encouraged to attend sporting events during their college careers. With the increased number of students in college, the number of alumni continues to grow as well. Approximately 2 million students will graduate each year from a 4-year program, resulting in approximately 20 million new alumni in a decade (US Census). With many of these alumni continuing to support their alma mater, both financially and by cheering for the sports teams, colleges can expect an increased number of alumni sports fans in the near future. Finally, the communities surrounding an education institution typically support that college or university. Due to the broad definition of what the surrounding community many include, there is no effective way of measuring it. It could include fans from the immediate neighborhood to those living in neighboring states. With the increasingly growing student bodies and alumni bases, along with the broad definition of what a surrounding community might involve, the market size for each college sports programs is truly unlimited.

University of Oregon's Market Size: In the fall of 2008, the University of Oregon had 21,507 full-time enrolled students (Oregon University System). Based on the research findings that will be 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


discussed later, it can be estimated that a minimum of 15,000 of these students, will attend a University of Oregon sporting event at some point during their college career. This is enough students to fill two and a half MacArthur Courts (GoDucks). This is based on the conservative estimate that at least 75% of the student body attends at least one game while a student at the university. With the increase in enrollment comes an increase in alumni. It can be estimated that at least 3,500 students will graduate from the University of Oregon this year, adding to the alumni base (Oregon University System). With enrollment expected to increase and the natural passage of time, the alumni for the University of Oregon will continue to grow rapidly. The University of Oregon's surrounding community continues to grow as well. There has been an increase in the population of Oregon. As of 2008, Eugene has a population of 154,690 (Portland State University Population Research Center). Corvallis, due to its proximity to the University of Oregon and despite the rivalry with Oregon State University, can also be expected to contribute at least some supporters. Corvallis currently has a population of 54,890 citizens (City of Corvallis). Portland can also be expected to have strong fans; many University of Oregon alumni move to Portland, creating a strong fan base. As of 2008, Portland held a population of 575,930 citizens (Portland State University Population Research Center). With the increase in population expected to continue over the next few years, it can be assumed that these surrounding communities will continue to grow.

Industry Leaders: The sports team that consistently attracts the most viewers is Michigan's football team. Michigan Stadium has an official capacity of 106,201 viewers, nearly double that 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


of Autzen Stadium (GoDucks, University of Michigan Athletics Department). Crowds often exceed 111,000 fans per game (Bentley Historic Library, University of Michigan Athletics Department). Michigan holds the NCAA record for largest number of fans in football game history, when on November 22, 2003 112,118 people attended the game against rival Ohio State (Bentley Historic Library, NCAA, University of Michigan Athletics Department). The college baseball field that attracts the most viewers is Dudy Noble Field and Polk-DeMent Stadium at Mississippi State University (Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletics Department). The stadium seats approximately 7,200, more than three and a half times greater than the current capacity of PK Park (Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletics Department). The stadium holds the NCAA for the largest crowd at a baseball game when 14,991 fans attended the April 22, 1987 game again Florida (Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletics Department, NCAA). In 2008, Fresno State beat Georgia to win the College Baseball National Championship. Oregon State had won the championship the previous two years (NCAA). Arizona was ranked as having the #1 recruitment class for 2008, with Oregon ranked as #2; rival Oregon State was ranked as having only the 12th best recruitment class (NCAA). Currently North Carolina is ranked as having the #1 baseball team in the county by the USA Today/ESPN poll (NCAA). Oregon State is ranked as #27 (NCAA). The University of Oregon is currently unranked (NCAA).

Market Share:

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


For its starting season, PK Stadium is designed to seat 2,000 fans (GoDucks). Five hundred students seats are reserved, or enough for 2.325% of the student body (GoDucks, Oregon University System). This is comparable to the University of Oregon's biggest rival, Oregon State University's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field (Oregon State Official Athletics Site). Goss stadium can seat 2,789, though can be expanded to allow for crowds exceeding 3,000 (NCAA, Oregon State Official Athletics Site). However, Oregon State University has a more established program and has won two national championships in the past decade, which makes it more likely to attract fans (NCAA). Like PK Park, Goss Stadium has 500 reserved student seats reserved for students, making it able to hold 2.461% of the student population each game (Oregon State Official Athletics Site).

Preliminary Research Baseball at the University of Oregon The History of Baseball at UO: The University of Oregon immediately recognized the importance of sports. The first University of Oregon baseball team was created in 1876, the year the university was founded. The first game was played against Monmouth College in February of 1877, officially establishing the University of Oregon as a competitive baseball team (Scott et 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


al.). Though UO had maintained baseball team since the onset, it has faded in and out obscurity, falling off the map until the mid-1890s. By the 1905, the UO had once again established itself as a fierce baseball competitor, winning the first international intercollegiate contest held in Oregon against Waseda University of Tokyo, Japan. This championship led to 12 others from 1935 to 1974 within the PCC-North Division (Scott et al.). While baseball was hard to sustain at the university, it continued to produce figureheads within the baseball community. UO has produced 22 professional baseball players that have made it to the major leagues, the latest being Tom Dodd in 1979 (Baseball-Almanac). The UO baseball program has also produced several prominent coaches that standout in Oregon baseball history. Coach William Reinhart, 1924-1935, was the first coach to establish Oregon baseball as a fierce competitor within the PCC-North Division. After a three year losing streak Reinhart led the Ducks to a North Division title three times before his retirement in 1935. Don Kirsch, 1948-1970, made Oregon Baseball history after leading the UO “Webfoots” to 23 straight winning seasons, five Northern Division titles, and 7th place in the NCAA tournament in 1954. In 1970 he was elected into the American Association of College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Mel Krause took Kirsch’s place from 1971 to 1981, leading the Ducks to its last Northern Division title. He was the last coach for the UO Varsity Team before it was dismantled (Oregon Stadium Campaign). The end of baseball at UO came in 1981 when University President Paul Olum announced that baseball, along with men’s gymnastics, women’s golf and soccer, was

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


being cut. There were several factors to this decision. The university stated that funding issues arose because of inflation, making equipment, travel, food and lodging too expensive to provide. Budget cuts also meant that baseball scholarships were being cut, which would make recruiting efforts unsuccessful. The main reason baseball was removed from the university’s athletic program was because Title IX was put into effect. Title IX was created to give women’s sports more funding in order to place them at an equal level with men’s sports. Once athletic budgets had to be reprioritized, those sports that could not compete nationally were the first to go (Scott et al.).

The Team: Within the past two years the UO Athletic Department has made a big push to bring back baseball. For the first time since 1981, the University of Oregon now has its own team, led by a group of all-star coaches. This year’s team is made of 35 players, including 17 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 12 juniors and 2 seniors. The athletic department has put forth a tremendous effort to find the best coach to jump start baseball at UO, allowing UO to once again assert itself as a fierce competitor (GoDucks). On September 1, 2007 it was announced that George Horton would be the new coach for the UO baseball team. Horton, a former College World Series champion and two-time National Coach of the Year, spent 11 seasons coaching one of the best teams in the nation, Cal State Fullerton, before agreeing to take the position in Eugene. During Horton’s time coaching the Titans he steered them to six appearances in the College World Series (GoDucks). The athletic department is hoping that he can lead the new UO team to similar success. Assistant Coaches Andrew Checketts and Mike Kirby, Director of Baseball Operations Luke Emanuel, and Volunteer Assistant Bryson LeBlanc will accompany 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Horton. Checketts is the team's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, and has already made headway by recruiting two top-10 rankings from Collegiate Baseball’s and Baseball America’s pre-season publications. Checkett has an outstanding record of picking 29 pitchers who have gone on to the pros, seven of whom were chosen in 2007. Mike Kirby was Horton’s assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton for eight years before coming to Eugene. Kirby coached the 1995 College World Championship squad and made four College World Series while working with the Titans. Emanuel has experience working with youth sports teams and interned for a year at a sports agency in Washington D.C. (GoDucks).

Price and Sales Figures: To accompany the new team, the university has spent $15 million building a new stadium. From 1936 to 1981 the university held its baseball games at Howe Field, but when the baseball team was dismantled it was converted to a women’s softball field. The goal was to have the stadium completed in time to welcome the 2009 baseball team. Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny, along with other donors, made substantial contributions to raise funds for the new field. To honor the athletic director’s efforts, the stadium was named P.K. Park (May). The new stadium will be used jointly by the UO varsity team and the Emeralds minor league team, which will be invited to play there in the summer. The new stadium is a significant upgrade from Civic Stadium, the Emeralds current home stadium. Neither team will have to worry rained outs because of the stadium design’s incorporation of artificial turf. The turf, which covers the entire field except for the pitcher’s mound, will drain water more effectively than traditional baseball fields and prevent the dangerous water accumulation that can cancel games. In addition to preventing games from being 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


canceled due to rain, the field will be a unique selling point when recruiting new players. Once completed, the new stadium will seat about 5,000 people, about 1,000 less people than the Civic Stadium (May). In order for the team to be self-sustainable, advertising and ticket sales will cover the cost of recruiting the best players, provided scholarships, paying staff, supplying equipment and running the facility. While student tickets are free, general admission tickets are $6-8. Season passes are $180 for adults with staff, children and senior citizens receiving discounted prices. The seat that overlooks home plate will cost $205 for a season ticket. Ticket sales for the civil war games in PGE Park will be $14-25 for general admission (GoDucks).

Publicity: The athletic department has already made significant efforts to publicize the university’s efforts and generate buzz about the new team. Jerry Allen and Brian Prawitz will be the radio broadcast team that will announce this year’s games. Several radio stations have signed on to broadcast the games, including those in the surrounding areas of Portland, Roseburg, Coos Bay and Brookings. Oregon Sports Network has also agreed to televise 15 games throughout the season (GoDucks). A lot of buzz has been generated about the new stadium, including its new features and design. To keep the public involved and able to follow its progress, the athletic department set up a web cam that lets people see what is happening in real time. This allows fans to track the stadium’s progress, be involved in its creation and keep undated reports on its features. The athletic department is also using O-Zone, a live video feed that can be viewed online, to show the games. This new technology allows viewers to watch On-Demand 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


replays, revisit historical moments in sports, watch press conferences and interviews, and get players’ reactions after the game. While most of the university’s sports are shown on O-Zone, only select baseball games will be aired. This will help fans stay involved in the away games but not give them an excuse to skip the home games (GoDucks).

SWOT Analysis A variety of factors will influence thesuccess of the new baseball team.

The following is a SWOT analysis of the factors that will influence the business aspects of the UO baseball team: Internal Novelty and Interest Strong Coach Excellent Recruiting Class Socialization Aspect New Facility

Internal No Established Team Identity Inexperienced Players Lack of Game Awareness Location

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External Less popular Competitors Spring Weather American Tradition Student Procrastination

External Other Spring Sports successes, including Track & Field Rainy weather Under-aged Drinking Academic demands Job schedules Perceived as “Boring�

The greatest strength of the UO baseball team is its novelty. Students are eager to attend the game and become a part of the new tradition. The games offer something that they have yet to experience during their college careers. This is also aided by the socialization aspect of baseball games. The greatest weakness facing the baseball team is it's lack of experience. Because of the strong influence a winning or losing season can have on fan loyalty, an inexperienced team could have a drastic impact on fan loyalty. The greatest opportunity for the team is the spring weather. Especially in Oregon, where most of the school year is filled with rain and cloudy weather, any opportunity to spend time in the sun is utilized. Students are eager to to procrastinate on their work in favor of spending time outdoors. The greatest threat is the possibility of bad weather. With Oregon's constantly fluctuating weather patterns, the possibility for rain is present at all times of the year. Students will not want to spend their time outside if it is raining, even if the baseball team does not face the threat of rain-outs. Additionally, the team faces a threat from the university's track & field program. Track & field competes at the same time as baseball, and has a long history of success. If the track & field team does particularly well, it may 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


draw away a substantial number of fans.

Competition The University of Oregon baseball team faces two types of competition: direct and indirect. Direct competition exists within the industry. For the UO baseball, the direct competition includes other spring sports, including track & field, tennis, softball, all of which are seeking student attendance at the games and meets. Since its founding 1895, the track & field team has been the premier sport in the University of Oregon (GoDucks). One of the UO's Track & Field programs greatest strengths is its longstanding tradition, through which Eugene earned the nickname of “Tracktown, USA� (GoDucks). Not only does the team have a tradition of winning, but it also has a history of legendary figures including Prefontaine and former middledistance runner and Nike-founder Phil Knight. Through its history of success the team has developed a loyal body of fans, which the UO baseball team will have difficulty competing for. Another advantage enjoyed by the track & field team is its location. The team's practice and meets are held on Hayward Field, located near the dorms on the UO campus. Hayward Field is located directly across from the freshmen dorms. The close vicinity makes it easy for freshmen to attend the games, especially as they are admitted free of charge. This allows new students to easily establish a loyalty that will likely continue throughout the remainder of their college careers. The following is a SWOT analysis of the of UO's Track & Field program:

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Internal Tradition Location Nike History Winning History Multiple Events Local Support

Internal Time Commitment Student Interested Parking

External Student Giveaways Nike Promotions Olympic Influence Increased Television Coverage Internet Website

External UO Baseball Team Softball Tennis Weather Academics Social Activities

The tradition and history is the track & field program's greatest strength. However, it's weakness is the fact that a track meet has multiple events, making it a large time commitment. The UO baseball team is also facing indirect competition from outside of the sports industry. Academics are an indirect competitor, especially with seniors working to complete thesis papers before graduation. Yet although the primary reason students come to college is their education, students still have various activities that fill their spare time. According to a survey of 162 students at College of Wooster on the activities that take up most of their time, the number one response was, “hanging out with friends,� followed by studying. Although the survey asserts that spending time with friends is how students spend their time, it fails to specify what college students are doing with their friends. However, the mindset of an average college student is easily discernible. Alcohol is viewed as a right of passage for a college student. “Students who said they had at least one drink in the past 14 days spent an average 10.2 hours a week drinking, and averaged about 8.4

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


hours a week studying� (Marklein). It was also found that, “nearly 70% of respondents (20,801 students) said they drank. Of those, 49.4% spent more time drinking than studying.� Nearly half the students who drank considered studying a secondary priority. Additionally, not all students who drink are 21, so they will not be take advantage of the alcohol that will be provided at P.K. Park. Students may thus be deterred from attending a UO baseball game for fear of ejection and citation for underage drinking. The following SWOT analyses are for the two main indirect competitors: academics and drinking: Academics Internal Priority Tuition Cost Incentives Passion Learning

Internal Stressful Time Consuming Boring Unappealing

External Jobs Internships

External Procrastination Breaks Sleep Socializing with Friends

Drinking

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Internal Fun Popularity Taste

Internal Binge-Drinking Cost Danger/Legality

External Parties/Social Events Dinners

External Police Academics Jobs/Internships

The advantage that academics have over UO baseball that it is seen as a more responsible choice, with most students regarding academics has being a higher priority than spending time at leisurely sporting events. However, most students would rather do anything other than study. Drinking is one such activity, but carries grave consequences if done illegally or in excess.

Primary Research 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


In-Depth Interview Sari Gardner, Eugene Emeralds Stadium Employee Research Questions: The purpose of this interview was to find out the type crowd that baseball draws in, as well as the type of events and/or promotions that are successful. In addition, it sought to find out motivations for attending games.

Method An in-depth interview with Sari Gardner, an employee the Eugene Emeralds Stadium. Gardner takes tickets at every game and observes events at the stadium before, during and after the game. Gardner is also a University of Oregon student, giving her further understanding of how events at the Emerald games could be used at University of Oregon games. The interview lasted for about an hour and included 12 questions. Most of the questions asked were open-ended and touched on multiple relating subjects. The interviewee was very cooperative and said she would be happy to answer any follow-up questions. This interview took a fair amount of time because Ms. Gardner explained most of the events that are offered at the Emeralds games with very in-depth detail.

Results For full interview results, see Appendix A.

Conclusions and Recommendations The most important insight that this data provides is that socializing is one of the most important part of the baseball experience, especially for college students. For the older crowd, the appeal seems to be the game and the family aspect. However, for the college crowd, the appeal is the beer and the social scene. College students go to Emeralds’ games to enjoy the weather and partake in an activity that is very affordable. 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Another reason that people come to games is for free giveaways and fun contests. The Eugene Emeralds team does not market or advertise their promotions well to college students, with low student attendance likely due to low awareness. This demonstrates the importance of the UO baseball team ensure that students are aware of not only the game dates, but also the events, audience games, promotions, and giveaways. College students are looking for the experience of a fun day, not a baseball game. They are looking to go to a game, drink beer, socialize with peers and hopefully win some prizes or eat some good food. Therefore, UO should provide fun events to generate hype and make the game into an event for the students. However, more importantly, UO Baseball needs to be sure that all UO students are fully aware of the team, as well as the promotions and schedule. Time and time again Gardner reiterated that young people come to the baseball games for the social aspect of it; they come for more than the game. Many more young people and students come to Emeralds games on Thursdays when “dollar beers� are offered. This is partly for the discount on alcohol and partly because of the resulting crowd, allowing for mingling and socialization with friends and peers. Gardner emphasized that UO baseball needs to market the social aspect of baseball itself. The atmosphere at a baseball game is generally very relaxed because the game is long, slow-paced, and lacks a certain amount of action. This relaxed atmosphere allows people enjoy an experience rather than just a game, an experience which needs to be marketed to the students. Gardner also suggested incorporating the largest social aspect of football, tailgating, into the baseball experience. This would allow the team to draw a substantial

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


student population. Incorporating a baseball spin on tailgating would be vital for its success. The Eugene Emerald games regularly feature barbecues held before the game, allowing people to rent picnic tables and barbecue pits. UO baseball could further adopt this idea by hosting a cookouts before the game, encompassing the mellow atmosphere of baseball. In addition to tailgating, Gardner suggests that the baseball team offer in-game promotions. Pre- and mid-game giveaways and mini-games keep fans entertained throughout the game. This includes featuring the beer garden, which has a natural appeal to students. Overall, UO needs to be sure that the average student is aware of the experience that could be had if they were to attend a UO baseball game, which is much more than just the game.

Limitations The conclusions from this interview assume that roughly the same amount of students will attend an Emeralds game as will attend a UO game. Therefore, the largest imperfection is the differences between UO baseball and Emerald baseball. The Eugene Emeralds is a minor league baseball team and not a college team. Therefore, the Emeralds’ games take place during the summer when many university students are out of town, making student attendance at games relatively low. However, it is impossible to know if attendance is low because the population is lower than usual or because students are not very interested in Emeralds Baseball. The fact that Eugene Emeralds Baseball is not a college team could also be the reason why not many students attend. Students may be more likely to attend a baseball game if they are invested in it or have an emotional tie to the team through the university. These two variables could be a huge reason why the Emeralds have a low student attendance and therefore it may not accurately represent the 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


amount of students who would attend a UO baseball game. The questions that are being unanswered are the exact statistics of the attendance at Emeralds games. The information is from a reliable source, who is excellent at observation, but there could be a bias in the things that she notices vs. the things that get past her. She was able to provide ballpark figures and estimations about the different populations that attend Emerald games but she could not give exact statistics.

Primary In-Depth Interview Silvia Luu, Social Chair of Gamma Phi Beta, Nu Chapter 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Research Questions: The purpose of this interview was to determine the involvement of Greek members on campus in comparison with non-Greek members. In addition, it sought to find what motivates Greek member to participate in campus events, including sporting events. Finally, it sought to find ways that UO baseball could target Greek Life at the University of Oregon.

Method An interview was conducted with Silvia Luu, Social Chair of Gamma Phi Beta.. The Social Chair is in charge of working with other Greek houses on campus to organize events and increasing camaraderie. The team chose to interview someone from Greek life because of the campus of involvement of the Greek houses and the large percentage of students on campus participating in Greek life. The interview lasted about 20 minutes and consisted of three main questions. The questions were open-ended and allowed her to interpret the question and draw on her own knowledge. The interviewee was very cooperative and eager to share her insight. She made it clear that she was available for any followup should the need arise. However, the interview had to remain brief due to her demanding schedule.

Results For full interview results, see Appendix B.

Conclusions and Recommendations Luu assumed that the campus involvement of students involved in Greek life was higher than that of students who are not involved in the Greek system. The reason she gave was that Greek members are encouraged daily to participate and attend campus events. Members are encouraged and often rewarded for participating in sports teams and organizations on campus. If one member from a house is a member on a team, all

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


members of that house will be encouraged to attend their games and support them. It is likely that if one person in a house wants to attend an event, they will be able to find another house member willing to attend with them, which in turn may convince others to go. This could create a large groups of people attending an event that few would have chosen to attend individually. Going as a group makes the event more of a social outing. For example, large groups from Greek houses attend football games and other sporting events together, as well as endorsements and speeches held on campus. The reasons given for high Greek participation levels is a combination of supporting the school, the house, and other members of Greek house, as wells as getting the most out of the college experience. There are multiple ways that Greek students receive information about events on campus, including Monday Night Dinner, announcements posted throughout the Greek houses, emails, and Facebook. Several suggestions were given for how the baseball team could encourage members of Greek life to attend the games. One suggestion was to have a few members from the baseball team briefly stop by all houses during Monday Night Dinner, which are commonly used for other Greek houses and campus organizations to make announcements. Additionally, were members of the team to go to a house, it would be perceived as a more personal invitation and more likely to produce positive results. Secondly she suggested that the team host a 'Greek Day' for one the games. This would having an inter-Greek competition to see which house would have the most members attend a single game. Some sort of prize could be given to the winning house, such as a pizza party of a contribution to that house's philanthropy. A 'Greek Day' would also have the benefit of drawing students to the game, making them more likely to attend a second

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


game. It would also be particularly effective at getting newer members of the Greek houses to attend, particularly the freshmen and sophomores, which will make them more willing to attend games during the rest of their college experience.

Limitations One limitation of the information provided by Luu is the question of bias. As a member of Greek Life, Luu will be inclined to think positively of both the system and the members. Also, as she holds a position in a sorority house and was put in a position where she was informally representing a portion of the Greek Life system, she would feel obligated to present Greek Life in a positive light, potentially to the point of inaccuracy. Additionally, much of the information she gave was based on assumption without statistical backup. Information given was based on her personal perception and had room for leaps in judgment. For example, just because students are heavily encouraged to participate in campus events does not directly lead to an increase in involvement.

Primary Research Focus Group Research Questions

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


The primary objective for conducting the focus group was to understand the motivations and attitudes of the target market. Why do college students attend sporting events? What do they think about the new baseball team at the UO? Why would they attend a UO baseball game? Do college students attend baseball games as a socializing venue rather than sports venue? These are questions this study attempts to answer. In addition to collecting qualitative answers to these questions, our group was hoping to find parallels between the information given by the focus group and the secondary research hypothesis.

Method The sample size was eight college students at the University of Oregon. There were five males and three females. Amongst these students, seven of the students were seniors and one was a freshman (T.K). The focus group took place at Chris Yu's house on a Saturday afternoon. Before the focus group began, each person was given a piece of paper. They were then asked to write down the first thing that came to mind when they heard the following: baseball, UO Basketball, UO Football and George Horton. The purpose of this exercise was to create dialogue and allow everyone to get comfortable. It was important to note that nobody shared their answers until the end of the exercise. This was done in order to prevent answers from being influenced or participants feeling intimidated. Afterwards, discussion questions were presented to the group.

Results For full focus group results, see Appendix C.

Conclusions/Recommendations The results of the focus group appear to parallel the hypothesis of the secondary

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


research. It is evident that the students participating in the focus were were excited about UO baseball because of the opportunity for socialization that it provided. The male participants appeared to have more excitement and a greater sense of pride about the UO baseball team. This may be due to a larger sample size of males than females. Despite this excitement, the consensus amongst the group was that baseball did not compare to the excitement of basketball and football. As a result, four of the participants labeled it as “boring�. The females seemed more excited about the weather and the multiple options of socializing in the sun. These findings were constructed into survey questions in order to give more validation to these results. The information collected from this focus group implies that the UO baseball team is currently on a honey-moon period of excitement. It is also evident that these college students are excited for spring because of the improved weather, and are eager to be able to spend time outside. They look at baseball as an event that could potentially be the new standard sporting event to attend in spring. Spring baseball could become what fall means to college football in terms of popularity. The focus group also indicates that the baseball teams needs to create an identity. When asked about the football team, the participants identify with Dennis Dixon because he was the face of the UO football. One suggestion drawn from the focus group is that the team needs to establish a sense of identity. Since the baseball team is new, it is hard to assert a star. Another suggestion to facilitate student attendance is to take advantage of the laid-back atmosphere of a baseball game, such as a campaign presenting baseball as a way to relieve stressed out college students. However, the participants emphasized that it is important to not to transform baseball into something it is not. For example, baseball

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should not be presented as a fast-paced game. Instead, the team should take advantage of having a sport that allows attendants to have a full conversation with a friend without missing much of the game. A potentially effective way of enhancing the laid-back atmosphere would be to add picnic tables near the stadium reserved for students. By taking advantage of the excitement that already exists for spring term, the UO baseball games could become a more social environment.

Limitations A weakness of this focus group was the fact that there was not a question about the direct competitors to UO baseball. Although the participants may not have had strong opinions about other spring sports, it may have been beneficial to ask about their attitudes and perceptions of other spring sports on campus, including track & field, softball or tennis. Additionally, there was an imbalance of seniors. Having a greater balance of student grade levels may have provided a more accurate portrait of the perceptions of the average UO students.

Primary Research Survey Research Questions A survey was conducted to answer the research question of “Why do students attend sporting events and which events are they attending?� Additionally, the survey 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


sought to collected quantitative data that could be compared to the qualitative data that had been collected during the research process.

Method The research was conducted using an online survey. The survey was created on www.SurveyMonkey.com. The website was chosen for its ease of use and familiarity among students. In order to collect the data, a Facebook group was created. In order to attract students, the group was entitled “Help with My Research Class” in the hope that students would be more likely to fill out a marketing survey if they knew they were helping a fellow classmate. One hundred and fifty students from the University of Oregon were invited to join the group and take the survey, trying to ensure an equal balance between all years in school. Sixty-four students responded and completed the survey. Every person who started the survey finished it. 1.

2. 3. 4. 5.

The Survey was as follows: Are you a current student at the University of Oregon? a) Yes – Freshman b) Yes – Sophomore c) Yes – Junior d) Yes – Senior e) Yes – Graduate f) Not at student at the University of Oregon Are you involved in Greek Life? a) Yes b) No Were you aware that the University of Oregon now has a baseball team? a) Yes b) No Have you ever attended a UO sporting event? a) Yes b) No Which of the falling UO sporting events have you attended? a) Football b) Basketball – Mens c) Basketball – Womens d) Track & Field e) Cross Country 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


f) Golf g) Lacrosse h) Gymnastics i) Tennis j) Volleyball k) Other (please specify) 6. What were some of the reasons you attended a UO sporting event? a) A fan of the sport/team b) Friends were attending c) Special promotions d) Ideal weather e) Other (please specify) 7. How interested are you in baseball, 1 being not at all interested and 7 being very interested? a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4 e) 5 f) 6 g) 7 8. Have you ever attended a baseball game? a) Yes – High School b) Yes – College c) Yes – Minor League d) Yes – Major League e) No, I have never attended 9. How would you rate your experience, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest? a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4 e) 5 f) Never attended one 10. Would the availability of prizes, food, or alcohol affect your decision to attend a UO baseball game? a) Yes – Food b) Yes – Prizes c) Yes – Alcohol d) Yes – Other e) No

Results For full survey results, see Appendix D.

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Conclusions/Recommendations: Everyone who began the survey completed it. This high completion rate is probably due to the short length of the quiz. Most of the research collected fit in with the qualitative research conducted prior to the survey. 90% of the students surveyed had attended at least one University of Oregon sporting event during their college years, indicating that sporting events are a major part of the college experience. Based on this high rate of attendance, a conservative estimate can be made that at least 75% of students at the University of Oregon will attend at least one sporting event during their college career. The sports that students most commonly attend were football and men's basketball, which had been expected. However more people than hypothesized had attended non-traditional sporting events, such as golf, lacrosse, tennis, and rugby, indicating a high willingness to attend even comparatively small sporting events. Another finding that matched the qualitative research was the reasoning that students gave for their attendance. The most common reason given was that other friends were attending. This indicates that sporting events are primarily a social function; students attend sporting events to hang out with their friends more often than they attend to watch the sport. The next most common reason give was that students were a fan of the sport and team (the University of Oregon). This indicates that as long as the games are presented as a social opportunity and enough viewers have some interest in the sport, students will be willing to attend the games. One of the most notable pieces of data collected through the research was the high level of awareness. Of the students who participated in the survey, over 93% of them were aware that the University of Oregon had a Baseball team. This indicated that our 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


team's efforts need not focus on raising awareness, but should instead put effort into encouraging students to take action and attend the games. In addition, most students indicated at least a moderate interest in baseball. Over 90% of the surveyed students had attended at least one baseball game, and of those over 62% rated their experience as a 3 out of 5 or higher. An even more positive finding was that none of the students ranked their experience a 1 out of 5. This shows that most people are not only willing to attend a game, but enjoy themselves while they are there. This would indicate that students would be open to attending at least one game, and even more likely to attend a second game if they enjoy themselves. One of the research findings did not align with either our secondary research or our focus groups; of the students surveyed, only 3.4% said that they had been influenced to attend a game because of special promotions. Despite our research and focus studies showing that promotions can be effective means of drastically increasing crowd size, the survey sample appeared unresponsive to the idea of promotions. Part of this may be due to uncertainty in what a promotion entailed; one person may regard promotions as a marketing ploy for a product that has little or no relevance to them, while another may regard a promotion as an all stadium “Black Outs� done at football stadiums nationwide. However, students did seem responsive to prizes, with 40.6% responding that the availability of prizes would influence their decision to attend a game. Due to the inconsistency of the findings with all other research, the team has decided to disregard the negative findings on the effectiveness of promotions.

Limitations One limitation of the survey is randomization. There were limitations in place that prevented an entirely balanced selection of invited participants. Facebook has 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


imposed new rules that, in an effort to prevent spam and automated friend-adding, prevent one user from adding too many other users at any given time. This meant that most of the participants had to be selected from the list of friends that groups members already had. Additionally, very few graduate students were invited to participate. Another problem was randomization. Despite the efforts to select a variety of people, the participants in the survey still choose whether or not they participated, making them at least partially self-selected. There could be differences in attitudes and perceptions between the types of student that chooses to participate in surveys compared to a student who chooses not to participate.

Recommendations Our primary and secondary research suggests that additional efforts will need to be made in order to sustain student attendance after the honeymoon period.

Team Identity Currently the key figurehead of the team is coach George Horton, but students are not familiar with any of the players on the field. Students will not develop a relationship with the team if they do not have team players to rally behind. To unify the team and connect it to its fans, the players’ strengths need to be identified and publicized. If the team’s identity is to be based on its offensive approach, a campaign should 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


highlight the team’s homerun percentages; if the teams excels at preventing players from getting past first base, media coverage should focus on strike-outs. In addition, the team needs a true figurehead. The UO Football team was able to rally behind Dennis Dixon, who was so popular and recognizable that he is still featured on billboards in Eugene despite having graduated in 2008. The UO Baseball team needs to have a similar figurehead that students and community members will recognize and easily identify with the team. Creating team loyalty beyond the fact that it’s apart of the university will help sustain students’ drive to attend games past the initial excitement.

Promotions Promotions come in various forms. One type of promotion that would be effective in drawing students to baseball games are mid-game activities that incorporate the crowds. This type of game involvement would be valuable in creating a crowd connection with the team. The Emeralds have a variety of game-time entertainment that involves the crowd in the game. These close the gap between the two main reasons for attending a game: socializing and watching the game. These games could include throwing tennis balls on the field, being invited onto the field, and giving audience members the chance to hit a homerun and receive personal advice from the coach. Any interaction between the crowd and the players will help create unity in the sport. Another type of promotion that has been particularly effective in recent years is cause-based promotions. Our research found that people are more willing to participate in an event if the proceeds go to a worthwhile cause. Our secondary research showed that blackout games where everyone, including the team, wears a certain color are wildly popular. These types of events promote unity between the crowd and the players in a 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


strong effort to support a charitable organization. While a “blackout” game would be too closely associated with football, a “Green-out” or “Pink-out” event would achieve the same effect while being associated solely with baseball. Another promotion that our findings showed that students were profoundly interested in was food discounts. Our findings showed a high level of interest in the food and beer provided at sporting events. Even though student tickets for sporting events are free, student perceive food at games to be a costly, though appreciated, addition. Publicizing discounts on hotdogs and/or selling discounted beers will attract students. Part of this includes advertising the beer garden, which will not only intrigue and invite in students, but will likely keep them entertained through the game.

Tailgating Having a baseball-specific spin on tailgating will be valuable in creating a tradition within baseball community of Eugene. One of the most popular parts of football is tailgating before the game. This allows sports fans the opportunity to drink and socialize before the game, generating team excitement and hype. To start this tradition, the stadium could rent out free picnic tables and provide hotdogs and condiments. Fans would arrive before the game begins to celebrate the team, and would create a highly enjoyable tradition that the team can use to define itself.

Greek Life The Greek community on campus is steadily growing and makes up a substantial portion of the student population. Getting even 20% of the Greek community to attend a game would fill the student section. Creating promotional events that target Greek students would help create a following and generate buzz about the games. Greek

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students also serve as fantastic billboards because of their astounding willingness to wear promotional t-shirts around campus and throughout the community. Some suggestions for getting Greek Life involved are creating an All Greek Day, where all Greek members are asked to attend, having Greek House competitions, including a contribution to the philanthropy to the house with the most members in attendance, or having team players go around to Monday Night Dinners so that house members can get to know the players personally.

Take Advantage of the Natural Appeal The team need only take advantage of the natural appeal of baseball in order to attract crowds. Sell the idea of picnic tables with good food, beer, and team merchandise. Support and pitch the social aspect of baseball to students. Use the channels of communication already established on campus to create awareness and keep students informed of when the games are, including Duck-U, The Daily Emerald, and Facebook. And lastly, exploit the sunny weather; when sunshine and spring term come around, students are eager for a means of putting aside academic pursuits in order to just hangout. These aspects are readily available and just have to be utilized.

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Works Cited â&#x20AC;&#x153;A History of Baseball in Oregon.â&#x20AC;? Oregon Stadium Campaign. 10 February 2009. <www.oregonstadiumcampaign.com>. Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. University of Michigan Athletics. 06 Mar. 2009. <bentley.umich.edu>. Boyd, Josh, and Melissa Stahley. "Communitas/Corporatas Tensions in Organizational Rhetoric: Finding a Balance in Sports Public Relations." Journal of Public Relations Research20 (2008): 251-70. Business Source Premier. 20 Feb. 2009. Bristow, Dennis, and Kenneth Schneider. "Sports Fan Motivation Scale: Development and Testing." Marketing Management Journal13 (2003): 115-21. Ebsco. Burnett, Denny. "Gymnastics Ready for Home Confrontation." Daily Barometer [Oregon State University] 9 Feb. 2006. 19 Feb. 2009. City of Corvallis, Oregon. 06 Mar. 2009. <www.ci.corvallis.or.us>. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. 06 Mar. 2009. <www.baseballnews.com>. 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


DeHass, Denise M. NCAA Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report. NCAA.org. Apr. 2008. NCAA. 20 Feb. 2009 <www.ncaapublications.com>. Higgins, Jessie. "Greek Life: Record Number Rushin." Oregon Daily Emerald. 3 Oct. 2008. 23 Feb. 2009. <www.dailyemerald.com>. Kontzer, Tony. "Marketing Baseball Turns Tech." Information Week. 5 July 2004. 12 Feb. 2009. <www.informationweek.com>. Kyle, Bobette. "Target Marketing: Six Lessons From Major League Baseball." Marketing Profs. 26 Aug. 2003. 17 Feb. 2009. <www.marketingprofs.com>. Lee, Jason W., Kimberly S. Miloch, Patrick Kraft, and Lance Tatum. "Building the Brand: A Case Study of Troy University." Sports Marketing quaterly17 (2008): 178-82. Business Source Premier. Marklein, Mary Beth. "College Freshman Study Booze More Than Books." Weblog post. USA Today. 11 Mar. 2009. 11 Mar. 2009. <www.usatoday.com>. Marklein, Mary Beth. "NSSE: Assessing the Undergraduate Experience." Weblog post. USA Today. 10 Nov. 2008. 16 Feb. 2009. <.usatoday.com>.

May, Jacob. "Oregon Unveils Duck Baseball's Field of Dreams". Oregon Daily Emerald. 31 January 2008. 12 February 2009. www.dailyemerald.com. Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletics Site - MStateAthletics.com. Mississippi State University. 06 Mar. 2009. <www.mstateathletics.com>. NCAAStudent.org. NCAA. 04 Feb. 2009. <www.ncaastudent.org>. Oregon Ducks. 2009. Oregon Athletics. 5 March, 2009. <www.goducks.com>. Oregon State - Official Athletic Site. 2 Mar. 2009. <www.osubeavers.com>. Oregon University System. 06 Mar. 2009. <www.ous.edu>. "Portland State Population Research Center | Home." Portland State University | Home. 06 Mar. 2009. <www.pdx.edu/prc>. Scott, Blake, Ted Smith, and Mark Watson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Baseball: Research the National Pastime.â&#x20AC;? April 27, 2004. University of Oregon Libraries.1 February 2009. Scott et al. Track Town USA Olympic Trials Hayward TrackTown USA Eugene Oregon Visitor. 06

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Mar. 2009. <www.tracktownusa.com>. United States of America. US Census Bureau. Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, Education & Social Stratification Branch. Table 5. Type of College and Year Enrolled for College Students 15 Years Old and Over, by Age, Sex, Race, Attendance Status, Control of School, and Enrollment Status: October 2007. 4 Mar. 2009. 6 Mar. 2009 <www.census.gov>. University of Michigan Athletics Department. University of Michigan. 6 Mar. 2009 <www.mgoblue.com>. “University of Oregon ‘Ducks’ Major League Baseball Player Alumnus.” Baseball Almanac. 10 February 2009. < www.baseball-almanac.com>.

Appendix A Interview with Sari Gardner The interview went as allows: What type of a crowd does baseball in Eugene draw? Many college students? In Eugene, during the summer, baseball draws mostly families and older gentlemen looking to watch a baseball game or have a fun family outing. The average baseball fan is very mellow and chill. They don’t get rowdy like football fans do. There are generally college students who attend, but much fewer than the amount of families who attend. This could have to do with the fact that minor league ball takes place during the summer when there are a lot of college students out of town. More college students

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


will attend if there is a promotion that draws them in, such as dollar beers. What type of events and/or promotions are successful to this specific community? The promotions and events that are successful include activities that involve the crowd. People like to play games in hopes of winning silly little prizes. It makes the entire experience of a baseball game much more fun for everyone. The promotions that draw the biggest crowds include three separate promotions. First, the fireworks after the baseball game on the Fourth of July are guaranteed to sell out the stadium every year. Second, dollar beers help to draw in a much younger crowd. Dollar beers are on Thursdays and there are always a lot more people in general and especially college students. Third, the emeralds host a barbeque before certain games where you can come and eat and drink before the game. There are even incentives provided, such as, if you pay to barbeque, you do not have to pay to get into the actual game. This is a good time to socialize before the game with friends and/or family. Why do people in Eugene attend baseball games? What are their motivations? People in Eugene attend baseball games for several different reasons. One is that they are season ticket holders and they love to come and simply watch the game. The other is that they want to go on a fun and relaxed outing with family or with friends. Baseball games are a good excuse to get outside and enjoy the nice weather while socializing with people you care about, kicking back, letting loose and maybe having a beer or two. The relaxed environment of the baseball game allows people to just hang out with one-another while feeling like they are doing something. It is just a simple past time that is perfect for a sunny day and that is why people are motivated to see the game. What are the general habits of people in this community when at a baseball game?

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


People are very mellow. They like to participate in fun games and bring family and friends to socialize with. People like to sit and enjoy the weather, friends and the game simultaneously. Socializing is a huge part of baseball games because there is so much down-time in the game. People in this community tend to arrive at the game just as it is beginning or just after it has begun. However, if there is a door giveaway, it will draw a larger crowd and motivate people to arrive before the game starts.

Appendix A Interview with Silvia Luu The interview with Silvia Luu went as follows: How do you feel that the level of campus involvement in Greek members compares to that of students who are not involved in Greek life? My guess would by that Greek members are more actively involved in campus. Part of that reason is just because of the amount of information we receive about the events on campus. For our house endorsements everyone in the chapter has to attend at least one sponsored speech or presentation on campus; when you consider that all the sororities have to do that, it's a lot of people. We also have a bunch of campus organizations come around to Monday Night Dinners to encourage us to participate and attend in their events. There's also other houses, with each house hosting its own philanthropy. Occasionally they host other events too. There are noticeboards located throughout the house that showcase the events on campus, and we walk past those so much that I think it really encourages us to attend. Also, our chapter rewards campus involvement. Points are given to girls for participating in clubs, groups, and teams on 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


campus. If there's event an event that one of our members is in, a bunch of us will go to support her. And I know that type of support is not unique to our chapter. What do you think motivates Greek members to be so involved on campus? There are a lot of reasons for that. It mostly boils down to support. You're either supporting your house, supporting the school, supporting Greek Life in general, or supporting one of your house members. A huge factor for it is just showing spirit. One of our members is on the rugby team, and a lot of the girls in the house have gone to the rugby games to cheer her on. We also have girls on the running and the tennis team, and there are always girls to cheer for them. A lot of going to events, especially for sports, is also demonstrating school spirit, which is just fun. How would you recommend that the baseball team reach out to members of Greek Life? I would start by having them stop by during Monday Night Dinner. That's one of the only times where the entire house is together, so they'd be able to talk to the most people. It always helps when we get to see who is offering us the information instead of just receiving a flier. Also, All-Greek Days are really effective. Inter-Greek competitions are always popular. The baseball team could single out one game to be “Greek Day,” and offer a prize to the house with the most members who attend. The prize could be something small, like a pizza party or a $50 contribution to the house's philanthropy. Tshirts are also always popular, everyone in our house owns a ton of t-shirts from different events.

Appendix C Focus Group The results from the focus group were as follows:

Mallory: Adel: Lily: Jeff: Tyler: T.K: Willie: Shaun:

Baseball

UO Basketball

UO football

George Horton

Boring Boring Homerun Red Sox Boring Boring Yankees Dodgers

Marty Leunen Mac Court Bad Terrible Damn Sucks Defeated Horrible

Loud Fun Dixon Tight Autzen Blount Dixon Autzen

Goofy Dr. Seuss Who Dunno Who Who baseball Best

1) How many of you guys would consider yourselves as a “fan” of baseball? By fan, I mean you know which teams in the MLB are the best, who the best players are, who won 2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


the college national championship, etc. Willie and Shaun are the only fans 2) For those of you that did not answer, do you enjoy baseball? In terms of enjoying the game from time to time. TK and Jeff enjoy baseball Adel, Mallory, Lily and Tyler do not enjoy baseball 3) Were you guys aware of the new baseball team here at UO? If so how did you hear about it? Everyone was aware of the new baseball team Shuan, Jeff, Willie and Tyler found out about it in their business and journalism classes. T.K, Adel, Mallory and Lily found out from other people via word of mouth. 4) How likely are you to support a baseball team if they have a losing record? By support I mean attending a few games, watching them on TV, buying apparel, knowing their actual win/loss totals, etc. Willie, Jeff and Shaun would support the baseball team regardless of their record. They even bought UO baseball caps for fashion and in support of the team. They would do their best to go to the baseball games if they are not busy with other things. Even if the team had a losing record, they would at least try and watch it on TV. TK, Tyler, Lily, Mallory and Adel would probably attend and go to the games depending on their schedule and how busy they are. They would attend games simply because it is new. 5.) What makes you guys go to UO sporting events? Why and why not? Everyone said they go for the excitement, fun, drinking , the sun, and just to hang out with friends. Everyone put particular emphasis on enjoying the sun during spring sports. In addition, all of the participating guys and Mallory said they go to UO and professional sporting events because they follow the games and consider themselves to be fans. Lily and Adel follow sports through word of mouth. They know that the basketball team is not doing well this year by hearing people talk about it. They go to games if their friends want to go, which typically only occurs when the team is performing well. 6.) If you do not attend any UO sporting events, do you watch them on TV? Depends on what they are all doing.

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


7.) Do you guys look forward to spring term because of the potential weather? These is a strong consensus about this. Everyone in the group is looking forward to spring team weather. As a result of the weather and general atmosphere it brings, all focus group participants feel that spring term is the best term. Shaun, “That’s when all the honeys come out and go tanning” Jeff, “It’s the perfect time just to bro out.” 8.) Would you say that you enjoy spending time out on the sun? Yes, although baseball may be boring to watch. They all enjoy playing softball or wiffleball if it is sunny outside. Everyone loves barbecue. Everyone is in a better mood during spring term. The Parties seem better. All of the girls, Shaun and Jeff enjoy going tanning. 9.) Do you guys like beer? If you enjoy a single brand then that means you guys like beer. Everyone in the focus group except for Lily and Jeff likes beer. 10.) How much are you willing to spend on beer at the stadium if you were to attend? Tyler, Shaun and Willie would be willing to spend up to $5 for beer. The rest of the focus group would not spend any money beer; They would prefer to pre-funk before the game. 11.) How serious do you guys take the UO/OSU rivalry. Willie and TK take the rivalry very seriously because their parents were UO alums and they were raised to as Duck fans.. Other answers included,“We are the better school and Corvallis sucks”; “We do not take it that seriously because we understand that we are a better school in every single aspect”; “So what if they win a couple games against us…they still have to live in Corvallis!” 12.) What will make you guys go to the UO baseball games? Everyone said they are curious and interested because baseball is new at UO. They said that they would at least attend one game to get the general feel. Deals and promotions are not big factors of going to a baseball game. If the deals and promotions are more attractive than the game itself, this sends the message that UO baseball itself is not worth going to. If the team has a good record then it could be a factor influencing them to attend games. Also, if there is a star player on the team, it might help put a face on the

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


team, such as what Dixon served as the figurehead for UO football. T.K said that, since he is a Freshman, he does not feel that it would be a big deal if he does not attend any games this year; he still has 3 more years to attend in the future. However, he is still curious and would probably go to the game just because its new. Jeff, Willie, and Shaun will a sense of obligation to attend at least one game since they will be graduating in the spring. Tyler, Adel, Mallory and Lily said they would attend a game if their friends were going and if the weather was sunny. 13.) If baseball where a singer/band who would it be? Coldplay because they are boring. Frank Sinatra because he represents an old school vibe, like the game of baseball.

Appendix D Survey The results from the survey were as follows: Number of Respondents

Percentage

Are you a current student at the UO? Freshmen

6

9.4

Sophomore

12

18.8

Junior

15

25

Senior

21

32.8

Graduate

1

1.6

Not a UO student

8

12.5

Yes

33

51.6

No

30

48.4

59

93.8

Are you involved in Greek Life?

Were you aware that the University of Oregon now has a baseball team? Yes

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


No

4

6.3

Yes

56

90.5

No

6

9.5

Football

57

98.3

Basketball â&#x20AC;&#x201C; M

40

67.8

Basketball â&#x20AC;&#x201C; W

12

22

Track & Field

18

30.5

Cross Country

3

5.1

Golf

1

1.7

Lacrosse

4

6.8

Gymnastics

1

1.7

Tennis

5

8.5

17

28.8

Other

9

15.3

Did not answer

5

7.8

A fan of the sport/team

50

84.7

Friends were attending

52

88.1

2

3.4

15

25.4

Other

8

15.3

Did not answer

5

7.8

1

6

10.9

2

9

14.1

3

11

17.2

4

6

9.4

5

14

21.9

6

10

15.6

7

7

10.9

Have you ever attended a UO Sporting Event?

Which of the following UO sporting events have you attended?

Volleyball

What were some of the reasons you attended a UO sporting event?

Special promotions Ideal Weather

How interested are you in baseball, 1 being not at all interested and 7 being very interested?

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon


Have you ever attended a baseball game? Yes - High School

42

65.6

Yes - College

13

20.3

Yes - Minor League

35

54.7

Yes - Major League

43

67.2

4

7.8

1

0

0

2

2

32.3

3

16

25.8

4

23

37.1

5

No, I have never attended How would you rate your experience, 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest?

17

27.4

Never attended a game

3

6.5

Did not answer

2

3.2

Yes - Food

36

56.3

Yes - Prizes

26

40.6

Yes - Alcohol

29

45.3

4

6.3

20

32.8

Would the availability of prizes, food, or alcohol affect your decision to attend a UO baseball game?

Yes - Other No

2009 Study on Baseball Marketing at the University of Oregon

J410 University of Oregon Ad and PR research project  

A research project conducted by my group for J410: Advertising and PR research in Winter '09. This project researched with qualatitive and q...

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