The University of Michigan football team has gone an astounding 39 straight seasons without having a home football game with less than 100,000 fans in attendance. So why is it that Pioneer High school students, who have no real relation to the big school that plays at The Big House, can help them on Saturdays, but can’t fill more than a handful of rows in one section at Hollway Field for their own school on Friday? Pioneer football attendance comes down to two things: the lack of tradition the fans are able to carry with them and the on field performance.
It goes without saying that fans will rally around a winning team. Allen High School in Allen, Texas poured $60 million to it’s new Eagle Stadium which opened in 2012. Why are they able to pack 16,000 fans into those new stands every Friday night? Because they win games--they won both the 2012 and 2013 Class 5A Division 1 Texas State Championships. Pioneer’s 3-6 performance last year won’t breed the same kind of attention. But if senior running back Bryce Young can carry the Pioneer’s to success this year, the fans will file in to those silver stands.
The Chicago Cubs are known as historic losers, they haven’t won a MLB World Series in 106 years. However, they have some of the most committed and largest fan bases in the country of any sport due to their team’s tradition which breeds fan loyalty. Thus the Pioneer football’s lack of racking up State Championships is no excuse for a low turnout. If we can’t have a direct impact of improving the team’s on-field performance to attract fans, then we can start new and exciting traditions of our own. Things like “Black-outs,” “Hawaiian-outs,” and “Eagle hunts” are fun, but they don’t attract new fans. Fan giveaways, contests, more frequent pep rallies, and quarter and halftime entertainment will. So let’s put all those bright minds of Sports Marketing students to the test, and see where we can get.