You know you need to be investing in data analytics in order to move the revenue needle. But if you’re like a lot of athletic departments, you might not know where to begin.

When it comes to using data, many collegiate athletics marketers are concerned about:
• Only having old data.
• Data that’s disorganized or inconsistent.
• Not knowing whether the data you have is valuable.

Here’s the good news: you probably have better data than you realize!

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is thinking they don’t have enough data to do anything useful. In reality, even the most basic data can unveil some valuable insights. The key is keeping it simple and figuring out how to ask the right questions to get the most out of the data you have.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have 3-5 years of ticket sales information, but the only data available is the addresses you mailed the tickets to. It might not sound like much, but that’s actually some great data.

If we were partnering with you, we could use your zip code information to map all ticket purchases or donations to specific areas and identify behavior trends. From there, we’d analyze census data to determine the demographic makeup of those areas and create a model of your current ticket-buying audience. Using that information for lookalike modeling, we can help you find more people like the ones you already serve – people who are likely to be interested in what you’re offering.

Old Hat’s 180º process uses many tools to harness the power of the data you have and help you move the needle for student attendance, ticket sales or fundraising. We know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to your needs, so we’ll work hand in hand with you to support your sports marketing efforts.

For more information, contact us at (405) 310-2133 or email

We all know the movie and love the sentiment “If you build it, they will come.” Sadly, it’s not a magical corn field you are trying to fill with legends and a handful of local fans. Instead, you’re dealing with large facilities and fans whose attention is fragmented.

Facilities spending is one of the biggest reasons otherwise profitable or self-sufficient athletic departments run deficits, according to a Washington Post review of athletic departments at 48 schools in the five wealthiest conferences in college sports. Big-time college athletic departments are taking in more money than ever and spending it just as fast, yet we continue to see attendance decline.

Think about this: many of the most iconic college football stadiums have always been about volume rather than quality. Michigan and Tennessee — two schools with stadiums with capacities greater than 100,000 — counted on fans wanting to be a part of the general atmosphere rather than wanting Wi-Fi or the ability to post on social networks.

While the old saying “if you build it they will come” may not be true in this case, another classic is true: “where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Here are a couple of tips to consider as you look for ways to improve your game experience for fans.

• Simple improvements such as tidying up the exterior look of a stadium with new graphics, updating concessions stands and connecting concourses can make a huge impact on the overall fan experience that exists within a stadium.

• Focus on technology. Smarter, better, and more connected stadiums have the potential to provide a game day experience tailored for the 21st century fan who don’t want to just have an experience, but also want to share it on social media.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the collegiate athletics attendance problem, there is an approach that can help any program overcome their challenges. It’s called the Sports180 process and it’s offered exclusively by Old Hat. Our proven, research-based approach helps you clarify objectives, analyze your playing field, and develop a winning strategy by getting to the heart of your program’s unique position.

Contact us directly at 405.310.2133 or by email to learn more or to request a demo of our Sports180 process.

With the start of each new school year, a crop of new potential fans is being introduced to your team. The good news is they are predisposed to love you. The challenge is getting them into the stadium - not just this year, but in the future.

So who will your fans be in 2022 when today's incoming freshmen graduate? The answer is largely up to you. You will always have your die-hard fans. We all know them – the fans who wouldn't miss a game for any reason, not even their own wedding. Then you have the casual fan, the new fan and the fair weather fan. Beyond the die-hard fan, everyone else is susceptible to distraction and nonattendance. They're the ones you truly have to win - game after game, season after season.

Collegiate athletic programs used to believe that stadium attendance was losing ground to the couch and cable TV. Well, that has changed. Did you know that more than half (55%) of teens believe they can access any content they want without cable? Millennials/students are not sitting on their couch watching the game. In fact, they probably aren't “watching” the game no matter where they are.

The reality is this: whether they are new, casual or fair weather, fans are more interested in the experience than the game. Creating an atmosphere of inclusion and excitement on game day is more important than your number of wins. Here's the proof: even winning teams lost attendance over the last 4 years. If fans cannot capture, share and tag it, it never happened - regardless of whether it was a win or a loss.

Follow these five guidelines to create an experience that every fan type can embrace. You’ll fill more seats at the game and your die-hard fans will love the company.

1. Create opportunities for students to have an “experience.” Create “party” areas, general admission areas where they can hang out with friends and just happen to watch the game if they want. Offer food/drinks. Make it memorable!

2. Give stuff away. Fans of all types love free stuff. Get creative here and look for sponsors to offer up the goods.

3. Make it a competition. Fans of all types are competitive. They love to win and love to rub it in…..

4. Make it social. Offer opportunities for fans to post to social and win something (they will post it anyway, so let’s get in on it).

5. Make it easy. Remember: if there is an easier option, they will do that instead.


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