Basketball season is right around the corner, and as Loyola’s players have been preparing for the upcoming season, so has the marketing team.
Promotions for basketball have been a work in progress since the summer. From filming short videos to working on new graphics, the marketing team has increased its workload this year.
“[Promoting season] really never ends,” senior associate athletics director, Tom Soboro said. “We try to do what we can to try and stay visible within the Chicago market, just in terms of awareness and engagement from our fan base.”
The promotions and marketing teams face difficulties in finding the perfect time to start promoting basketball without overshadowing fall sports, according to Soboro.
“There’s a balancing act. We are in season right now for men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, so it’s important to us to drive awareness to the sports that are in the season while also making people aware that basketball season is right around the corner,” Soboro said.
In order to rectify this balancing act, the marketing team promotes to different groups of fans in different stages of promotion. The team does this by promoting to specific groups at certain times; they promote to students when other Loyola teams aren’t in season and alumni and community members in the fall.
“Obviously, we want to hit all of our [basketball] fan base.” Director of Marketing Marcus Mercer said. “We are definitely making a push for students this year. We want to reach out to alumni and the immediate neighborhoods. Right now, we are pushing to sell season tickets.”
There isn’t a large budget for marketing and promotions, but the team is able to make do with their yearly budget of $10,000, according to Soboro.
“We try to be very strategic and with as little expense as possible.” Soboro said. “Social media is one way [to have little expense], email, posters, flyers, so we do a lot from a marketing standpoint. What we have found is the ability to do things and their success isn’t necessarily tied to how much you spend.”
After it’s gone out and done what it can to promote the basketball season, the marketing team likes to see if its efforts have worked, Soboro said.
“The fact that you can track it on social media [has been helpful], we’ve been able to see just by sheer data, we have gotten anecdotally a lot of response from alumni and people we see fairly regularly in the difference in the content,” Soboro said. “We’ve got a lot of praise from both ends.”
New additions Director of Creative Services Jeremiah McCallie and Director of Video Production Austin Hansen have been great in improving how the team does promotions, according to Mercer.
“They’re awesome,” Mercer said. “They have definitely grown what we are able to do. They are both creative guys, they both have new ideas and a vision of what we can do to get a better turn out.”
With the new additions of video production and creative services, the marketing team has been able to expand its areas of promotion. By having more bodies on the marketing team, it’s able to focus more on specific areas.
“We don’t have a giant staff to help out people,” Assistant Athletics Director Bill Behrns said. “So there’s a lot of things we are taking on by ourselves or with little help. We have to work with the resources we have to be as successful as we can.”
Hansen said he’s been able to specifically help with social media outreach, which the team has been attempting to build.
“We do intro videos for in house [advertisement] and all of the video content you see in the video boards as well as the external content, whether it be a video on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter,” Hansen said. “We also prepare content for our conference games when they are shown on ESPN3.”
In the creative services department, having McCallie has allowed for the marketing team to bring more awareness to the upcoming events through various graphics.
“All the graphic design aspects of creating game day graphics, creating flyers to post around campus to putting them on social media in order to bring awareness to the game,” McCallie said. “I normally have these done on one day and they are all over campus the next.”
The men’s basketball starts Nov. 10 at Gentile Arena and the women’s basketball season starts Nov. 12 at Indiana Univeristy-Purdue University-Fort Wayne.