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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

We the Jury to incentivize sports attendance

Published: October 10, 2014
Section: Sports

At Boston College, getting a gold pass to sporting events will cost students between $170 and $200. A large part of the student body pays this amount without even a second thought. They then religiously attend games, hoping to earn points so they may have a chance of scoring a ticket to a hockey game.

Here at Brandeis, students don’t have to pay a cent to go to sporting events, and still the turnout is low. This is why We The Jury, an incentive program based on points, was created.

We The Jury, created by Kyle Martin, marketing and promotions intern, with Brandeis Athletics, is here to get more students to come out to games. The idea revolves around a points system, in which students get points at each game they attend. Depending on what type of sporting event, students will get between one and three points per game.

The points given at a game depend on how well-attended the games have been in the past. If someone goes to a soccer game, which usually has a bigger crowd, they will receive one point, while if someone attends a fencing match, they will receive three points.

The system is still in the works, but Martin has figured that the lowest threshold at which students can start to receive prizes will be 30 points, which will make students eligible for a drawstring bag and travel mug unavailable in the bookstore.

Martin got the idea from University of Massachusetts Lowell, his alma mater. Though UMass Lowell also had a points incentive system, Martin said students’ mindsets about sports were very different.

“At Brandeis, the atmosphere is very much academics first and then athletics. At Lowell, it was almost the opposite,” he stated. Martin also noted that students here are involved in a large and diverse range of activities, making it is hard for them to find time to come out to sporting events.

Kyle Brenner ’15, head of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a senior on the baseball team, is a partner in Martin’s We The Jury program. He noted a similar trend. “It is hard to get people ‘across the bridge,’” he stated. Brenner agreed that an incentive is needed to get people to come out to games and can inspire people to find time in their busy schedules to come support the athletics program.

Martin also added that they had chosen to partner with a company called Best Attendance, which can track attendance at games and monitor points.
Although for some sports the crowd size doesn’t make a big difference, for others it can influence a prospective student’s choice when deciding if they want to play for Brandeis. Brenner said that recruits will ask, from time to time, what kind of turnout there is at games.
This past summer, Brenner also got to play baseball for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, a team in the Future Collegiate Baseball League. There he played in front of 3,000 people as opposed to the 50 who typically show up to a Brandeis game. The biggest difference that Brenner noticed was that “it was no longer just a game, it was an event.”

And hopefully that is what the We The Jury program will create. Martin also has promised, “The winner will get something big!”