Gaging Sports’ Fans with Prizes

Athletic Promotions raise fan spirit at sporting events


Jeff Helsel

Cal U graduates and volleyball players Jensen Silbaugh (on left) and Shelby Alloway

Maggie Hay, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the PennWest University California Volleyball team matched up against Slippery Rock University, which resulted in a Vulcan victory, but what truly engaged the fans in the game was Athletic Promotions.

Athletic Promotions is a work-study on campus, which consists of five students, who promote most of the athletic events happening on or around campus. They attend all home football games, and at least a few of the other athletic events to engage the fans and draw in a crowd.

When attending these events, the students hand out prizes from the PSECU Prize Bags such as free t-shirts, cups, stickers, decals, pom-poms, hand sanitizer, flashlights, pop-sockets, stress balls, lanyards, fanny packs, and adhesive phone wallets. The prizes are strategically handed out at specific moments in the game to keep the fans engaged.

Elizabeth Brudnock, a work-study student at Athletic Promotions said it is nice to see students outside of the academic environment and actually interacting with their peers.

“I love to see how excited fans get whenever we go to pass around the prizes and I love seeing the smiles on students’ faces whenever they actually get a prize,” said Brudnock.

In addition to these things, they also hand out Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen, which is a sponsor of Cal Athletics. Dilly Bars are handed out at almost every football game and some other athletic events, which is called the Dairy Queen Ice Cream Scream. Fans will jump up and yell as loud as they can in hopes to secure a sweet treat.

Emily Pringle, a student who attended Tuesday night’s volleyball game, said receiving a Dilly Bar made her excited to go to more games and events in hopes of more dilly bars.

At football games, Athletic Promotions picks a “Fan of the Game,” which can be any student who shows the most school spirit while cheering on the football team. The fan of the game wins a bag full of prizes, which consists of many of the items handed out during the game. Athletic Promotions shares when they will be attending specific events through the @CalUBlaze Instagram account. They post the day prior to the event to let students and fans know that there will be prizes given out and then posts an Instagram story when the prizes are in the process of being distributed.

Athletic Promotions also notifies students of their attendance by writing on a whiteboard outside of Flatz, which is a food option in the Natali Student Center. Typically, this board is for special events only, which include the Homecoming football game and any athletic playoff game.

Students who attend the events where Athletic Promotions are present are truly absorbed in the game. Fans are loud, clapping their hands, and even singing and dancing to the music that is played during the breaks.

Keegan Selinsky, a Sophomore at PennWest, said athletic promotions makes students excited to go to the games and watch good sports and win prizes at random.

In addition to student engagement, Cal athletes also take notice to the fans when Athletic Promotions is present.

Alison Droneberger, a Sophomore starter at Tuesday night’s volleyball game, said he can tell when athletic promotions are at volleyball games because there tends to be a lot more fans.

“People like to get free stuff like t-shirts, so more people show up and support,” Droneberger said. “The crowd is also more energetic when athletic promotions are at games and cheer more because they are more involved.”