Make Canoe my Homepage

Hey Louisville fans, first round is on the coach!

- November 13th, 2013

More often than not, women’s college sports (in this country, anyway) draw mostly family and friends, not an arena full of diehard fans.

It’s a little bigger deal south of the border, depending on the sport. But generally it’s good business to have a sound marketing strategy in place if you hope to get more people through the turnstiles.

How’s free beer grab ya?

That’s the selling-the-game approach the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team is taking for its next pre-season outing, Thursday  against the Louisiana State at the KFC Yum! Center (yikes, this school has sold out, big time).

Or, should I say, that’s the pitch coach Jeff Walz is making. He’ll be on the hook for the beer that will be given away to the first 2,500 of-age (naturally) ticket-holders through the door.

“We’re just trying to have a little bit of a good time here at the ballgame,” Walz said. “Make sure you have a designated driver if you want to come and have a few of them.”

Before you think Walz is going to be needing an armoured car to pay for the freebies (imagine what that much beer would cost at the Air Canada Centre), he’s doing it on $2 beer night. That could make for a rowdier than normal crowd, even without Walz buying the first round.

But it’s still five grand out of Walz’s pocket.

“It shows his commitment to the program and his desire to grow the program and expose as many fans as possible to their play on the court,” Amy Morgan, Louisville’s assistant athletic director for marketing, said.

It’s not the first time a college team has tried a giveaway to entice fans. Kansas State gave away 300 pounds of bacon at their season opener last week. Not sure what that says about the team but, well, it’s not a stunt Louisville will duplicate.

“We don’t need any bacon,” Walz joked. “We’re more hummus around here, health food. Fried asparagus for the next game, a tofu burger.”

Uh, maybe not.

Because nothing screams college sports like free (or cheap) beer.

 

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