Carolinian – Sports
Issue: 2/4/02

Student Apathy?
By Mary Tracy

The years of a non-existent home court advantage are over at UNCG and it is thanks to great new sponsors and phenomenal student support. If you have attended any of the recent men’s basketball games you may have seen bleachers on the floor, and our stunning pep band right in the middle of them. What’s going on? Who are those people? Well they are fans and they are cheering.

A new student group, the Student Spartan Club, is trying to break the stigma of student apathy on the UNCG campus and get students out to games. They had a meet and greet with the men’s and women’s basketball coaches and teams and have been handing out t-shirts almost as fast as they can get them. You can walk around campus on any given day and see a Spartan fan showing off their school spirit, or maybe even an athlete in a Student Spartan Club shirt.

Give-aways and promotions have been playing a large part in this surge of support as well. Every night two goofy looking guys stand in the middle of the court and “Shake it up” for the Steak and Shake hula hoop contest or two children dress up in huge basketball uniforms and try to shoot baskets and the crowd goes crazy. (Not to mention that if the Spartans score 10 3-point shots every fan gets a free steak-burger.) All of these give-aways are thanks to UNCG’s new sports marketing staff. This year they have hired a whole new staff of innovative thinkers that have been coming up with great ideas and new sponsors. Old faithfuls in UNCG athletics like Wendy’s and Beefmaster are still being represented but recently Verizon was added and J.P. Looney’s a local bar that also shows UNCG sports on their big screen when they are televised, thanks to their satellite dish.

With hard work going on at the student and faculty level it isn’t surprising the results have been great. So, hope to see you at the next game. Oh, and by the way guys we have some great cheerleaders and a fabulous dance team.