Sunday, February 25, 2007

Iowa State University -- football schedule changes

February 23, 2007

To: ISU Athletic Department/National Cyclone Club (NCC)
From: Todd
Re: 2007 Football Season Tickets

Today I paid for our four football season tickets via telephone under protest because you have once again (done in 2006 also) moved an already scheduled Saturday game to a Thursday evening -- Kent State from September 1st to August 30th, 2007.

This upsets my family for the following reasons:

We printed the 2007 schedule from your website earlier this year then planned our August vacation based on the schedule so that we would return home on August 31st for the drive from Minnesota to Ames on September 1st for the game. Yes, I know you had a disclaimer stating dates may change but this has happened two years in a row now so how about some better long term planning?

Kent State University is NOT a worthy opponent for ISU to justify taking vacation time during a work week, securing a baby sitter, etc. for the 3 hour drive to Ames from Minnesota even if we were home from our vacation in time for this game. Playing such low quality teams just to get the Cyclones eligible for a bowl game seems to be a poor trade off because there is almost a “bowl game for everyone” as one sportscaster noted this season since there were over 30 bowl games. Even worse, what if you lose this game? I would rather lose two games to Texas and Ohio State versus one game to Kent State wouldn’t you? Let’s improve our team by having them play the great teams in the country to show our alumni supporters what we are up against if we want to compete at the highest levels.

The NCC staff told me today that the Kent State game was moved to “please the students given the Labor Day holiday weekend given their feedback……..”. I find this amazing since the vast majority of seats in the stadium appear to be filled with non-students/alums like my family. If you want to market to the students as a distinct market segment then create two season ticket packages. How many of those supportive students might not even return to school for Spring Semester 2008??

Since the NCC staff also told me that the Thursday night game, held in 2006 was, “so well received that we looked into doing another Thursday night game in 2007………..” So it took you from September 2006 to February 2007 to make such a decision?? That is a huge delay in terms of using marketing data/consumer feedback when it is fresh -- September 2006.

The last alumni geographic distribution data that I saw years ago showed that beyond the Ames/Des Moines corridor the Kansas City (a 3.5 hour drive to Ames) and the Minneapolis/St. Paul (a 3 to 3.5 hour drive to Ames) areas serve as the homes of the greatest concentration of ISU alumni. Shouldn’t your planning of a Thursday night football game take these demographics into consideration? If my statistics are out of date I would appreciate your insights regarding what the current distribution is today.


Despite my concerns noted in this memo I still plan to support the Cyclones and will be tracking their performance via my editorial comments, suggestions, and complaints such as this memo on my blog –

http://spacebeaglenotes.blogspot.com

which I will continue sharing with the alums I know so I can get a better sense of their feelings on issues such as this scheduling change. If I am over-reacting to this schedule change I would welcome a clear explanation for the athletic department management, NCC, or readers of my blog. We remain very upset with the re-scheduling of this game which you have forced my family to miss.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Todd,

You have to keep a few things in mind concerning ISU football.

1)They arent concerned about fans planning vacations around the schedule, hell that would never enter their mind. They have a hard enough time with the coaches and players not taking vacation during the season. From the play of last year I would assume lots of them did.

2)When there are less fans in the stadium there less fans to apologize to and the bathroom line goes from a 45 minute wait to a mere 33 minute wait.

3)If we didnt play teams like Kent State early on how would we fight for that winning season the final four games (usually only to be let down).

Have a great vacation up North and just for your infomation, I wont be going to the game either!

KG

jdsqrd said...

Kent State is not worth cutting the canoe trip short. Cyclones sports has disappointed me again and the season hasn't even started.

todd said...

For a team that was 4-8 last year you should be careful before you pencil in a win for the game against Kent State. The Cyclones only beat Toledo by 3 points last year and Kent State kicked the snot out of the Rockets.