UNC Charlotte had tried all the traditional marketing techniques – but the external and marketing staff knew they could do more. They were frustrated by the lack of student attendance and school spirit. Both the staff and their passionate alumni base believed that the student population would go to games if it were the thing to do.
UNC Charlotte needed help with their student section and the campus culture, and they were starting from scratch. Coming out of Covid, the already apathetic culture had taken a step back. With a possible pending conference transition, they were eager to get started and launch the student section correctly.
Biggest Fan started working with Charlotte in February of 2022.To begin, we scheduled a site visit to meet their staff, identify leaders, see campus and watch a game. We marketed the student leadership positions leading up to that visit, conducted interviews and narrowed it down to a handful of leaders. We hosted a meeting before a basketball game and three students show up: Caleb, Shawn and Sanad. These three became the founding three Gold Mine leaders. Once Caleb graduated, we successfully backfilled his leadership with another young passionate leader, Nate.
During our time working together, the entire marketing staff turned over so we had to catch up the new marketing staff to our systems while also explaining the history of the Gold Mine and the future vision. They jumped right in and helped support the efforts of the leaders and Biggest Fan.
We successfully launched a student section from scratch into one that is now known around campus and among alumni. Multiple games during the 22-23 season were student sellouts receiving positive accolades from the AD and alumni saying it was the most electric environment in years. We launched a brand (name, logo, slogan), we identified and trained leaders, built systems for long term success and increased overall attendance and engagement.
The Gold Mine wouldn't exist without the marketing team realizing they needed to do something different and engage with Biggest Fan. The credit belongs to the student leaders who have put in so much time and effort to get the Gold Mine off the ground. Though it's still the early phase of the student section and a lot of work needs to be done with production and spirit, the Gold Mine is ready to go and will be changing lives and games well into the future.