I thought that myself when I read that article that talked about a Data Scientist(tm)
Michigan's best-in-class loyalty program has a painfully assembled acronym, which is never a good sign. The details:
The new program will award a student two loyalty points for each non-revenue sporting event they attend. Students attending revenue sports, like football, won't get two loyalty points unless they're early to games.
"In order to get full two points [at revenue sporting events] you have to at least check-in 20 minutes before game time," …
The HAIL rewards scale:
- 12 points: A Michigan shirt worth $10.
- 25 points: $5 'blue bucks' deposited directly in students' U-M account.
- 50 points: Adidas shirt and bag
- 80 points: Students get $100 in a Flagstar Bank checking account. They also get a Victors Club priority point, which can be use for priority standing when obtaining football or basketball tickets.
- 100 points: Students receive an invitation to a private athletic department event and get entered to win one of three grand prizes. One grand prize includes season tickets to football, basketball and hockey games for one student. Another grand prize is a $2,000 cash award and another is a two roundtrip airline tickets.
- The highest point earner will receive recognition during a 2013 home football game.
The article leads off with this justification of the loyalty program…
Wolverine fans, remember Rocket Man? Or the card trick at Michigan Stadium last year?
If you do, you probably remember that Rocket Man was flying toward a near-empty student section and the northwest section of the stadium was sparsely populated during the card trick.
Those pre-gaming students aren't exactly reliable at showing up on time.
…that everyone associated with the program except the missing students is on-board with. But then it says "that's probably about to change." I'm not sure the proposed rewards are sufficient for that statement to be made, but CEO's New Clothes and all that.
the proposed solution: free pencil sharpeners
For students who only attend football games—the vast majority since there are approximately 10x more football season ticket holders than basketball or hockey—there are two groups the loyalty program divides you into:
Instead of using ticket scans they're making you check in with an app or register at a booth, dropping some number of free shirt people into the no free shirt group because they can't be bothered.
Q: If you were a drunken, 20-minutes-late stumbler last year, is the prospect of not getting yet another yellow shirt going to turn you into R. Lee Ermey?
A: I am so wasted.
The other bits might help flesh out the sparse end of the Yost student section, but to get to the first actual prize (100 bucks, Victors club point) on the list you need to attend 40 events. If you're going to revenue games you have this available:
Getting to football 20 minutes early is right and just and gets you in to see the band. Getting to hockey or basketball 20 minutes early allows you to hear Nickelback at loud volumes. How many kids are…
I'm guessing the number there is exactly zero.
A student loyalty program should be based on ticket scans and determine priority for next year's seating and and bowl/NCAA lotteries plus involve a number of Victors Club points worthwhile enough to pursue. Those who can't show up on time at all should not get tickets that could go to better-paying and plain better fans. The above plan is a nice bonus for kids who are already fanatics but completely fails to address the major issue.
PROTIP for student mgoblog readers: location spoofer. Wave to me from the field, plz.
Oh, it is lame. Really, really lame. If ever we as a student body were to get such a thing organized, there's no way the exchange rate would be anywhere near 1:1.
There is an easy solution to this problem: General Admission Student Tickets
And no this doesn't cut into pre-game drinking time, just moves it up. When I went to the Iowa vs Michigan game last year the student section, which is general admission, was packed way before the game started. Frat stars will just have to wake up at 7 instead of 8 if they want to drink heavily and still get a good seat.
Also, the atmosphere in student sections that are first come first serve are way better. All of the early entrees will have fellow diehard fans to go nuts with and all of the drunk kids can be puking with their buddies in row 90.
I'd be worried about fights and disagreemnts myself. Where a mob of unruly drunken guys decide they're going to fit their buddies onto the bleacher, no matter what it takes.
I graduated in 1998 and make it back to campus a couple times a year for a game. One thing I have noticed is a huge increase in the amount of pre-game binge drinking that occurs. I can't tell if this is because I ama) older and more cranky or b) an actual change. If it is an actual change I wonder how much of it is cultural/societal and how much is situational. Afterall, if I had to be a student during the Rich Rod era, I too would be reluctant to go to the stadium.
Anybody have insight or is this just me?
if you were out to the wee hours of Saturday morning, you probably needed a solid meal and did not need alcohol before a noon game. That said we could sneak a limited quantity of alcohol in (limited enough that most people would not get out of hand).
So get up, grab a couple fragels on the way, and walk to the game with your masked drink of choice and party while at the game.
Todays students are apparently faced with either drink enough in advanced to be merry the whole time or go hungover.
I think the change in container policy, combined with 2007-2010 are driving most of this.
Maybe if they offered reduced cost with studentship ID or student meal plan food inside the stadium from 30 to 5 minutes before kickoff more would quit drinking earlier and head over for breakfast.
Then there is we're too busy studing. (yeah, right)
I kinda think this may just work its way through as the students weaned on 2007, 2008, and 2009 move on.
Then again I think the home schedule this year is not going to drive early attendance.
Also, no more fragels. I think the abandoned husk of the fragel place is even gone now too.
Back in the 80s. It was hard to shake the hangover to get a good start before noon. Not impossible, just tougher.
Back in the late '70's, guys were actually able to routinely get quarter kegs into the stadium grounds (I think Don has mentioned this as well).
Many of us in the '80's would take 2L bottles of coke, half of it poured out and replaced with rum, into the stadiums. Flasks or skins were ubiquitous.
I must assume, given your observations of binge-drinking, that the students are now somehow able to get stills into the stadium.
were and not we're. But don't let that deter you from correcting my grammar and spelling in the future. Aint none of us be too old to learn this here language moar better.
Regarding the 3L, it was probably a little beyond our needs and capacities.
Edit: Oh, and your (not you're) post is awesome too!
to asininity, I will definitely defer to your first-hand expertise as clearly exemplified by your numerous puerile posts. Clearly, no one on this blog is more familiar with it than you.
BlueLotSpew, I really like you. Like the medieval court jester, you are a funny guy. I am glad for you that, at MGoBlog, you have finally found your village.
Thanks for reminding me again why this isn't a State blog.
I was in the student section for most of the 90s and there was plenty of binge drinking. It was traditional for at least one, presumably, freshman woman to vomit and pass out and need medical attention during the OOC schedule. We were always amused by watching the unsuspecting trod through the vomit later.
I myself was plenty guilty of... enjoying myself. I had a long coat with enough pockets to sneak in an entire 6 pack to avoid 2nd half let downs. In those days, they were only concerned with making sure you weren't bringing in marshmallows to pelt Lynn Swann with.
I haven't been back since Henne's first start in 2004 ('that's not Gutz who is that?') so maybe things have gotten worse but they were plenty active from my perspective back in the day.
the environment in the stadium. This would be a few years before you attended games.
There was a tradition during games (particularly ones that were not "big" or close games) of male students (in the student section, obvsly) picking up very good-looking women and "passing them up" row-by-row, all the way to the top of the stadium (no, they didn't throw them out of the stadium like they did with the footballs from opponents' scores). I was always amazed that this was tolerated on so many levels as the woman, with literally hundreds of hands on her (uh, yeah) as she passed all the way up the stands, was well groped by then end of it all.
This practice was finally ended when one woman (actually a friend of mine) was dropped on the way up and required surgery to fix a dislocated shoulder.
I do recall some passing of women around in the early 90s.
On the Wolverine Historian vids, you can also see TP being thrown around amidst general pandemonium after big plays in earlier decades.
The student section really used to be a lawless DMZ--but in a good way. Their are precious few times in our lives like that (outside of actual DMZs.) It would make me sad if the student section has been sanitized and that has changed.
I miss the insane euphoric atmosphere of those game. Outside of the student sections, it wasn't the same.
to come down on the passing up of women as it was dangerous and, well, was a bad environment for women. I'll tell you I would never allow my girlfriend to be passed up.
The toilet paper never bothered me. It was quite harmless and if it got anywhere near the field, relatively easy to clean up. But I never was a fan of the marshmallows. I think this was introduced sometime in the '90's, but I could be wrong. The endzone never got cleaned up after the first score, and thus looked pretty trashy. But there are worse things for sure.
On the positive side, the player interaction after the game has been a great, recent tradition. I wouldn't trade anything for Denard Robinson and the rest of the team, in the student section affter a victory, The Victors blaring, for anything. During my time at Michigan Stadium, after the game, the fans left and the band played to a sparse, inattentive audience. Now appears (haven't been to a game in almost 2 decades) to be much, much better.
Not sure what this says about me, but I think it's fun to be passed up the stands. In fact, I jumped into a crowd of unsuspecting undergrads at Northwestern this year. Friendly gate attendant's response: "That looks like fun." Gotta love Evanston!
I'm just going to say it: There's no need for a system to get students in on time. None. This is not a problem. People saying it "looks bad" have probably forgotten what it is like to be a student. Either you're Mr. Party guy who was going to stumble in at the last second anyway, or you're so freaking busy (hello engineering students!) that you're probably not going to go anyway.
I mean really, if you're a student are you going to be crushed by the fact that you missed the rocket man?
Why have tickets anyway? Don't buy them and let someone who actually wants to and has the time to go see, you know, football, and let them be sold to those people.
The rest of us (yes, even alums) are guests. Also, they've purchased their tickets. If they want to be late, leave early then let em be.
Maybe when the rest of the stadium can get its act together and maybe join in a maize out or make equivical noise we can start to complain.
The games are for the PLAYERS. Students just delude themselves that it's bread and circuses for them. And while you're right that we're all guests, the guys who have been paying money for years and making the donations to pay for the players activities are more honored guests than the cheap seats; that's just how it is. But I was a student at one time, and felt the same way. But I did outgrow it.
The games are for students, particularly the players who are also students. The folks who donate money allow this to happen on a grander scale but I don't believe they are more honored guests. I still feel this way and haven't been a student for 25 years.
Or deciding the later kickoff time like TV is, let me know.
But it's in no way there for the students "entertainment." It's inter murals for the student athlete that has become so popular on such a grand scale that 100,000 people show up to watch it and millions tune in. If it is as it should be, about the players, then the least one can do to honor their efforts, blood, sweat, and tears is to show up on time to support them and not rather be taking another shot or throwing a bag filled with corn one more time.
And as someone who has been through the process, how any game moments do you remember from your time as a student, and how many pre-game drinking moments stick with you after all these years? I constantly see people on here who wish they could get back to a game after college. I rarely see them lamenting not being able to do a keg stand while corn holing.
Leave the students alone. Some of you don't care that they stay up fucking late studying. Leave the students alone. Some of them are going thru difficult times with their significant others, and you bastards want their fanny's in the seats at an ungodly hour of the afternoon. All you want is MORE MORE MORE. Leave the students alone.
How about giving the loudest, jumpinest, enthusiastiest, not yelling down in frontiest, fuddy duddy, an appropriate reward.
Maybe a "I can't see the game because of all the cheering" T-shirt or a shirt that say, "down in front" on the front, and "keep it down" on the back. Or "shh, or I'll have to adjust my Miracle Ear"
It's going to be embarrassing when they have to announce the previous year's winner, who didn't even have enough points to win a stupid t-shirt.
The challenge with any kind of rewards/incentive program is that the net benefit you get from changing someone's behavior has to exceed the expense you incur from compensating someone who would have exhibited the preferred behavior with or without the incentive (e.g., Lloyd Brady). At first glance, this program doesn't appear very promising.
A more effective way of doing it may be to identify people who have either shown a pattern of tardiness at football/basketball/hockey games, or who shun non revenue-producing sports. Those folks could be offered an incentive to carry out whichever of these behaviors they are not exhibiting. Data could be acquired from ticket purchases and scans.
Of course, the students would not have any insight into why they did or did not receive an offer, as that would create a feeling of unfairness (and could backfire, as early birds would start showing up late in order to receive the latest offer), however targeted email offers (for example) could be effective.
that they have no access to the bathrooms until the final gun.
Don, you may want to re-think that.
You really want drunken students with no access to the restrooms, to be in the stands.
What do you think they are going to do? And do you really want to be there in the stadium with them when they do it????
Rocket Man last year? I remember "Rocket" Ismail but that seems like it was 23 years ago.
The problem is less the binge drinking as it is being social in general. While it may look like big crowds in front lawns are just getting hammered, in reality they're at one location for 20 minutes, then finding friends elsewhere. In my experience, the biggest reason people are late is because groups are just slow. People have to stop by their friend's pre-game because they promised they would, then they have to take pictures, then they have to wait for their other friend to meet up with them, THEN they'll walk to the stadium. By that time they're 20 minutes late and their boyfriend is mad that he missed the band. Or so I've heard.
Groups are slow because there is always that one girl who has to pee before you leave... and it takes her 20 minutes because she won't go in a strange house.
Guys simply pee in the bushes...
I love mgoblog but the is the first post I've read that compelled me to actuallty create an account and comment on a post. As a recently graduated student (LSA 2011) I sort of feel the need to stick up for the other students here. I'm honestly confused as to why so many people feel like the stadium needs to be packed from the get go. Generally speaking, the student section cheers the loudest, stands the entire game, stays the longest, wears the most maize, and supports non-revelue sports to a much larger degree.
Why is it such a big deal if they want to play an extra game of beer pong and end up showing up a little late? It was always my goal to get to the game by kickoff, sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn't (though I was always there within 5 - 10 minutes of it). The students add a ton to the atmosphere on game day, so can we get off their backs a little bit?
"They don't share my priorities, and so they're wrong!"
You can't stand for the ENTIRE game if you show up halfway through the 2nd quarter.
You stand because everyone behind you is standing on your seat.
As for an extra game of beer pong, Hellz Yeah! Why not another funnel from the second floor and pulling anchor on anchorman... now we're talking. BTW - Funnels allow you to drink a six pack and make it to the game on time. You just get one hell of a buzz around kickoff.
Well, the asshat store called and they're running out of you.
You are probably unemployed, so let me clue you in to how the real world works. If you are being asked to be somewhere at a certain time, and you do not comply, there are consequences. That how things work in the Big Boy world. Football games are optional and as such, if you can't be there on time, there are 10 other people that are happy to take your place.
Ummmm.... LSA houses mathematics. I have friends that were math majors that are making much more than me. Plus, you're a dick.
I think people recognize that the student section is important to the homefield advantage. That's why it's frustrating to have them not be there - we need them.
I'm completely in favor of general-admission seating for students. The students who truly care will make sure to be there on time. The ones who feel that one that last game of beer pong is a higher priority than getting to the game on time will be compensated with poor seats.
Recent grad here also.
Now that people aren't students it's really easy to say, "Yeah let's make the students' tickets General Admission!"
Actually I think that would have the opposite effect, more students would say "crap I'm already late, why would I go sit in the last row when I can keep drinking here and watch the game on my 60" big screen with 18 million camera angles and instant replay (via DVR) whenever I want it? I'm just not going."
G&A tickets might get the first 50% in the door earlier, but it would probably leave the top sections empty the WHOLE GAME.
Actually, the student section, for all practical purposes, was general admission for a long time. Students had individual seats but it was rare for ushers to ever check, and the few students who dared to call in an usher to complain were pretty much laughed at. I don't know if I ever sat in my official seat when I was a student. A lot of times I didn't even sit in the "correct" section. People pretty much went where they wanted to. This did not lead to scores of empty seats. Watch any game from the 1980s/90s/early 00s and you won't see the emptiness in the student section you do now.
Only in the last decade or so has the student section been more serious about assigned seats, and the problem of fan tardiness has been getting progressively worse. General-admission seating would guarantee - at the least - that the bulk of the student section would be full at kickoff. If the top few rows are empty but every other row is full, that'd still be a huge improvement over the way it's been lately.
I remember a few people who stopped going to games in 2007 after THE HORROR, but a TON of people stopped going to games in 2008. Honestly I think three years of losing changed the pregame culture on campus for undergrads. And I think that's sad. I don't think it turns around overnight, but hopefully its better this fall.
I'll bet the big house will be packed for the opener this year against Alabama... wait... nevermind.
Entitlement. It happened at the turn of the century.
I swear I'm not that old (LSA 2006), but your comment really got my old man rage going.In my day (a whole 6 years ago), students did all the stuff you just listed (standing, being loud, wearing maize, etc.) AND THEY SHOWED UP ON GODDAMN TIME OR CLOSE ENOUGH TO IT THAT IT DIDN't MATTER.
Fergodsakes, the Nebraska game was humiliating. The Nebraska fans couldn't believe the student section was half empty late in the first quarter. Thankfully, they forgot about that once Mike Martin forced a pitch from the backside.
We care that the students show up late because they're supposed to be the most passionate fans and it looks like they don't give a shit. Seriously, it's not that hard.
And what's worse is that Nebraska (and the other five B10 schools in Central time) have to play a lot of home games at 11:00 a.m. to accommodate TV. We get an extra hour for early kickoff games. We really have no excuse.
I went to the Minnesota and Purdue games last year. Not two of our biggest opponents although Purdue was our homecoming game. It couldn't have been more than 35% full 5 minutes into the first quarter. I thought THAT was embarrassing in itself but I somehow convinced myself that it would be better for bigger opponents.
That's why it's surprising to hear this was no different when Nebraska came to town.
This year's home schedule is not even half as attractive as last year's. Our only big home game is against Sparty. I'm afraid of the effect this will have on students actually showing up.
By a bunch of Nebraska fans who you've never met before and will never meet again? I think they're probably going to spend more time talking about the beat down they got rather than how full the student section was at the beginning of the game. I'm honestly not trying to be antagonistic. Changing the seating to general admisision seems like it might help the problem and would be a genuine way to reward people who show up on time. just really don't think this is that big of a deal.
Agrees with you.
Current senior saying hell ya. 1 more beer!! 1 more beer!!
This loyalty measure will be a real game changer in student section behavior. They'll suddenly all start showing up 20 minutes early, packing the section, so that it no longer looks to millions of viewers on national television like the University of Michigan has an entire student section full of apathetics. What a relief it will be when....oh wait. OK. Now I'm picking up on the sarcasm....
Having had season football and hockey tix from 1993 - 2002 (as a student... yes, I know... COLLEGE):
1. Hockey used to be a "sleep outside the ticket office" until priority by number of years. Is that still the case? I was pretty much guaranteed to be behind the parents at center ice by my 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th years of student tix.
2. A free t-shirt? Are you shitting me? You can get one for fraudently filling out a credit card app at the stadium.
3. Why not discounted Bowl tickets as a reward if you are ON TIME. 20 minutes early in the seats, I don't see the point.
At $80 for season tix, I don't think the students really care all that much about being on time. Now, if you gave say - 12 free Little Caesar's Pizzas from the Union, that would probably change some tunes. Is there still a LC at the Union? I always traded in my meal credits for dollars so I could eat Subway and by CDs at the Union....