Tulane Marketing Department Ramping Up

Tulane's marketing department is looking to build off the momentum of an offseason filled with big news for Tulane Football. TulaneInsider talked to Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing, Promotions, and Event Sales, Jason Potuto to get the low down on what Tulane was going to do to capitalize on this momentum.

Tulane's marketing department is looking to build off the momentum of an offseason filled with big news for Tulane Football. The ball started rolling with the announcement of the hiring of former Saints Wide-Receiver coach, Curtis Johnson, as the new head coach of Tulane Football. The new hire was immediately followed by the announcement of what many fans have been clamoring for since old Tulane Stadium was torn down, a new on-campus football stadium. The new stadium presented a new opportunity for the Tulane Athletic Department. "When we knew about the stadium coming back to campus, as an athletic department, we had to come together and ask ourselves, ‘how are we going to capitalize on this'", said Jason Potuto, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing, Promotions, and Event Sales at Tulane. What they ended up doing on the marketing side was partner with the Aspire Group based out of Atlanta, GA, who is the premier company in outside athletics sales. "The partnership with Aspire has allowed for an outside group with their own call center, employees, and managers whose sole task is to boost our fan base," Potuto explained, "but it has also allowed for our inside sales staff to focus more on maintaining our current season ticket holder relationships and their game day experience." Potuto says that while they have been with Aspire for about a year now, without a doubt Tulane has sold more "new" season ticket accounts in this calendar year because of Coach Johnson and the stadium news than in any of the 5 years he has been with the department. Couple these announcements with the outstanding recruiting efforts of the Coaching Staff to capture 17 commits for next season already, and you get what Potuto calls a "perfect storm" for a marketing and sales department.

Tulane Marketing is looking to capture this lightning in a bottle and use it to help fuel attendance at the Green Wave's home opener on September 1 against Rutgers with the "#TUnite" campaign. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network, and the first 5,000 fans through the doors at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will get a "Unite" rally towel. Tulane has been covering the city in advertisements, sending their message through the internet on the four major local media players online, eleven different radio spots, newspaper ads, and old fashioned word of mouth.

Tailgating is also making more use of the new Champion's Square area for the first game. "Last year we used Champion's Square for homecoming and it was fantastic with the whole atmosphere, pageantry, marching band, and tents, so when we saw The Opening game on the schedule for 7:00 pm, we knew we had so do something special to usher in the new era," Potuto explained. Coach Johnson will be bringing his team through for a pre-game walkthrough the tailgating village to bring the team together with its most enthusiastic supporters before game time. While this kind of tailgating blow out is not sustainable for every home game, it will be replicated for the showcase homecoming game.

Tulane is taking a step into the future with the use of social media platforms to keep the buzz going. On Twitter, fans can use the hashtag #TUnite for any and all posts about Green Wave football leading up to the first game. Fans that use the #TUnite hashtag will be automatically entered into a drawing for 4 sideline tickets to the September 22 premier matchup against Ole Miss. The Tulane Team Shop is also getting into the Twitter action promoting the Tulane Fan Day with the hashtag #TUFanDay which has already announced free T-shirts for the first 500 fans and free pita's from Pita Pit, with more info coming soon. Facebook was not forgotten either as Tulane has partnered with local station WWL for a sweepstakes to win football season tickets.

Coach Curtis Johnson has made it easier to sell the program to potential fans. The department has been inviting new, existing, and potential season ticket holders to practice to see just what product they are investing in, and Potuto said that Johnson has been a "perfect vehicle" for the message they are trying to send. "I go out and wear my Tulane hat, and nearly everyone who stops me wants to talk about Coach Johnson," Potuto explained. Coach Johnson started his tenure by declaring the "State of Tulane" and the Marketing Department is looking to take it one step further with their message of #TUnite. Coach Johnson is even booked to talk to new freshmen at orientation and to help out students moving in with his players. If there is one thing fans can do, it is to help spread the word. "All of the media coverage we have been getting since the start of practice has been great, but we want to keep it going; fans can help by taking the two minutes out of their day to tweet, email, or spread the word that this is now the state of Tulane!"

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