Puck Swami: Pioneer Points To Boost DU Student Attendance


Photo Credit: Denver Post

We’ve written several articles here at LetsGoDU about the ongoing need for better game attendance at DU sports events, as low attendance erodes the relevance of DU sports in our community. Without spectators, our games slip into obscurity and are only relevant to participants, friends and family. Spectators are also crucial to winning more games due to crowd support, recruiting better players and coaches, the development of school spirit and shared DU experiences, exposure and reputation gains, as well as a better financial reward for our sports programs.

Student attendance is the core metric that matters most, in our view. Students are the ones who drive the atmosphere at most DU sporting events, and they create the noise, support and whatever home advantage they can.

So it’s good to see DU taking the next step in rewarding students for attending sporting events by developing the Pioneer Points program. You can read a good article about it here from the Clarion, DU’s student newspaper.

After reading the article, I have a few more suggestions to take the points program to the next level:

1. Reward those who stay for the whole game: I’m glad to see DU rewarding early arrivals with bonus points for swipes an hour before game time. DU should also reward bonus points for game exit swipes 5-20 minutes after the game ends to encourage students to stay for the duration of games. Far too many students leave games early, and by rewarding them for staying, some will stay and cheer to the end.

2. Award points for expressing great fan behavior: Have roving scanners in the student section to reward those students who go out of their way to bring noise or school spirit to the games. Reward the sign-makers, noise-makers, DU regalia-wearers, and others who start successful cheers or who bring extra effort to the spectator experience.

3. Award extra points for those who bring groups of 3 or more friends to the game. We want more fans to come, so reward those fans who generate more fans. DU would need to figure out a way to track this, but it could be done.

4. Award those fans who display knowledge of DU sports with extra points through quizzes, socreboard contests, social media and for answering questions (correctly) from in-game hosts, as we try to grow more engagement and emotional attachment to our sports programs.

5. Award major prizes to the points winners at the end of each quarter and the end of the year, too. Showering the best fans with the best prizes will make others want to earn them too.

Please share your other ideas below, in the comments section. Go Pios!

Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a long-time DU fan and alumnus.