Clemson Soccer Experience Kelsey Mangano, Walker Calhoun, L.J. Kleger, Chase Pinder, Artavis Scott, Marcquise Reed

Background

-Highest level of collegiate soccer (ACC)

-Ranked in the top 10 nationally

-3 straights NCAA tournament experiences (29 total)

-15 players on professional rosters

-2 National Championships

Goals of our Study

-Increase attendance at men’s soccer games

- Understand what motivates students to attend soccer games

- Understand the lack of student support at soccer games

-Provide the Clemson University Marketing Department with a strategic insight to increase student attendance

Research Methods

1. Case Study

-Focus on specific event

-Multiple artifacts (interviews, social media)

2. Phenomenological

-Observation of experience

Gathering the Data

  1. Previous Research
  2. Observation on site
  3. Interviews (29 interviews at the game, 12 on campus)

Interview Questions

  1. Basic Demographics
  2. What brought you to the game tonight? (only at game interviews)
  3. Do you follow Clemson Soccer on any social media?
  4. Did you grow up playing soccer?

Findings & Themes for Students in Attendance

  1. Students in attendance were more likely to have played soccer growing up
  2. Free give-aways are a strong incentive for students to attend the games. "Free things make people come" (Participant 19)
  3. Social media is the main source of game information for students
  4. Personal connection with team members influenced game attendance

Findings & Themes for Students Not in Attendance

  1. Lack of social motivation to attend: "You can't really miss a football game because it's the Clemson atmosphere, Clemson family. You gotta go tailgating and basketball is more for social reasons" (Participant B)
  2. “I'm sure I would like to go to more games but there is not much hype about them so I don't think about going" (Participant A)
  3. Social media: The majority of participants not in attendance did not follow Clemson soccer on social media (lack of awareness)

Discussion & Reccomendations

There is a strong loyal fan base, but it is small

Defining the Clemson Soccer Experience: There is an untapped potential within the Clemson student population

  1. Capitalize on social media
  2. Create an exciting social atmosphere and FOMO
  3. Target students who are not already going to games
  • Future research
  • Longer study
  • Ethnographic study
  • Capitalize on post-season
  • Case study of other successful universities

Questions?

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