Aug. 19, 2009
Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass
On Indiana Athletics' new partnership with Smithville Telephone
"I have a really exciting announcement that we have been working on here for a long time. We recently inked a deal with Smithville Telephone, and Smithville CEO Darby McCarty, entering into a long-term, multi-year arrangement where they will be the telecommunications sponsor of Indiana University Athletics.
This is a big deal for us and we have been working on it for a long time. This is one of the most innovative telecommunications companies not only in the state of Indiana and the region, but also the entire country. Their arrangement will include signage at all of our venues, and I know Darby is as interested in our Olympic sports as she is football and basketball. There will be statewide radio and presence on our website as well. We are thrilled with the partnership with Smithville."
Smithville Telephone CEO Darby McCarty
"As a state of Indiana corporation, we are thrilled to be the exclusive telecommunications sponsor for IU Sports Properties. We look forward to an exciting year working with IU Athletics and Learfield Corp. We are proud of our local community and happy to support an organization like Indiana University. Indiana University Athletics has always strived to epitomize the same degree of commitment to hard work and fair competition that Smithville holds as a high regard as a state of Indiana corporation. Thank you."
On the new North End Zone Facility
"When we were in Chicago we really focused on talking about the improvements we were making in football to our facilities. We stand in a beautiful stadium and I want again to give credit to Rick Greenspan and Adam Herbert for their vision and effort in making this happen. I called Rick the day we moved in and left a message on his voicemail saying how much I appreciated the opportunity to walk in and be in that office and be part of this football facility.
"I want to make sure being on this end that I pay respect to the people that really made this happen. I didn't have anything to do with this place; it was Rick, Adam and a lot of other people around the University (who made this happen) and I want to publicly thank them."
On the addition of Knothole Park
"We are trying to do some things in the balance of the stadium to make the whole thing work together. As you are around you will notice painting around the stadium, the south end zone scoreboard and the work we are doing there. We are going to paint the legs candy stripe pants style. The key component to the stadium, other than the North End Zone, is Knothole Park.
"We are going to have a sign down there that says `Knothole Park at Memorial Stadium.' We will have a replica field turf field that will look just like the big field and let kids run around down there. We are going to allow fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations to chalk what we are going to call Knothole Park Road, which is the trail that comes down there. We are going to allow them to plant their flags that reflect their association. What we are really trying to do is think fun. It is all about college, about fun and having a good time. We want the pageantry and the excitement and spontaneity.
"Today I want to focus on the new experiences that I am excited about."
On the new "Kicks for Keeps" Program
"The thing I like the most is we are going to do a `Kicks for Keeps' program. I arm-wrestled our CFO and business office to do this. We are not going to put up big nets to catch the footballs. We are going to allow people to kick away. Extra points, field goals, they are going to go into the stands and some lucky Hoosier fan will take home a regulation football. Also, we are going to kick away for the other teams, but we are going to try to create a Wrigley Field kind of buzz that real Hoosier fans throw it back. We will be, much to my business office's chagrin, will be having a lot of these footballs going into the stands and taken home by what we hope will be come lifelong Hoosiers. It will cost us a little money, but I think these are the kind of connections that help get people to come to games and become life-long fans. In game only, by the way."
On the new game day t-shirt and Crimson Club
"We have a game day t-shirt, which I think is going to be cool. We had 10 different entries and over 7,000 votes cast in a very short period of time. We are excited about the interest that is has generated and we have a young man named Wes Jones who is a junior majoring in accounting, from Indianapolis, Indiana, who came up with `Never Daunted, Will Not Falter.' That entry won and we will have game day t-shirts for all the students.
"That is part of our Crimson Club rewards program. We are trying to help drive attendance at multiple sports by giving kids priority points if they go to a volleyball game, soccer game, and other games. And we will be nimble and can adjust how many points they get. So if we have a big game against Purdue for first place in volleyball on Friday night, we can say five times the points for going to the game. And then they are able to get stuff like iPods, TVs and other things."
On the game day posters
"We are going back to the throwback game posters. We did that in basketball. We are having fun with that again. We actually had a contest among 75 people that entered to be the poster developer of Indiana University Athletics."
On the "Red Light Specials"
"Red light specials. This is another one that I like. It wasn't immediately popular among the staff, but I won them over. Some of you remember the blue light specials at K-Mart where while the blue light special is on you get whatever you get. We are going to do a red light special where at different times in the game a red light goes on, and hot dogs are a dollar. Or the first 50 kids get a take-home megaphone. So we are going to have fun with that. I think it will be good and will keep people wondering when the red light special is come on and to hang around."
On ushers and hospitality
"We are going to emphasize to our ushers that it is all about hospitality. They are going to wear gigantic buttons that say `ask me how I can make you have a great experience.' We are about hospitality and making sure people have fun at the game. We have a great partner in Andy Frain and they are embracing this. We are excited about that partnership.
"On top of that we are creating a think we call Hoosier Helpers. It will be local folks, primarily retired people, who will be empowered with the ability to make sure people have a great time. So if a young family finds itself next to some people that are kind of rowdy, they'll have tickets to me able to move that family to a more preferred spot. Or, if a gentlemen is not doing well in the sun and wants to be in the shadow of the press box, or a variety of things, these Hoosier Helpers are going to try to make sure people have a great experience at Indiana University."
On improvements in ticketing
"We are going to have more scanners at the gates. We hopefully will have tons of people who will have a really easy way into the stadium because we have invested $100,000 in more ticket windows; we've invested in more scanners. I think that will make the game experience easier in terms of getting into the building."
"We are going to do a little green with the red. We have embraced the University's initiative in sustainability. We are going to have recycling bins all around the athletic campus and encourage people not only in the stadium, but outside the stadium proper to deal appropriately with their trash and recycle as much as possible."
On traffic issues
"We really feel like we are going to be making progress (with traffic). There is no magic wand. We are trying to get a lot of people through the same general corridor to the same point at the same time. Still, it is really important that people come early and use common sense. What will happen is I think the very frustrating choke points: 465 at 37, Martinsville, the bypass and 17th street, are going to be eased because of our partnership with INDOT, our signal timing and monitoring those choke points, better cooperation among law enforcement agencies to make sure we are all working together. Most visible is the circular pattern that will go around Memorial Stadium so people are just turning right and will enable traffic to run more smoothly. We are listening about traffic, we are working on traffic, but it is not going to be perfect. But I will be very surprised if it is not better."
On Hoosier Village and student ticketing
"Hoosier Village is the tailgating event that the alumni association hosts behind the DeVault Center. We are really excited that the alumni association is going to be expanding that footprint to really cover the main areas where tailgating has traditionally occurred south of 17th street. They are going to expand that by having a stage that is moved over to the west. We are going to have a Hoosier Hostess that will remind Hoosier fans, hey, game time is three hours; game time is in two hours; game time is in an hour. We packaged that off of Green Bay and the Green Bay Packers. So we think that will be positive. We are going to have on-site ticket sales. Again, $5 ticket for IU students; $5 tickets for anyone with a valid college ID.
"We are a destination campus. This is a fun place to go; it is where people want to be. So if a kid as a ticket that their dad bought them at orientation, but their three friends from Miami (Ohio) or Ball State are saying `I am not going to spend $20 to go to the game.' Well, now they can come for $5. If we get inundated with student tickets for $5, I will deal happily with that challenge down stream. But right now I think it will help drive attendance by our own students. And that is one of the outcomes of the study the Kelley School of Business research academy folks did for us.
"We are going to have more port-o-lets, more trashcans, and create an environment in Hoosier Village that people enjoy. We don't want to step on that fun. It's collegiate, it's good. But we don't want the thing to be out of control. And just like Hoosier Village has been closed at kick off, this expanded Hoosier Village will also be closed at kick off. Hopefully that will drive attendance over the game.
"One of the things that we think will encourage that is the Fan Walk. The team walks in well before the game. We are going to have a second walk that we are calling the Fan Walk that will be led by different people. We will shut down traffic on 17th street and hopefully create a culture and environment where everybody wants to be part of that Fan Walk."
On the band
"The band is going to be more engaged. First of all, they are going to be in the north end zone and it will sound better. They are going to let loose, be a little wackier and more collegiate. They are going to have some fun things that are going to be important to the game and hopefully the fans will join in."
On Memorial Stadium
"The last thing I want to mention...we are Memorial Stadium but I don't think we talk enough about it being Memorial Stadium. We will be labeling and branding it more like Memorial Stadium. One thing that makes Memorial Stadium Memorial Stadium are the battleship guns that are on the west side of the stadium. Our signature thing is going to be, when IU scores, on the JumboTron you are going to see those guns shooting like a military salute and the loudest reverberation that we can possible conjure up in the stadium. So if we score seven, it's going to be (boom) seven times. That is going to be our answer to what some other stadiums do to celebrate their scoring.
"I think there is going to be a lot of action in the stadium. It is going to be fun. The facilities are going to be great, but it's about what you do inside. I know Coach Lynch and his guys are going to be doing great things on the field. We are very enthused and optimistic about that. We are going to try to support them in every way we can by making the fan experience one that people really enjoy."