Can athletic events be a tool for enrollment?

How can your school utilize athletic events and intramural sports to boost your enrollment efforts?

College Students At An Athletic Event

In 2019, more than 25 million people watched the college football national championship game. In 2018, 97 million viewers tuned in to watch the NCAA Final Four. With national coverage on these schools during the playoffs and tournaments, it’s no wonder that these schools reap the benefits.

We know not every college and university has this large-scale platform, but most college sports are far less expensive to attend leaving more people able to attend events. Utilizing athletic events in your enrollment and recruitment marketing strategy will help your team add another face-to-face interaction with potential students, in a setting other than a formal campus visit, where you can show them an authentic, “inside” look at your school. 

Here are 4 tips on how your school can best utilize your athletic events or even intramural sports in your enrollment efforts:

1. Get involved before the game.

If your school typically has a tailgate before a game, your admissions and enrollment team should have a family-friendly booth or tent to engage with the crowd. You can pass out water and snacks, and offer face-painting, etc. This is a great time for individual departments to shine. Be sure to promote any upcoming open houses, campus visit days or other events for potential applicants to attend.

2. Shine a spotlight on intramural sports.

Even if your school doesn’t have a large athletic department, intramural sports are another great way to show prospective students an authentic look at campus life and how to get involved at your school. Highlighting these on social media not only engages current students, but gives future students something to look forward to.

3. Take advantage of major events.

Homecoming is a time when many alumni bring their families back to campus. Host a special event during the days leading up to the “big game” for an opportunity to connect with and interview alumni to spotlight as success stories in your communications.

4. Include all sports in the action.

Sports are varied, just like your student base. Don't forget about soccer, volleyball, tennis and all other sports as opportunities for outreach. Host a special “future students” event to show off all the opportunities you have available, including your facilities. This is also a great time to highlight any additional benefits your school may have, such as free tickets for students to home games.

Interested in discussing other ideas for your recruitment marketing strategy? We'd love to talk!