Have you ever been cheering on your fellow Bulldog athletes and thought to yourself, “I should be getting paid for this?”
Well now that thought has become reality. Sort of.
A new incentive program called “Hype Dawgs” will soon be implemented to reward loyal Ferris State sports fans for their steadfast support of Bulldog athletics. The program gives Bulldog fans a chance to showcase their spirit and receive something in return.
The goal of the program is, “to enhance school spirit on campus, improve student attendance, and give students a safe, comfortable, fun positive choice,” said Ferris State Associate Athletic Director, Jon Coles.
The program was started by Coles and Ferris sports communication senior Megan Jean. It awards points to leaders for bringing five or more fans to any Ferris sporting event. The points given vary depending on multiple variables such as what sport the fan is attending, simply staying until the end of the event, or wearing Ferris State apparel to games.
These points can be redeemed for prizes ranging from Biggby gift-cards to Under Armor shoes and even a featured dasher board at Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The points do not go away after they are redeemed for prizes, which allows students to snowball Hype Dawg points and cash them in for bigger prizes as they bring fans to more games.
Coles and Jean hope that the incentive program will bring more fans to sporting events, especially sports with lower fan attendance such as tennis, basketball and softball.
Jean, who is a former Ferris State softball player, knows first-hand how increased crowd presence can have an effect on athlete performance.
“We just like to see support. It brings intensity to the game and we actually want to prove ourselves to our fans as well as our teammates. It’s just more exciting the more people that come,” Jean said.
Coles has also seen what increased fan attendance can result in for both the athletes and the crowd.
“A fun, lively, spirited fan presence is just as much fun for the fans as it is the student athletes. Not only are spirited atmospheres fun for everyone involved but research shows that students who are spirited are better academically, they are more engaged on campus and are happier overall than students who are not,” Coles said. “School spirit is a reflection of pride, determination and success on campuses. It goes hand-in-hand with the holistic experience that makes college so much fun. College is what you make of it and we have a great platform to create fun positive memories here.”
In order to become a Hype Dawg, fans must sign-up with Megan Jean. Jean can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The time and place of the first Hype Dawg meeting is to be announced.