Sidewalk fans

Augusta_Jacket

Helluva Engineer
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Augusta, Georgia
As a Non-GT alum, (Coast Guard Academy), I wish the GTAA would put more emphasis on capturing "sidewalk" fans and turning them into season ticket holders. I grew up a GT fan, so it was a no-brainer for me to return to my roots. Plus, USCGA is D-III and it's hard to even get RESULTS of their games during the fall, much less watch them.... :)

So, what say you alums? What do you think GT can do to capture more sidewalk fans and build a stronger base for the football program?
 

dressedcheeseside

Helluva Engineer
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13,623
As an alum I think GT should do more to cultivate non-alumni support. Hell, they should do more to cultivate alumni support. I just don't think anybody that matters cares. Shame.
 

awbuzz

Helluva Manager
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8,660
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Marietta, GA
Agree... to get more sidewalk fans will require winning more :)

Last few years they have done better promoting GT Football to more than alumni and season ticket holders. The GTAA needs to continue to do that. Also wouldn't hurt if some (most don't) GT Alum didn't have their noses pointed to the sky...
 

Augusta_Jacket

Helluva Engineer
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3,638
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Augusta, Georgia
As an alum I think GT should do more to cultivate non-alumni support. Hell, they should do more to cultivate alumni support. I just don't think anybody that matters cares. Shame.
As a sidewalk fan in the Augusta area, I can tell you that NOTHING is being done here. It seems as if GT has given up on anything further than 50 miles from the campus. Most years we don't even have radio coverage of the games here. I have met some great alums both here and in ATL that I tailgate with though.
 

cyptomcat

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
866
Not sure, but one idea is to reach out through the current season ticket holders. Give them an opportunity to recruit more fans. For example, give them a deal for some games for additional cheap tickets etc.

It's really tough, we are competing with the Hawks, the Braves and the Falcons, and many other Atlanta activities/interests.

Maybe reach out to media, make them feel extremely welcome so they cover the team a lot. On social media for example. To create a feel that GT is Atlanta's college franchise.
 

GTFan62

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
156
I am not an alumni but my nephew is so I support him. I have several friends who are GT fans just because they wanted to aggravate dawg fans that they work with or are neighbors who are so obnoxious.
 

RyanS12

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4,112
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Flint Michigan
Winning helps. I had turn a few Michigan fans into Tech fans during our Final Four run and the year after. I also think being with a Nike, Adidas or Under Armour would help too. It's damn near impossible to find a "cool" piece of GT merchandise. Young fans want to be apart of something that has "swag" and that is something GT doesn't seem to have.
 

Augusta_Jacket

Helluva Engineer
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3,638
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Augusta, Georgia
Winning helps. I had turn a few Michigan fans into Tech fans during our Final Four run and the year after. I also think being with a Nike, Adidas or Under Armour would help too. It's damn near impossible to find a "cool" piece of GT merchandise. Young fans want to be apart of something that has "swag" and that is something GT doesn't seem to have.
All good points. I will point out that I own Nike and Under Armor brand GT shirts, and while they aren't common around here, they can be found. The biggest problem is that GT becomes a non-entity outside of the Atlanta area. Finding anything GT related is rare. uga, Clemson and SCar dominate the area. There is more Bama merchandise available than GT merchandise. While a lot of this is due to the market demands, the underlying theme is that the GTAA seems willing to cede the rest of the state to everyone else.
 

WreckinGT

Helluva Engineer
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1,261
Winning more would help, but in reality its an uphill battle in the current climate. We are in the center of SEC country and the state is dominated by UGA. The local media, including our flagship radio station rarely ever mentions us and when they do it's usually not in a positive light. If you go to wal-mart or target or any local stores you see a mountain of UGA gear and you are lucky if you see a few GT items. If you go to subway, you are looking at their shirts proudly expressing their support for the UGA football program. Im not sure I have ever seen any place supporting GT, aside from some Coke billboards. Our overall presence just doesn't seem strong enough to expect a side-walk fan base to build.
 

forrest

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
14
Location
Lynchburg, Virginia
Sidewalk fan from VA here. Lol as painful as some seasons are for me & can't fathom how painful some of the Heartbreakers are for alumni! It is a bit easier to take the glasses of.
 

jeffgt14

We Suck
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5,376
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Mt Juliet, TN
Winning is really the only thing. I became a fan because of Joe Ham and they were certainly winning at the time. I simply had to go to the great Tech school in the state north and to the left of y’all because it was much cheaper. :D
 

Northeast Stinger

Helluva Engineer
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4,242
Let's talk possible solutions:

(1) Decades ago there was a skyscraper in easy walking distance of the stadium that served a very good brunch buffet with drinks on Saturday. They ran specials that allowed you to park in their parking deck, eat and go see the game for one price. They put an ad in the AJC that invited people to enjoy the view of the stadium and watch it filling up while you dined leisurely, and then walked to the game. I lived out of town but like a lot people back then I subscribed to the paper, so I took advantage of this offer. It made it very easy to get to and from the game and the Atlanta trip was a lot easier.

(2) Hotels and motels in the metro area often have promos on their room TVs extolling various tourist sites or history of Atlanta stuff. Tech should have a promo on every one of these talking about Heisman, oldest stadium in college ball and bowl streaks as well as astronauts, the Varsity and all the other stuff that makes Tech unique. Contacts for more information would be part of it.

(3) Continuing with a theme, hotels and motels in the area ought to be approached about package deals in which you make a reservation and then upon check in you get an automatic 20% discount if you have a Tech ticket for that week's game.

(4) Last but not least, motels and hotels all over Georgia that have display racks advertising other areas of the state could, along with the Fox Theater, Stone Mountain, and the rest, have a brochure about Tech that allows someone to join a tour group to see some of the campus, go into the oldest stadium in college ball, and see a short video of amazing facts and history about Tech. Tours could be conducted by Tech students who earn a special "Tech Ambassador" status by learning interesting Tech trivia, and who get a small stipend every time they conduct a tour. With Tech know how the tour could be high tech and interactive and be a lot more interesting than the Coke museum.

Many more ideas.
 

OldJacketFan

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8,348
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Nashville, TN
I appreciate Augusta Jacket bringing this subject up. Let me see if I can give y'all a bit of insight. I was born and raised in Marietta GA. Neither parent went to Tech but my father worked at Lockheed and, like most Lockheed folks of the time, developed interest in Tech. Some of that was Tech was the only game in town and some of it was due to the Tech graduates that came to work there. Anyhow, Tech was the first college team I can remember. The Falcons and Braves were just getting started in Atlanta so they were behind the curve with my growing love for Tech. Eventually I did become a fan of both teams but they never superseded my love for Tech. As I got older, and despite a modicum of intelligence, I went in another direction academically so I bypassed Tech as a college option.

After college and getting started in my career Tech's fortunes declined yet, if anything, my love for Tech increased. I remember the semi resurgence under Curry in the mid 80's, the great upswing culminating in 1990 with Ross,the colossal fubar time under the one that shall remain nameless, the rebuilding under O'Leary, the malaise of Gailey and now, of course CPJ. I did not leave Rogers, Carson or Fulcher out, they were in my childhood and I do remember their teams as well, I just wanted to highlight those coaches and teams that have made up the majority of my adulthood. Now looking at the time I've been a fan it's rarely been a time of long term excellence. There have been times, as we all know, it would have been very easy for the normal person to throw in the towel to find another team to root for. In fact I know a number of folks who did just that, much to my dismay. The majority of those folks became GA fans. So, you may ask, why didn't I? It easy to explain. I am and will always be a Tech Fan! I've not been fortunate enough to have any of my children attend Tech but, one of these days, maybe I'll have a grand youngin' to attend.

As far as the GTAA is concerned, I've always been treated well in my interactions with them. I can find merchandise relatively easy thanks to the internet and I have introduced a number of folks to Tech sports. When it is my time to leave this earth I will have in my farewell southern born, southern bred and Tech fan till I'm dead!

Last thing..............THWG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Whiskey_Clear

Banned
Messages
10,487
I would love to see us grow our fanbase through alumni and non alumni. I'm actually a Ga. Southern grad...but also the son of an engineer so grew up loving Tech. This is a very difficult thing to do however. The majority of peeps in metro Atlanta, who originate from the south, have ties to other schools that wont change...be they fans of SEC or Big Ten teams.....the rest of the crowd is often from the north and just don't "get" college football. This crowd might be the best target for us to grow from but they are often MLB baseball fans or NFL fans who arent likely to become interested in college ball. And when they do they will most likely gravitate to UGA. This is sadly true for several reasons...one is UGA's recent success vs us, another is better overall long term success by the mutts. A final reason is most of the friends and associates of this crowd will be hated stinkin mutts....and they will gravitate to their friends team instead of GT. Very difficult to overcome this through marketing etc. Top all that off with other entertainment options for people on Saturdays and this is a steep uphill climb indeed.
 

Augusta_Jacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,638
Location
Augusta, Georgia
Let's talk possible solutions:

(1) Decades ago there was a skyscraper in easy walking distance of the stadium that served a very good brunch buffet with drinks on Saturday. They ran specials that allowed you to park in their parking deck, eat and go see the game for one price. They put an ad in the AJC that invited people to enjoy the view of the stadium and watch it filling up while you dined leisurely, and then walked to the game. I lived out of town but like a lot people back then I subscribed to the paper, so I took advantage of this offer. It made it very easy to get to and from the game and the Atlanta trip was a lot easier.

(2) Hotels and motels in the metro area often have promos on their room TVs extolling various tourist sites or history of Atlanta stuff. Tech should have a promo on every one of these talking about Heisman, oldest stadium in college ball and bowl streaks as well as astronauts, the Varsity and all the other stuff that makes Tech unique. Contacts for more information would be part of it.

(3) Continuing with a theme, hotels and motels in the area ought to be approached about package deals in which you make a reservation and then upon check in you get an automatic 20% discount if you have a Tech ticket for that week's game.

(4) Last but not least, motels and hotels all over Georgia that have display racks advertising other areas of the state could, along with the Fox Theater, Stone Mountain, and the rest, have a brochure about Tech that allows someone to join a tour group to see some of the campus, go into the oldest stadium in college ball, and see a short video of amazing facts and history about Tech. Tours could be conducted by Tech students who earn a special "Tech Ambassador" status by learning interesting Tech trivia, and who get a small stipend every time they conduct a tour. With Tech know how the tour could be high tech and interactive and be a lot more interesting than the Coke museum.

Many more ideas.
All great ideas. Also, I like that the GTAA is giving season ticket holders extra tickets to the Wofford game. I would love to see more tickets to these type of games given to groups like the Boys/Girls Clubs and other charitable organizations that work with kids in the metro ATL area.
 

WreckinGT

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,261
Agreed. That's the problem. The question is how do we jump start it on our own?
After thinking about it for a while, I have no idea. lol. We have won in the past and not improved in this area all that much. GT really just needs a new energy. A positive aura around us to replace the negative aura that has existed for years. Something that makes GT interesting again. Im not sure simple marketing can accomplish this, nor will winning accomplish this. Maybe a new approach to branding and marketing, as well as a decline in the UGA program and the SEC will help spark it. It would also help to have some great players that are talked about nationally and that kids can look up to. I don't think it is something that we can easily force on our own though.
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,967
We should market T-Shirts in neighboring states which have
Florida says, "To Hell with Georgia" -Go Jackets
Alabama says ...
North Carolina says ..
etc
 

GTonTop88

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,013
Location
Gibson, GA
Giving out hats or wristbands to kids around middle school age before its a pick your side thing. We would probably be surprised at how loyal a kid will be because of a simple band he wears everyday when he starts showing interest in college football. Down my way you can get uga stuff at every gas station and dollar store around, so its easy to be a dwag fan. Merchandise is cheap
 
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