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BCC Basketball Goes Hard In The Paint For Attendance

November 10, 2010 by Eaglecorps911

By Paul Williams
There’s excitement, enthusiasm, and a great amount of anticipation surrounding the upcoming basketball season at Brookdale.
At the moment, most of the zeal isn’t coming from the student body, but don’t expect that to last much longer. Rather, all of the noise is coming from two dedicated employees who are determined to increase students’ interest in the school’s athletic programs.
“We’re taking it on as a personal goal to improve attendance this year,” said Michael Medley, Brookdale’s assistant director of athletics.
Medley is working closely with Shannon Holt, the associate director of athletics at Brookdale, and together they are trying several new and innovative promotions that will drum up student attention to the Jersey Blues and and also awareness of how good they are.
“Attendance issues are to be expected at any community college. Students don’t live on campus,” Holt said. But she doesn’t believe that the lack of dorms is an impossible hurdle for Brookdale to overcome. “We have the best location in the county. It’s centralized. We had a great response when we ran promotions last year; attendance was up.”
“We’ve had a year now. We know what’s here, and we can make it better,” Medley, who was hired by Brookdale last August, one month before Holt, said “All of our teams are very competitive, and you can come see all of them for free.”
“We’re going to make it more fun, and give students a real college experience. Our goal is to fill a student section, the ‘‘Blues Crew,’’ for every home game,” Medley said.
The ‘‘Blues Crew’’ vision will start at the first home game on Nov. 16, where the “kick-off night” promotion will give the first 250 students in attendance, with a valid ID, a free “Blues Crew” T-shirt.
Medley and Holt expect the excitement generated from the first promotion will continue to resonate throughout the student body during the season, especially when the renovated Collins Arena opens in January.
“We’re going to have a state-of-the-art facility. There are going to be more concession stands for the students, a private suite for (Brookdale President) Peter Burnham or any potential corporate sponsor. The new arena should absolutely help,” said Medley.
The first home game in the Collins Arena on Jan. 8 will feature a ceremony to commemorate the Jersey Blues’ softball team on their 2010 Division III National Championship.
“We’re going to make it more than a basketball game. Again, for free,” said Medley, who believes the promotions will help attract the attention of a greater portion of the student body and give students more incentive to attend games. Several youth leagues will play during half-time, music will be played during time-outs and between quarters, and some meet- and-greet opportunities are also being explored.
Medley and Holt believe the number of students enrolled at Brookdale is more than sufficient to draw a good crowd for every game; the only major issue standing in their way is how to get the message out to as many students as possible. But they have a few ideas for that too.
“We’re going to be more proactive, rather than reactive. We have such an awesome team here,” Holt said.
The athletic department will display sandwich boards all over campus advertising “Home Game Today.” Students can also receive texts with information about BCC sports by clicking the ‘opt-in to special events’ tab at the bottom of the Brookdale home page. A newer, more dynamic Brookdale athletic department website, is also being explored.

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