OSU: Building a fan base critical
In Mel Bracht’s piece on the new Spike TV series “4th and Long” in today’s Oklahoman, network executive Joe Weinstock talked about his Oklahoma days. Weinstock grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Putnam City North.
Weinstock received a speech degree from OSU, then a law degree from OU and described himself as an avid OU football fan.
That’s exactly the kind of fan that OSU must cultivate to build its base. The Sooner football culture stretches into a lot of places, including some OSU grads. I know a few OSU graduates — and you do, too — who are Sooner supporters first in terms of buying tickets and following the team.
That’s the result of 60 years of OU football tradition, handed down generation to generation, and it extends to friends who come along for the ride and get hooked.
And that’s exactly the kind of fan OSU must commandeer. The Cowboys have built up their base over the years but must continue to do so to fill renovated Boone Pickens Stadium, which now seats 60,000. The Cowboys’ future financial health depends on creating new fans, and maintaining your graduates as those fans is paramount. OSU must rope in Oklahomans with no particular allegiance — football fans who went to Northeastern State or Langston or Southern Nazarene — but it also must keep its graduates.
The success of recent years no doubt has helped in that regard. Oklahoma State is a player in the Big 12. The Cowboys have elevated themselves nationally, to where they are being ranked in 2009 preseason polls anywhere from sixth to 12th. They are playing high-profile games and making new people — fans, media, recruits — take notice.
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