Minnesota Earns Sixth Annual Big Ten SuperFan Cup
Feb. 28, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The University of Minnesota has been named the recipient of the sixth annual Big Ten SuperFan Cup in recognition of its efforts to increase attendance at the 2008 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 Live, the Big Ten office announced today.
The Golden Gophers increased their all-session ticket sales to the tournament by 43 percent, issuing a total of 200 all-session tickets, compared to 140 to last year's event. Formerly awarded to the team that saw the highest regular-season attendance increase, criteria for the SuperFan Cup was revised this year to honor the team that recorded the largest increase in all-session ticket sales for the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament from the previous year.
Highlighting Minnesota's campaign was the Gold Rush to Indy. Each of the Gophers' weekend home games was designated as a "Gold Rush" game. Five-thousand Gold Rush t-shirts were distributed at Minnesota's first conference weekend home game, creating a sea of gold at Williams Arena for the remainder of the season.
Additionally, the University of Minnesota created a video that was posted on the Golden Gophers' website, www.gophersports.com, and e-mailed to previous ticket buyers. The video, which urged fans to buy tickets to the 2008 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 Live, was also sent to local youth basketball associations.
Minnesota also promoted Big Ten Tournament ticket specials at all home games and entered fans who purchased their tickets before Jan. 31 into a raffle to travel with the team on a chartered bus down to the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
In the fall of 2002, the Big Ten launched the SuperFan campaign, a promotion designed to boost attendance for women's basketball regular-season games. This season's promotion was altered to focus on increasing attendance at the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. The conference distributed both marketing and financial support to all 11 universities and encouraged schools to use the customized materials from the SuperFan kit.
Michigan State was the first university to be awarded the SuperFan Cup as the Spartans generated an astounding 77 percent attendance increase for home games during the 2002-03 season. In 2003-04, Purdue earned the annual traveling trophy after it ranked second in the nation for increased attendance and fifth in average attendance at 10,105 fans per game. In 2004-05, Ohio State increased its attendance by 82 percent with a mark of 7,259 fans per contest and shattered the Ohio State (13,320) and Big Ten (17,142) single-game attendance mark with a record high of 17,525 fans. Two seasons ago, Illinois became the fourth different school in as many years to win the trophy, increasing its attendance 71 percent from the 2004-05 season. Last year, Northwestern became the fifth different university to take home the award after increasing home attendance by 43 percent. The Wildcats promotional season was highlighted by head coach Beth Combs' Purple Hair Dare, which drew in 3,121 fans to Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Big Ten currently boasts five teams in the top 20 among national attendance leaders. Purdue leads the conference and is fourth in the nation, averaging 9,434 fans per contest. Also in the top 20, Michigan State ranks 10th, Minnesota is13th, Wisconsin comes in at No. 15, and Penn State ranks 19th. With five teams in the top 20, the Big Ten is tied for the nation's lead among all conferences. The Big Ten has finished first or second in average attendance in each of the past 15 seasons.
The 2008 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 live will be held March 6-9 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. In 2006, the last year the Big Ten men's and women's tournaments were both held in the Circle City, the women's event set several attendance records, including for overall and average session attendance. The Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament has averaged over 5,000 fans per session and has brought in over 25,000 fans every year since 1998.
All-session and single-session tickets for the 2008 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 Live are on sale now. All-session tickets are $65, and single-session tickets range in price from $12-16. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Conseco Fieldhouse box office and www.ticketmaster.com.