Several regional sponsors engage Eastern athletics

Several regional sponsors engage Eastern athletics

By Amye Ellsworth

staff reporter

[email protected]

According to the Eastern athletics website, EWU’s sports teams are currently sponsored by 36 companies, including Dominos and the Northern Quest Casino.

These companies provide promotions and giveaways for students at various sporting events. Dominos provides the 3-point shot promotion during basketball games. The first player to make a 3-pointer gets the equivalent of their number added to $3. This becomes the cost of a medium, one-topping pizza that is redeemable on the same day as the game.

Based off of the team’s numbers, the lowest price pizza would be $3.01 if freshman Tyler Harvey made the first 3-point shot of the game, and the highest price would be $3.55 for freshman Venky Jois.

Steve Bege, the general manager of the Cheney Dominos, said he hopes to have other promotions in the future.

“We’re trying to set up something where [Eastern will] have a sports night where they hand out a bunch of flyers [for pizzas] and some of the proceeds go to EWU,” Bege said.

If companies want to sponsor Eastern athletics, they go through Tim Shustoff, senior account executive at KP Sports.

“Realistically, we try to engage local, regional and national companies,” Shustoff said. “We meet with them and address what their specific marketing needs are.”

Depending on the specific needs of the company, Shustoff then creates tailored plans that can incorporate multimedia and signage elements. Shustoff said general, basic proposals are also available.

“We have general proposals that are very basic and kind of flat, and we customize and develop those as we meet with these companies. Some people like just the general proposals; it’s easy, it’s simple and straightforward,” Shustoff said.

Other companies want to incorporate activities that will engage students into their plans. Dominos is one of these companies, and according to Bege, one of the ways the company interacts with students is through giving out free pizzas to the loudest cheering fans during basketball games.

A trade partnership is the third way that companies can choose to sponsor Eastern athletics. The company will provide goods or services in exchange for advertisements during sporting events.

“A trade relationship we have that we value quite a bit is the Northern Quest Casino,” Shustoff said.

Before the Feb. 2 men’s basketball game against Montana, the Northern Quest Casino provided the first 1,500 fans with free T-shirts. During football season, the coach’s shows were held at the Northern Quest Casino.

Shustoff explained that if a company wants to use an athlete to promote their product or service, the company must follow the NCAA compliance rules. This includes filling out a form and being familiar with compliance rules, which include a provision that the athlete not miss class.

“A lot [of the rules] comes down to NCAA compliance. Any marketing that we do is approved by the athletic department so we clear all compliance issues,” Shustoff said.

One of the main reasons companies choose athletic events to promote themselves is because of the large number of students that will all be in one central area.

“That’s a very large demographic. Being able to engage them in an arena where you’re going to have over 10,000 people at one single time, that’s a very direct way to engage a crowd for a specific purpose,” Shustoff said.