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Athletic Department Basketball Fan Survey Online Wednesday

Athletic Department Basketball Fan Survey Online Wednesday

HATTIESBURG, Miss. ? The Southern Miss Department of Athletics will begin its initial phase of a campaign designed to improve and enhance its fans' game-day experience with an examination of those fans' opinions on men's basketball game.

"I?m excited that we can provide our fans a way to offer their input as we plan our marketing strategies for the upcoming basketball season," Richard Giannini, Southern Miss Director of Athletics said. "The hiring of Larry Eustachy as men?s basketball coach gives us a great opportunity to evaluate where we are with our fan support and what needs to be put in place for our program to excel to the level where we all want it to be."

The campaign, called "FANS FIRST" will unfold in various stages, beginning with an in-depth survey through which fans interests will be gauged concerning the game-day environment at Reed Green Coliseum.

The purpose of this survey, launched in conjunction with Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based consulting firm Sport Insight Group, is to learn more about fans' preferences regarding their game-day experiences, reasons that influenced their decisions to attend Southern Miss basketball games, and factors concerning needed areas of change.

Invitations to participate in the survey will be mailed to Hattiesburg-area Southern Miss alumni, football and basketball season ticket holders and Eagle Club members.

The survey will be publicly accessible by logging on to, the official web site of Southern Miss Athletics, starting on Wednesday, June 23.

To thank study participants, Southern Miss Athletics will provide two free "Top of the Rock" tickets to its November 27 football game against UAB to those who complete survey by July 16.

Scott Carr, Associate Athletic Director of Athletics/External Affairs, noted that, while conceiving the initiative, Southern Miss purposely decided to avoid prototypical on-site surveys, pointing to both general public distastes for surveying practices that annoyed participants and resulting data that may hardly be understood or practically applied.

"Sport Insight Group?s distinctive approach to gathering data through an on-line format gives us an edge in obtaining more useful information by allowing our fans to provide feedback to us whenever they choose," Carr said. "Securing SIG as a partner in this initiative will help collect the information from our target group, and we are eagerly anticipating the results of their findings."

"We are differentiated from other consulting firms by a heavy focus on applied research that starts and finishes with the end use in mind," Dr. Colby Jubenville, SIG's director of professional services and a Southern Miss alumnus said. "SIG collects data fast, efficient, effective and in non-intrusive ways for its clients, then presents that data to them, along with clear, concise recommendations for improving management strategies and decisions."

According to Dr. Ben Goss, director of information and publications for SIG and also a Southern Miss alumnus, the information collected by the survey will be a particularly invaluable initial step for the Southern Miss Athletics Department in its quest to increase attendance at its home basketball games.

"Asking customers why they do or do not attend basketball games is the first step in developing activities that can ultimately enhance fans' experiences at Golden Eagle basketball games," Goss said. "As Southern Miss alumni, fans and supporters, we have vested interests in seeing that the Golden Eagles attain success, and we believe that this project will play a role in that pursuit."

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