"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Pre-Season Q&A w/Marquette's Broeker

Mike Broeker, Marquette's Deputy Director of Athletics, was kind enough to answer some questions about the 2009 program for Cracked Sidewalks. This is the second time he's addressed questions with Cracked Sidewalks in a Q&A... catch last year's version here.

Let's get to it:

Q: The pre-conference schedule didn't contain any surprises. Any commentary on this year's scheduling process?

MB: Our kids will be challenged early with the Old Spice Classic and with games against NC State, UW-Milwaukee and at Wisconsin. The rest of December allows us to focus on getting better each day as we move in to conference play. Confidence is critical for young teams.

Q: Were we close on any other Home & Homes?

This year, our focus is more on building the team than scheduling home and homes. Replacing close to 5,000 points is daunting enough a task for Coach Buzz. Next year we’ll be back in the market for home-and-homes and potentially a neutral site game. Also, we’ll get two quality neutral site games in the CBE Classic. At last check that field includes Duke, Kansas State and Gonzaga.

Looking two-years down the road we’ve signed on to participate in the 2011 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.

Q: How did re-seating go this year with the new online system?

It was terrific. Nearly 60-percent selected on-line and we will look to see that number grow in future years. Ticket technology is changing so fast and to benefit the consumer. We’d be foolish not to take advantage.

Marquette and the Economy
Q: To what extent has the continuing economic condition impacted expected revenues for the program in 09-10? (for example, signage / marketing rights / selling radio time / associated athletic department sponsorships)

We are really fortunate. The passion and excitement surrounding Marquette Basketball has allowed us to weather this storm. We set revenue records for giving and tickets sales (thank you fans!) and Nelligan continues delivering to budget. The value of doing business with Marquette has never been better. We are thankful.

Q: Does MU expect a revenue decline from the men's basketball program this year? If so, how will that affect non-revenue sports?

We’ve budgeted conservatively and asked all of our programs to be as prudent without compromising competitiveness. Early returns from ticket sales have been promising; a great sign but we need to continue working smart and working together.

Ticket Packages

Q: The $99 ticket package seems to be a big hit. Can you explain the thought process behind releasing this ticket package, and how successful do you think it’s been? Did the package attract new ticket holders or just allow the more price sensitive customer the ability to retain tickets? Ballpark, how many tickets were sold to brand new ticket holders?

We spent a lot of time talking about the economy and whether or not enough diversity existed in our ticket offerings. Our goal is to drive full-season ticket sales. This option has allowed a small number of existing season ticket holders a place to keep their basketball tickets, while at the same time becoming an extremely popular option for younger alums and fans seeking the full Marquette experience. We are very conscious of revenue around men’s basketball. We approach any new concept or idea with great caution because of its larger impact. The concept is similar to the limited number of $10 tickets NBA franchises make available.

Close to 70-percent of the tickets sold in this area are new accounts. The number of tickets available is small in comparison to the overall population. We’ve sold almost 750 in a month.

Athletic Department Initiatives
Q: We note that MU is now on facebook, twitter, and youtube. There’s even a Steve Cottingham twitter feed. Last year seemed to be a big year for Marquette in terms of self-produced content. What other changes has the Athletic Department focused on this year?

Our marketing and media relations staff do a terrific job producing content. This trend will continue. They understand a good way to get your story across is to do it yourself. Our goal is to make gomarquette.com first stop for anyone interested in Marquette Athletics. The media landscape changes daily, almost too fast to keep up. As a department, we have embraced social media such as twitter, facebook and whatever comes next.


Q: Does Marquette expect any policy changes or shifts in strategy with the transfer of power to a new Big EAST commissioner?

No. John Marinatto, like his predecessor, is the Big East Conference. He has worked in and around the league his entire life, as have many of those on his staff. Our conference office is the best in the business. People like Dan Gavitt, Tom Odjakjian, John Paquette and of course the new commissioner is why this league is special. The level of support they extend the membership is remarkable. The future holds nothing different.

Q: You’ve answered our questions. Any additional comments you’d like to add for the Cracked Sidewalks readers?

Your passion and support allows our program to compete at an elite level. You’re an integral part of our success. Thank you!


Thanks, Mike!

So there you have it. MU will be in the CBE next year, and the Paradise Jam the following year. Online reseating was a big hit. The economy didn't stop MU from hitting new donation and sales records. The $99 ticket package was huge, capturing 500+ new ticket holders and counting.

And Mike ended his email "Go Warriors!" (cough)

Joint post by Rob, Tim, and Kevin.


Unknown said...

When are we going back to Maui? That was the greatest trip I have ever been on minus the lose to Duke

Oliver said...

"This year, our focus is more on building the team than scheduling home and homes."

Translation: "We might not be that good this year, so we made the early schedule easy."

I would have done the same thing, but it is amusing how he phrased it.