“White-out” doubles previous high of attendance

With the recent success of the NKU men’s basketball team, an NKU student decided to take it upon himself to increase fan attendance.

 In late December and early January, the Norse were on a home game streak of five. This inspired Colin Kremer to organize an event to draw in a bigger student presence for the Norse’s game against the 2013 Atlantic Sun champions, Mercer, Jan. 19. He came up with the idea for a “whiteout” in which the students in attendance would all wear white in support of the Norse.

 “I’ve always absolutely loved NKU,” said Kremer, a senior communication major. “I feel like this is a time in our history at NKU that we need to start acting like a D-I college and start bringing fans out to the games.”

 Kremer, a marketing intern with the athletic department at NKU, teamed up with Norse Force to pull together their on-campus sources to make the whiteout as successful as possible.

 As a marketing intern, Kremer works to improve the promotions for the Norse.

“I have access to a bunch of student organizations, and through Greek Life, I felt that I could get the word out and make a difference,” Kremer said.

 Fans at the game experienced many special events at The Bank of Kentucky Center. Some of these included $1 food and drinks, giveaways from Pepsi; which included free t-shirts for the first 500 fans in attendance, a chance to win two mini refrigerators and opportunities to win tuition money from NKU. To cap off the night, fans witnessed a halftime game involving some of the areas most recognizable mascots, including Mr. Redlegs, Who Dey, and Victor E. Viking.

 The many promotions and events drew in the BOKC’s highest attendance of the season thus far. Prior to the game, the men’s basketball team had a home game attendance record of 1,479, which was nearly doubled on Thursday with an attendance of 2,782.

 For some of the students in attendance, it was the first time they experienced a basketball game in the BOKC.

 “It’s a lot more fun to actually be at the games then to watch them on tv,” said freshman Dave Banta.

 For other students who have been to multiple games, it was a refreshing sight to see the entire student section nearly full with the 1,300 students in attendance.

 “I’ve been to one other game, but this one has a lot more people, and there is a higher level of enthusiasm,” said Shannon Mowery, a freshman who came out with a group of her Theta Phi Alpha sorority sisters.

 Although the Norse fell to Mercer 74-58, students in attendance and those involved with the whiteout are confident that the event will generate a bigger fan presence in future games, which they believe will help the teams play with more confidence.

 “Early on we played pretty well, and once they (Mercer) took the lead we were just hoping that we could make a run to get the crowd involved because it would have been beneficial to us down the stretch,” David Bezold, head men’s basketball coach said.

 Kremer believes that with the success of the whiteout, this will usher in a new era for students and fans of the Norse.

Kremer and the Norse Force recognize the impact the whiteout had on the attendance numbers and are planning more events later on in the season, including theme nights and the homecoming game in March against Florida Gulf Coast University.

 “We see that even making Facebook events, something that simple, gets a ton of people here and that’s what we want at every game,” Clay Tyler, Norse Force President and junior education major said. “We will definitely be doing more stuff; theme nights, and stuff like that to get students out here.”

 Kremer and Norse Force encourage students, staff, and alumni to come out and support the Norse as they battle for the Atlantic Sun Championship. Every home game is free to students with an all-card. The men’s and women’s teams will be taking on Lipscomb this week as the men’s team play in the BOKC on Jan. 24, and the women’s team play Jan. 25.

 Any student who would like to help plan future events with Norse Force, can find them on Facebook or visit norseforcestudentrewards.com.