Basketball marketing and tickets sales meet basketball scheduling. There is nothing new with non-BCS conference schools scheduling power-house BCS conference schools. Usually, non-BCS State plays BIG-TIME BCS U on the road for a gynormous check, flights, hotels, meals, etc…. It’s how non-BCS schools supplement their athletic budgets and help their programs. The College of Charleston has taken that one step farther…
The Charleston Post Courior reports the Cougars, who played at UNC last season and will play another game in Chapel Hill, N.C., in the future as part of a two-for-one agreement, have lured the defending NCAA National Champion UNC Tar Heels to the Carolina First Arena.
The Tar Heels, who went 34-4 last year, are basically replacing South Carolina on the Cougars’ schedule. The Gamecocks’ three-year agreement to play Charleston ended last season.
These two coaches are friends, and the agreement to play the two for one deal is not uncommon. Where the uncommon twist comes in is this, the College of Charleston is using it’s Jan. 4 home game against Carolina as a way to sell tickets for ALL of it’s games this season. Jonathan Evans, the College of Charleston’s Associate Athletic Director for external affairs indicated, “We’re thinking the only way probably to get a North Carolina ticket will be to buy season tickets.” Smart, creative marketing. If you can convince a big name, big time school to visit and get the public to buy the full season you stand a very good chance to increase season ticket sales. Charleston has already sold nearly 4,000 season tickets for their 5,100 seat arena, an increase of 350 from the same time last year.
The Cougars also are traveling to Hawaii over the Christmas holidays to play in the inaugural Diamondhead Classic. Other schools in that tournament include Southern Cal, Hawaii, SMU, Saint Mary’s, UNLV, Northeastern and Western Michigan.
Charleston went 27-9 last year and advanced to the second round of the postseason College Basketball Invitational before losing to Richmond.