Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Festival of Sport to stir excitement for OU athletics
By Dave Groves, news editor
|OU women's basketball fans cheer on the Golden Grizzlies during a recent rally in Oakland Center.|
The Oakland University men’s soccer, women’s volleyball and women’s basketball teams all will be in action on Friday, Nov. 14, which lends a perfect opportunity to stage the university’s first-ever Festival of Sport.
An exciting day of athletic competition begins with Oakland hosting the first game of the Men’s Summit League Soccer Tournament at 11 a.m. The second game begins at 2 p.m.
Like other events throughout the day, this competition will offer OU fans plenty of incentives to cheer on the Golden Grizzlies. The first 150 fans to arrive at the OU soccer field will receive free coffee mugs. Additionally, the first 500 fans at all Festival of Sport contests will receive free hot dogs, snacks and beverages.
“We’ve really stepped up the marketing of all our athletic events,” said Kate Burke, coordinator of athletics marketing and promotions. “We’re trying to build up a lot of interest in this now so that people can stay excited about events coming up throughout the rest of the year.”
General admission to the soccer tournament is $5 and students will be admitted for $1.
There’s no charge for Grizz fans to enjoy the women’s volleyball contest against Western Illinois, which begins at 4 p.m. in the O’Rena. The first 150 spectators will receive Golden Grizzlies car magnets.
Rounding out the day, the women’s basketball team will play its home opener against Columbia at 7:30 p.m. in the O’Rena. Free schedule posters will go to the first 250 fans in attendance. General admission is $5 and students will be admitted free of charge.
Burke said the Festival of Sport aims to further enhance a growing level of excitement for university athletics.
“We were looking for some way to get our fans out not just to one sport, but to draw that support across the board,” she said. “This was perfect.”
While both the men’s and women’s basketball programs have been doing well to stir up fan enthusiasm, promotional events have broadened awareness and support for other programs. The men’s soccer team, for example, drew about 1,400 fans to a recent event at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac.
Meanwhile, the Grizz Gang and Grizz Kidz Club programs are giving spectators still more reason to get involved. The Grizz Kidz Club will celebrate a kick-off event as part of Friday’s festivities.
To learn more about these events and other university athletic programs, visit www.ougrizzlies.com.