Hockey team uses students to push college promotion

Thomas Willis, junior business marketing and broadcasting journalism double major, pins posters advertising the Predator's college night around campus. College nights cost $25 for the lower bowl and $10 for the upper bowl. | Photo by Beth Spain

By Hannah Lutz

The Nashville Predators hockey team has added a new College Ambassadors program to promote games to college students. The program was started in October at the beginning of the 2010–2011 season.

Travis Laufle, Predators account executive, said he is excited to help direct college students by leading the program.

“We are looking for socialites as this is crucial to spread the word about College Nights to students,” Laufle said.

The ambassador program is trying to add the next generation of fans by making the games more affordable to college students. Tickets normally running from $60-$80 dollars can be bought for $25. Students can enjoy a game for a discounted price during home games on Thursday nights. All a student needs is their college student I.D.

The College Ambassadors program is designed to select college students from among those who apply for the position and teach them effective marketing tactics. Ambassadors work to reach out to college students by posting flyers, handing out promotional materials and utilizing social media to inform different campuses of College Nights at Bridgestone Arena.

“This is something that looks great on a resume. Aside from this, we reward ambassadors through tickets to Predators games, special gatherings and swag packs,” Laufle said.

Thomas Willis, junior business marketing and broadcast journalism double major, is a Predators college ambassador at Union. A Nashville native, Willis has been a fan of the Predators for the past six years.

“Hockey is one of those sports where you need to get in the arena and feel the excitement of the game and see the speed of the game,” Willis said.

Those interested in the ambassador program should fill out a short application, followed by a phone interview.

“I found out about the College Ambassador Program from the Predators online site,” Willis said.

Students are chosen based on their response as to why they would make a great ambassador and what activities they are involved in, not simply because they like the Nashville Predators.

“We are looking for students who have an interest in marketing, promotions, business, communications, journalism, or just an interest in expanding their skill set,” Laufle said.

Not only can students go to a National Hockey League game for an affordable price, but they also get the chance to see local artists perform during the game. Artists such as Vince Gill and Alice Cooper have played during intermissions.

At every game, fans can win prizes provided by sponsors. An example of this would be the Wendy’s Frosty promotion. If the Predators score four goals, all fans in attendance can redeem their ticket for a Frosty at a Wendy’s in the Nashville area after the game. Also, fans are given energy drink coupons after every win to redeem at any Daily’s convenience store.

College Nights are held every Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena when the Predators play at home.

The tickets are $25 for lower bowl seats and $10 for upper bowl seats. A student can purchase up to five tickets with one college ID. Tickets can be pre-ordered online or bought at the box office on game day. Group and individual sales can be made by calling Laufle or a Predators sales representative. With every ticket purchased through the special, students will get a Napster $10 gift card.

In the closing weeks of the regular season, the Predators will be playing against top teams pursuit of the playoffs.

College Nights this season will be held March 10 vs. the Minnesota Wild, March 17 vs. the Boston Bruins and March 24 vs. the Anaheim Ducks.

To purchase tickets, visit nashvillepredators.com/union. The special offer code is “union”.

For more information, contact Laufle at (615)-770-2352 or via e-mail, at tlaufle@nashvillepredators.com.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.