New-Age Student Section: Results?

“What kind of results can we expect?”

“What results are your clients seeing?”

These are two of the most common questions I get asked by schools interested in working with Biggest Fan Consulting. I appreciate when people ask about results, because it means they’re analyzing their possible ROI and at the end of the day, results are the only thing that matter. Right?

Most of the time schools are just referring to one type of result or a specific type of data… Quantitative. Show me the numbers! And usually the quantitative data is what will matter at the end of the day, like attendance and revenue numbers. What was our increase in attendance per sport? What was our increase in revenue? Did our social media followers increase?

However, the other side of the equation often overlooked is qualitative data, the data that can’t be measured by numbers. Yet the qualitative data is equally important to evaluate because when it comes to student sections, the qualitative data often dictates the quantitative data. For example, numbers can’t measure the strength of a leadership structure or quality of a brand or culture. So is implementing a sustainable leadership structure, building a strong brand and creating an unbelievable game day experience achieving results? Yes, those are equally important to the numbers.

Why? The numbers follow systems and culture. The numbers follow leadership and infrastructure.

It seems many schools get frustrated with the results of their student section, but few seek to understand the root of the issue. Yes, the numbers can be frustrated. But after talking to dozens of schools, most of their problems seem to exist at the cultural level. “Students are apathetic” “Students don’t care” “There is no school spirit” “Students wear clothes from neighboring schools”. And when I ask what they want to see in the future, it’s these cultural issues they want fixed. “I want to see students excited to represent our school, spirited and engaged at sporting events.” So how do you measure culture? How do you track culture? How do you change culture? It’s challenging, but possible. It takes deliberate planning, systems and leadership. It takes feedback. It’s qualitative data.

Trust me, nobody wants to see schools achieve quantitative results more than me. I can’t wait for schools to continue to 3x, 5x, 10x their student attendance at games and generate revenue through their student section. But in order for this to happen, we must focus on and measure the qualitative data first. Culture first, numbers second.

Let’s look at business, say Amazon. They have strong financials and their quantitative results make every business owner envious. But did those quantitative results just happen? Absolutely not, it took years of systems, leadership, optimization and focus on the qualitative elements.

What are your expectations when you evaluate the results and success of your student section?

Are you strictly looking at attendance and revenue? Are you looking at the systems and platform responsible for those numbers?

Results ARE the only thing that matter, so I just wanted to share the importance of analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, because both are imperative to successfully building a robust new-age student section.

To your success!

-- Brandon