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Student Section Case Study: UNT Mean Green Maniacs

UNT's basketball program was thriving on the court but struggling to fill the stands, especially with students. The athletic department and marketing team were out of ideas until they partnered with Biggest Fan. Fast forward a year and a half, and they've not only broken multiple student attendance records but also created a student-led movement that is gaining attention from athletes, fans, coaches, alumni, and the media.

So, how did they do it? When Biggest Fan arrived on campus in January 2021, they immediately realized the immense work that needed to be done. Jamie Adams, Associate Athletic Director of Marketing, had been struggling with the student section for years. He had seen peaks and valleys of student support and found the student section to be more of a stressful burden than a fun part of the job.

The first priority was to identify and establish student leaders. After a thorough marketing and interview process, a core group of three students was selected. They completely understood the vision and bought into the process. At the time, there was brand confusion about what the student section should be called. After a few conversations with students and staff, and analyzing the student culture, the name Mean Green Maniacs was selected as the name of the student section with which the culture would be built.

After a year of building the brand, creating pre-game events, and coordinating with the spirit programs to improve the synchronization of cheers and chants, UNT partnered with Biggest Fan for production to help take their overall game day atmosphere and in-game experience to the next level by working with the game day staff, DJ, band, cheer, and dance administrators and students. Now, UNT basketball games are more than just a game; they are an event. This is a testament to Biggest Fan's "students first" philosophy and innovative approach. The aim is to create a unique and immersive experience on each campus because every culture is different.

The results speak for themselves. In two seasons of working with Biggest Fan, UNT broke several attendance records, including a sellout crowd of over 8,000 for a game against Louisiana Tech. UNT exceeded its revenue goal for the season, with seven home conference games still left to play. Most importantly, the students were more engaged and passionate about their teams than ever before, creating a lasting legacy that will benefit UNT for years to come.

In conclusion, UNT's partnership with Biggest Fan exemplifies the power of student leadership and production in transforming a lackluster fan base into a vibrant student section. By providing students with the strategies and support to take ownership of the game-day experience, UNT created a student-led movement that not only boosted attendance and revenue but also fostered school pride and spirit.

The best part? They're just getting started.


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