As the regular basketball season wraps up, so do the efforts of the student fan club Blue Crew.
Associate Athletic Director Kathryn Burke joined the athletics administration team during early autumn this past year, and has jumped right into her role since then. One of Burke’s most notable accomplishments since joining staff has been the incredible success of “Blue Crew”.
“The concept of Blue Crew was to create a student group that would develop a tradition of a student section at [athletic] events,” shared Burke.
Her idea involved creating a “fan identity” that was unique to Mines, and would help enhance the student experience as well as provide athletic teams with strong student support.
Blue Crew membership is free, as is attendance at any regular-season home athletic event with a Blastercard. According to Burke, joining Blue Crew provides students with the ulitimate student fan experience.
In addition, Blue Crew provides a chance to “increase school spirit and community, increase student involvement and support for Mines Athletics, and encourage good sportsmanship,” among other positive impacts.
Blue Crew provides members with opportunities for promotional giveaways, themed nights, and of course, the athletic event going on that day.
One of the biggest pieces of the Blue Crew experience is the “Blue Crew Fan Challenge.”
“[The challenge is] an incentive program to accrue points for each athletic event [that a student] attends,” Burke said. “The more games a Blue Crew member attends, the better their chances are to win prizes at the end of the basketball season, with the top prize being a flat screen TV!”
With more than 550 members, Blue Crew and similar programs implemented by Burke and her student-intern staff are developing a game day atmosphere that will aid in creating a “student-fan culture, and student-fan traditions” that are unique to Mines, and carry over to all spectator sports on campus.
Burke shared that she had quite a few favorite parts of getting Game-Day Promotions and Blue Crew up and running.
Burke enjoyed “watching the fan response and engagement, and seeing people excited and participating in the new fan-involved atmosphere.”
She also enjoyed receiving feedback from fans, players, coaches, and staff so that she can continue to make improvements to an already robust and impressive program.
Burke also said that an enjoyable piece of the puzzle for her is the “campus and community outreach and engagement.”
“It’s so important to create a game day atmosphere that takes a fan’s experience into consideration,” Burke said.
While Burke highlighted the importance of the actual athletic event to a fan’s experience, she also emphasized that the sights, the sounds, and the smells of game day all make an impact to a fan. At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience.
“I’m excited to see how the growth of the Blue Crew can impact the game day experience and atmosphere moving forward,” commented Burke.
While Blue Crew is a new program this year and is specific to varsity basketball, you can expect to see the program carried over to football during the 2017 season, with other varsity sports to follow.