“Ping!” A notification pops up on the phone of 500 students simultaneously. The screens all read the same thing: “You have been invited to the event: Maul the Mariners.”
Facebook events such as this one, created by football players to raise awareness for an upcoming game, have become increasingly popular tools for sports teams seeking to draw more fans out to cheer them on.
The idea to raise awareness for football games through Facebook was started last year by some of the seniors, football captain senior Nick Pacult said.
For Pacult and the rest of the football team, creating a Facebook event quickly grew from a good idea to a necessity.
“If you don’t make the Facebook event people won’t know about it or won’t come to the game, so I feel like it is a necessary thing to do if you want a good crowd,” Pacult said.
Water polo captain senior Alisha Lewis soon followed in the footsteps of the football team by creating Facebook events for some of the water polo games.
“The max amount of people we ever got is 15, and with football you get hundreds, so it was kind of a joke, but it actually ended up helping and people did come,” Lewis said.
Sophomore volleyball player, Olivia Theut said she found Facebook events especially effective in that everyone on the team has the ability to invite all of their friends on Facebook, creating an event with a large amount of people from all grades.
Not only is the crowd size affected, but the demographics of the crowd at volleyball games are also affected by whether or not there is a Facebook event, Theut said.
“Usually when we do have a Facebook event there are a lot more students and friends, and then when we don’t, it is more parents and people we just tell face to face,” Theut said. “The turnout is definitely bigger when we do make a Facebook event.”
Players have found that the most effective way to draw a big crowd is a blend of social media campaigns and spreading awareness on campus through posters and costumes.
“The Facebook event is really good but also posters can get [the word] out to people who don’t have Facebook and who didn’t see the Facebook message,” Theut said.
Football players can further remind students that there is a game that night by wearing their football jerseys to school, Pacult said.
“I just feel like Facebook is the best way to create an event and let people know,” Pacult said.