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College sports programs are embracing promotional activities that aim to create spectators and fans for live-action events. Whereas relationship marketing and fan engagement tactics are a mainstay of professional sports organizations, their inclusion within college sports programs is not ubiquitous. This study explores the promotional strategies for college sports, surveys the sports marketing literature, and presents findings from a spectator/fan questionnaire (n = 600) conducted with full-time enrolled students for a Division III college sports team. The twofold purpose of the questionnaire was to investigate what motivates student-spectators to attend men’s college basketball games and how to increase the level of excitement at games. Survey results suggest generalizable insights on the communication and engagement strategies for promoting live-action sports events at Division III institutions. Findings indicate significant gender differences exist for several controllable promotional elements.



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