FanForum Provides Access To Xavier Basketball

Athletic director Mike Bobinski was joined men's head coach Chris Mack and women's assistant coach Mike Neighbors.
Athletic director Mike Bobinski was joined men's head coach Chris Mack and women's assistant coach Mike Neighbors.

CINCINNATI - Last week, Xavier Athletics hosted its first FanForum teleconference for men's and women's basketball ticket holders, All For One donors, and other special guests. Joe Sunderman, the voice of the Musketeers, moderated the conference call and hosted athletic director Mike Bobinski, men's head coach Chris Mack, and women's assistant coach Mike Neighbors on the call. Fans were treated to an exclusive preview of the upcoming basketball season, and were given the opportunity to ask direct questions to the panel of guests during the teleconference.

"Xavier's fan forum today gave our fans an opportunity to engage with us on a virtual face-to-face and person-to-person basis," Bobinski said after the hour-long teleconference. "It's great to be able to reach out to our fan base directly and let them have a chance to ask questions about our program. Hopefully this is something that we will be able do more of in the future. It was a great chance for our fans to interact with our program, and I know that our coaches and I really enjoyed the opportunity to have this conversation. The number of people who engaged in the call, indicates to me the great testament, loyalty, and strength of our fan base and interest in our program."

The FanForum was organized by the athletic marketing department, and provided a new level of access for Xavier fans. Xavier teamed with Broadnet Teleservices to organize the call. Broadnet has hosted similar calls for other NCAA athletic departments, and currently works with over 50 NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL teams.

With the buzz surrounding the upcoming season, the success of the call was no surprise. Over 8,000 fans were invited to join the nearly one-hour call. During the call, 17 questions were fielded live from the audience, which included topics on the renovations and new technology in Cintas Center, men's and women's basketball schedules, team personnel, ticket packages, the availability of Xavier merchandise at retail outlets, and conference realignment. Listeners who were unable to ask their question to the panel were provided the chance leave a recorded question or provided feedback at the end of the call, which 26 callers did.

Callers were also asked five poll questions that included questions about which Xavier personality bobblehead they would like to receive at a game this season and whether they planned to attend future events such as Musketeer Madness (October 23) and the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship (March 2011) to be hosted at Cintas Center.

In addition to giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions, fans were also given the opportunity to upgrade their locations and add seats to their account, many of whom took advantage of the service. A special "Buy One, Get One Free" was available during the FanForum on Women's Basketball Season.

The FanForum was the first call of this type offered by Xavier Athletics, but with the positive response Xavier is already exploring the possibility of hosting future calls. With this new technology and the addition of new community-based programs such as Fan Day at Fountain Square and Girls Night Out, Xavier Athletics is delivering on its goal to engage and interact directly with its fans.