COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s athletic marketing department won the 2018 Marketing Team of the Year Award (MTOYA), given by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) and sponsored by SuperFan. The award was presented at the NACMA Convention on June 28 in Washington, D.C.
“We are honored to bring this award back to South Carolina,” said Senior Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Branding Eric Nichols. “We have a great support staff, not only in marketing, but across the entire athletics department, but the real reason we won is because we have the absolute best fans in the country.”
South Carolina was one of two schools in the nation to be ranked in the final top 30 in average attendance in seven of the eight sports in which the NCAA keeps attendance statistics and the Gamecocks participate. Six ticketed sports have seen an average attendance increase by more than 25 percent over the last four years.
More than 19,500 USC students attended at least one Gamecock athletics event during the 2017-18 academic year. More than half of Gamecock sports have seen an increase in student attendance during the last year, with 11 of 15 sports seeing an increase during the last four years.
Carolina has also been on the leading edge in technology and data, generating ticket sales, revenues and interest in Gamecock Athletics. More than 35,800 users have registered on the Gamecock Student Rewards app in the last four years. New technology has been added to existing programs to simplify processes for fan experience.
Carolina’s reach to the community has also been strengthened by projects done by the athletic marketing office. More than 550,000 lives have been impacted over the last 10 years through school programs, such as “Read with the Gamecocks” and “Active Gamecocks.” Gamecock Athletics is the largest college athletics sponsor of the U.S. Military, working closely with Fort Jackson.
“Our marketing team does an outstanding job and is certainly deserving of this award,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “From creative to strategy to execution, our marketing team delivers a first-class, enjoyable atmosphere for our fans in front of packed venues that our athletics teams are able to perform.”
The South Carolina marketing team is led by Nichols and Assistant AD Blake Edmunds, Creative Director Joe Johnson, Director of Content Brad Muller and Assistant Directors Joe O’Clair and Rebecca Piner.
Now in its seventh year, the nominations for the MTOYA spanned across FBS, FCS, and Division I-AAA institutions. The award was created to show the type of impact that a marketing team has not only on the athletics department, but the campus and surrounding communities as well. The selection committee was made up of NACMA past presidents, as well as two NACDA past presidents.