Supporting the Cause

March 5, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

For many, “Tech Support” is synonymous with anything but fun.

That’s going to change, at least for Georgia Tech students

Today, “GT Tech Support,” an Athletic Association-sponsored student-rewards program is re-launching, with the primary goal of making being a student on The Flats more fun.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to get the students a little more involved,” said Mindy Hylton, Director of Marketing for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. “Georgia Tech is a very difficult school. These students are just so academic-driven. We want to keep reminding them that we have sports teams and there’s some fun stuff to do on the weekends.

This weekend was the perfect example. Georgia Tech Baseball was scheduled for a home series, the men’s and women’s tennis teams were in action at the Bill Moore Tennis Center, and the men’s basketball team wraps up its 2010-11 season and plays its final game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The weather may have put a damper on games to be played outdoors — baseball played a Friday double-header in anticipation of an all-day soaking on Saturday — but there was no dampening the spirits surrounding the relaunch.

Sunday at Thrillerdome, will be an all-out blitz to get students in the know about the initiative.

“We’re going to be giving away a T-shirt to every student there and giving them information about ‘Tech Support,'” said Hylton. “So we have 1,400 hundred T-shirts ready to give out on Sunday and the next week after that we’ll be starting our big campaign of getting 500 people to like us [on Facebook] for the month of March.”

Hylton knows plenty about getting fans into Tech athletics. She’s been the cheerleading coach and spirit coordinator since 2004 (she’s been in her current position in the marketing department since 2009). While she is counting on a big turnout at AMC to get the ball rolling, she knows that future expansion will rely more on Facebook and less on face-to-face. The initial program relied on fans’ getting to events and on Buzz Cards scanned upon attending athletic events. With the new plan, they can now get involved simply by logging on to any number of sites.

“What we’ve done to revamp it is we’re turning it into more of a social-media campaign,” said Hylton. “Our students can be friends with Tech Support via Facebook (GT Tech Support) or Twitter (GT_Tech Support). We’ll also have YouTube videos going out and so we’ll announce when we’ll be having prizes available.”

The draw of free stuff and the program’s role as social planner of sorts will hopefully fuel the enthusiasm of the student body. With spring weather almost here (Friday and Saturday notwithstanding), students will be spending more time outside. Hylton is excited about the opportunity to offer fun options for that time. She pointed to a popular on-campus game that shows what students will do when left to their own devices (or smart phones, of course).

“There’s a game on campus, it’s a whole zombie game,” she said. “They have these yellow headbands and you’ll see the students running around campus. If the headband is on their foreheads, I guess they’re still human and once they’ve been tagged, they take it off and move it to their arm. So seeing kids running around playing games like that, gave us the idea that they like to be involved.

“They like to be interactive,” she continued. “They like to doing things on campus, out and about. With this new version of [“Tech Support”], we’re going to do a lot of hands-on type of interaction. We’ll be doing scavenger hunts, where we’ll have different questions and they’ll have to go to different locations on campus and when they get to the final location we’re going to have giveaways for everybody. This is really just to get the kids and students excited again.”

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