In this edition of Campus Connections, our focus is on: <b>your school’s athletics department</b>.
I’ve never been a jock by any stretch, and throughout high school and college I remember having the misconception that scholastic athletes got a disproportionate amount of attention. It wasn’t until I looked more objectively that I discovered, while sports teams may have more institutional support than the arts in terms of funding for equipment and transportation to events, they often suffer from very real challenges when it comes to attendance and recognition within their institutions. Yes, particularly at major universities, the football and basketball teams get attention, but what of the gymnastics, track and field, or wrestling squads? With a small handful of exceptions, these talented, hard-working athletes tend to be underappreciated by their peers and larger campus communities.
A cappella groups that reach out to the athletics departments or specific teams at their schools access the opportunity to cross-pollinate audiences. Given how much is going on at a college campus and how busy college students, faculty, and staff are, it can be a real struggle for anyone to promote sheer awareness about your events. Therefore, it never hurts to garner an extra source of publicity. What if tennis team is plugging you’re a cappella group’s on-campus performances, just as you’re promoting their on-campus matches? Just by getting the word out, you can likely bolster the audiences for each other.
In addition to publicity, sports events have a time-honored tradition of opening with a performance of the national anthem. Particularly at big universities, singing the national anthem in front of large crowds at major events can be an outstanding way of getting your group’s name out to thousands of new listeners. If you’re not sure how to get one of these slots, don’t hesitate to reach out to the administration at your school’s athletics department—more often than not, they’ll be eager to spotlight artists from the campus community. In addition to major performance opportunities, it may be little less gratifying to have the chance to sing in front of a dedicated audience at smaller events.
There’s a stereotypical depiction of sports and the arts being at odds with one another on college campuses. Break down those walls, and take advantage of all of the opportunities to cross-promote and perform in new venues!