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WVU’s Wells sees what Brown can do for him

WVU’s Wells sees what Brown can do for him

For the last handful of years, WVU Senior Associate Athletic Director Matt Wells has been slugging it out with a national trend.

Overall, college football season ticket sales have been on the decline, with the exception of the Big Ten.

And that’s not all.

After last season, Wells found himself staring at another opponent: the scenario for the 2019 football season.

Gone is draw Will Grier. Gone is David Sills. And Gary Jennings. And David Long.

The cupboard, it seemed, was bare. Which, I’m sure, led to Dana Holgorsen’s decision to flee Morgantown.

But then along came Neal.

Wells has watched new head football coach Neal Brown hit town. He’s seen him land Oklahoma quarterback transfer Austin Kendall. He’s watched his commitment to in-state recruiting. Most importantly, he’s watched Brown run a reverse in regard to Holgorsen’s statewide public relations.

In sum, Brown actually seems to enjoy meeting people. Genuinely. And that gives Wells hope in regard to ticket sales.

“I think it’s going to help tremendously,” Wells said Monday morning. “I think there’s a renewed sense of enthusiasm around the program with the transition – and certainly with the tremendous job Coach has done with his initial time in Morgantown.”

Wells, in fact, seems confident.

“Whether it’s season tickets, whether it’s mini-packages or whether it’s single game sales, I foresee a lift,” said the associate AD. “There’s a lot of momentum. I think it will increase ticket sales and attendance.”

Brown’s way with fans and the media might just translate into support from Mountaineer Nation – whether those fans believe the team will fare well or not.

“It’s definitely given fans a new take on the program,” Wells said. “I think you’ll see that translate to additional sales. I’m not going to predict whether it will be in season-ticket sales, mini-package sales or single-game sales, but I do think people will be supporting at a higher level.”

Understand, again, this has been an ongoing fight for Wells. Consider that the final season ticket sales number for last season was 25,629, which was DOWN from the previous 26,542. That’s hard to comprehend considering WVU was picked to finish second to Oklahoma in the preseason Big 12 media poll. That’s hard to comprehend considering Grier was a Heisman Trophy contender. That’s hard to comprehend considering Grier, Sills, Jennings, Long, etc., were on board.

Yet Wells knew. He got it. This is what he said to me back on July 26 of last year:

“There are so many variables that go into the season ticket purchase process now. It’s not shocking our numbers aren’t up because the marketplace has changed so much — and not just at West Virginia University. This is something across the board: the options available to fans and how the games are consumed. It’s much like what you see in regard to television. Fans are being more selective with their money and looking for that a la carte option.

“Three games [packages] seem to be hitting the sweet spot better than the six-game packages in a lot of places. I don’t think what we’re experiencing is all that unique when you look at the trends, not only across college football and athletics, but all events, whether it’s major league baseball or the NBA. It’s a new world out there in terms of options for fans.”

Don’t misunderstand. WVU football is still very healthy. WVU’s athletic department is very healthy. The total football ticket revenue was $13.4 million last season, according to Wells. The department took in $34.3 million from the Big 12.

“That’s why I say, ‘Let’s look at this globally and not just focus on the season ticket sales,’” Wells said Monday. “Certainly, we hope for an increase there. But if we don’t have a significant increase there I don’t want people to think it’s a disappointment. You won’t know until we go through the entire process.”

A more upbeat football coach like Brown, meanwhile, doesn’t hurt.

“He’s been terrific,” Wells said. “Very impressive.”

Wheelhouse Creative Adds Veteran Reporter to Talented Team

Wheelhouse Creative Adds Veteran Reporter to Talented Team

Wheeling, W. Va. – Wheelhouse Creative announces the addition of award-winning journalist Mitch Vingle to its talented team of creative professionals. Vingle brings over 38 years of writing experience to the team. Whether as a beat writer for WVU sports, a sports editor of the Morgantown Dominion Post and Charleston Gazette or award-winning columnist, his… Continue Reading

Instagram for Business: Tips, Tricks & Ideas

Instagram for Business: Tips, Tricks & Ideas

Social media is everywhere. With Instagram being a huge player in the game we wanted to walk you through some of the best tips and tricks for your page.  Instagram is essentially a social atmosphere where you can create and promote your brand and image for your business. Below is a list to help you… Continue Reading

Why Blogs with Original Copy Are Best for Your Business

Why Blogs with Original Copy Are Best for Your Business

Creating blogs can be time consuming. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with original content. I am sure every company has thought about just grabbing some content from another blog. This can save you time, but did you know that Google could potentially penalize your site for doing just that? That’s why original content… Continue Reading

Look ‘Em in the Eye

Look ‘Em in the Eye

A while back, I worked on a video that required the subjects of an interview to talk directly to the camera. The people being filmed weren’t paid actors or on-air professionals and you could tell they felt uncomfortable speaking to the lens of my camera and you can’t blame them. With some coaching and a… Continue Reading

To Ink or Not to Ink – That is a Personal Preference

To Ink or Not to Ink – That is a Personal Preference

Sixteen was the age of my first tattoo experience. But as bad as that sun and moon (with some Thomas the Train-esk features) may have turned out, I was hooked. I enjoy all types of tattoos, my personal collection is an array of milestones in my life, moments that I never want to forget or… Continue Reading

Modern Crafts

Modern Crafts

As a child, art class was always my favorite. You can never be wrong, no matter how good or not so good you are at it. Being a graphic designer by day and a crafter by night keeps my brain in a creative state. I personally enjoy taking old school crafts and adding a modern… Continue Reading

A Weekend Getaway

A Weekend Getaway

The hubby and I used to travel quite often pre-kids. The anticipation of the trip was fun – getting my hair and nails done, tanning, new wardrobe, the works! Since the kiddos were introduced into our lives, we continue with memorable vacations and family trips. BUT, it’s the adventures minus the rugrats that can be… Continue Reading

A Short Guide to Instagram Marketing

A Short Guide to Instagram Marketing

Living in the digital age can be very overwhelming. Having so much information at the touch of a button it is quite easy to go into digital overload. If your company is looking to take the social media plunge but far to confused where to start here is a guide to get you started with… Continue Reading

The Problem with Your New TV

The Problem with Your New TV

This is a public service announcement. Movies and TV shows are being destroyed by your brand new TV and only you can prevent this catastrophe. Have you or your loved ones sat down to watch your favorite movie on your brand spankin’ new 80 inch “super ultra max HD+ special edition” TV just for it… Continue Reading

Sum…Sum..Summertime!

Sum…Sum..Summertime!

Walking to the office from the parking lot this morning, I thought about what a beautiful day it is…the sky is such a pretty blue, the temps are very pleasant, the birds are chirping and the Cicadas are gone! It’s hard to believe that the 4th of July is just around the corner and summer… Continue Reading

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