Feb. 23, 2011
This is a reposting of the Wildcat Wednesday weekly email sent by Athletic Director Greg Byrne to all the wildcat fans around the country. If you would like to sign up to receive the email directly please sign up here.
NICE WILDCAT WEEK
Thanks to everyone who helped make our sports programs enjoy a very nice week -- coaches, student-athletes, staff and fans. Wow! We swept a pair of men's basketball games, swept a pair of women's basketball games on the road, swept five games in a home softball tournament, swept three games in baseball's home opening series, won our home men's tennis match, swept two home women's tennis matches, our ranked men's and women's track teams turned in some solid performances with a small group at Flagstaff, our swimming and diving teams continued preparations for the Pac-10 Championships this week, our gymnasts fought hard and barely fell in their dual meet at home against the #2 ranked team in the country, and men's golf finished eighth of 16 squads in a Hawaii tourney. With a student-athlete population around 500 and so many things going on at this time of year, it's great to see everyone turn in a strong effort. It all made for a memorable week, the kind of moment in time the University of Arizona is all about.
And while we're at it, the "white-out" for the men's basketball game on national television was simply awesome. Our fans gave incredible effort! Here's the calm before the storm that day:
Thank you to our fans who sent in photos for our Facebook White-Out promo. Edwin Moody, featured below, was the winner of the Oregon State tickets.
MARCH MADNESS IN McKALE
We are hosting the NCAA Men’s Basketball 2nd/3rd Round games at McKale on March 17 and 19. The Wildcats are not eligible to play at McKale, but if you cannot follow the team on the road this is a great chance to watch eight tournament teams the first weekend. There will be six total games played at McKale over two days and tickets are still available HERE.
EARLY ONLINE RENEWAL DEADLINE
Don’t forget to renew your season tickets and Wildcat Club donations online by next Monday, Feb. 28th in order to receive the early renewal benefits – waiving the $10 renewal service fee, a $20 Arizona Athletics Gift Card for ICA tickets (not valid for 2011-12 renewal payments) and a $10 credit for the Arizona Online Store (minimum purchase of $50).
WORKING IN THE COMMUNITY
I received a report detailing student-athlete community service for a 10-month period ending in January. It's refreshing to note that a total of 378 student-athletes participated in various service projects, school visits or good-will efforts. That's just about 80 percent of our people, and that's remarkable. We had our student-athletes in the community on such missions for a total of 2,098 hours in that period. The softball team led the way with an average of 19 hours per individual and a total of 383 hours, representing our university in the finest of fashions. All teams and sports were involved. Giving back to the community is a hallmark of quality intercollegiate athletic programs and we're proud to have the kind of people who really take that to heart. Thanks to all of them, and keep up the good work.
WEARING THE COLORS TO SUPPORT UA
I had a question from Joe Thornhill this week about the best way to ensure the profits from Arizona gear directly benefit the University. Joe’s question is particularly relevant during the upcoming NCAA basketball tournament. The answer is simple - only purchase officially licensed products! You’ll know it’s officially licensed when you see the CLC (Collegiate Licensing Company) hologram hang-tag, which ensures royalties from that particular licensed product will make its way back to the University. We are pleased to have many retail partners throughout Arizona and the country which carry our officially licensed products, including the UA bookstore and our official online store beardownshop.com. Support them, and that supports us.
Today I participated in a conference call with members of the National Sports Communicators Association as part of its continuing education series for college sports information directors. The subject -- Twitter. Three other presenters were football coach Mark Hudspeth of Louisiana-Lafayette, women's basketball coach Renee Jimenez of Cal State Monterey, and Mississippi State media relations assistant Joe Galbraith. Those of you who follow me (and others) on Twitter know of its power in spreading news and developments instantly, and how we use it to generate interest through instant ticket giveaways and other fun tweets. The bottom line is that there are pros and cons to instant communication, and in reality we (users and followers) are still figuring out how best -- and when -- to adopt the practice. There is no question that Twitter has huge numbers of people involved in maintaining lines of communication, much like this weekly email. My purpose here is to connect to people and we think that's happening in a big way. BTW, I gave a number of tickets away to Arizona fans last week before our men’s basketball games through my Twitter account…better sign up so you can win!
‘THANK YOU’ OUTREACH TO OUR FANS
This is the time of year where we like to reach out to our loyal donors and football season ticket holders to simply say “thank you.” In the first part of February, a select number of student-athletes reached out to Wildcat Club Members who give to Sport Interest Groups (SIGs) or the Wildcat Scholarship Fund to thank them for their support. Currently, we are calling every one of our football season ticket holders to speak with them. It’s a terrific opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with customers about many topics, including their unique and specific experiences with Arizona Football. These discussions are very helpful to us and provide valuable new ideas and feedback for improvement.
WOMEN’S HOOPS MAKING THEIR MOVE
Our women’s basketball team has won three-straight Pac-10 games and has moved up to fifth place in the league standings. We host two very important games this weekend with No. 11 UCLA on Thursday and USC on Saturday for Senior Day. We saw how important the crowd was in Saturday’s men’s basketball win over Washington. Come out to support the women and give the McKale Center that same electric atmosphere. We need you.
Congratulations to former Wildcat All-American baseball star Terry Francona for his election to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. The current Boston Red Sox manager will be recognized in induction ceremonies later this year. Terry played on our first NCAA team championship squad, the 1976 Wildcats...Men's and women's swimming will be at the Pac-10 Championships today through the weekend, with State Farm Territorial Cup Series points on the line for both teams in terms of how we finish compared to the team up north... Our track teams will be at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation meet this weekend, the indoor version of Pac-10 competition, with a State Farm T-Cup point up for grabs on the women's side... Men’s basketball travels to USC/UCLA for a key weekend looking to lock-up the Pac-10 crown... Baseball, softball, men's and women's tennis will be on the road this week... Gymnastics is at powerhouse BYU on Saturday... Women's golf plays next Monday through Wednesday at Valencia, Calif.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:
- Buy Season Tickets
- Join the Wildcat Club
- Become a Fund Drive Volunteer
- Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
- Get Others to Do the Same