The Auburn Athletic Department is trying extremely hard this season to turn the typical “game day experience” into a “game weekend experience.” They are also striving to increase their customer service and have the Auburn fans feel as if they can consider Auburn a second home.
This past February, many staff members of the Auburn Athletic Department traveled to Orlando, Florida to have a conference with one of the biggest companies know for their customer service, Disney World. The staff members who attended the conference learned many things that would help in achieving their goal of turning this football season into a “game weekend experience.”
After attending the conference, the athletic department staff members welcome fans “home” when they come into town for a game just like the employees of Disney do when a guest enters a park or hotel. The athletic department has the stadium and locker room open for an open house for two hours on the Friday before a home game where as last year the public was not allowed into the stadium or locker rooms at all. The open house allows the Auburn family or any fans of the opposing team to tour the stadium and locker room with all the lockers set up for game day. Kelli Bagwell, who is coordinator of public athletic facility tours, says, “There has been great feedback from fans of visiting teams because they have never been able to experience anything like it and they enjoy seeing the stadium or locker room in its game day state.”
Auburn tries to offer a free event to Auburn fans on the Friday night before a home game such as volleyball game, soccer game, or a movie at the baseball stadium. The athletic department is striving to have fans walk away with more than just experience at the football game because of how much time, money, and planning goes into traveling to watch the game. Auburn has former football players, who went on to play for the NFL, come back for autographs and pictures on Saturdays of a home game. So far, Bo Jackson, Kendall Simmons, and Carnell Williams have participated in this event. Bagwell says, “It is a great experience to watch fans get to meet formal Auburn football players, who now play for the NFL, because it shows how close the Auburn family really is.”
Auburn Athletics and their marketing team have gone to great measures to create a memorable weekend experience for everyone who comes to the plains. Their slogan this year is "Welcome Home." They want everyone to feel welcome and to offer numerous activities that they would enjoy. Next Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, and they will have the first flyover of the season as they welcome the Aggies of Texas A&M to their first game at Jordan Hare.