Gil Swalls, Associate Athletic Director and Marketing Manager for Spartan Athletics, has a breakthrough idea to get more students in the seats for game nights. “I don’t believe students don’t care, they just never know when the games are,” Swalls said. The marketing team –led by Swalls– has created schedule cards for the games over the years, but this has not solved the problem of attendance.
With help of Promotions Coordinator Cassandra Luddy, and her father Kevin Luddy, there is now an app available for students to get the schedule and time of any upcoming game for any UT sports team. The app was designed by the elder Luddy, and only took a few brief weeks to create, but it has not been easy.
After only two weeks, the Android market accepted the app and put it on the Google Play store for users to download for free. The app is even sponsored by Pizza Hut and by going to the app, a student has the ability to make one click that will send them directly to the delivery page for the nearby Pizza Hut.
However, Apple’s App Store for the iPhone needs specific qualifications for any app that is made available. In this case, the qualifications for Apple users were not met. The app had to be re-done by Luddy over three times now.
Currently, Swalls and the UTampa Spartans App is not ready for anyone with an iPhone, which clearly is a huge problem considering almost every student has an iPhone here on campus.
Swalls is confident it will be ready for download by the end of the semester and is only a few minor fixes away from being Apple approved. Upon happening, for the first time students will have the ability to get updates on when and where the Spartans are playing with just one click.
When opening the app, the Pizza Hut banner is present at the top of the home page. Scrolling down allows the user to see upcoming athletic games. So far the schedule that has been released extends into December.
So far, this app allows Android-using Spartans to access the upcoming athletic schedule.
Swalls has one mission: “to provide the most accessible way to follow the sports teams on campus.”
With the work of Swalls, the 44 members of Athletic Marketing and this new app, students will take the time to attend games. There are people here that have desperately tried to get the word out for games, but now with the unveiling of this app, students have no excuse.
James Belluscio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org