Since Baseball games are dictated by outs and not time, in theory, a game could last forever. For some people, that’s what makes the game so theoretically romantic.

For others, even nine innings is simply too long.

As part of assistant professor Alex Gang‘s Sport in American Society class, 10 students initiated a social campaign to encourage those in the WSU community to attend a Coug baseball game and then stay until the end of the game.

The game they chose was Friday, April 12, against California.

The students had roughly a month to design and execute the campaign and their tasks included:

  • Come up with a catchphrase that conveyed the purpose of the campaign.
  • Develop promotional strategies (both online and offline) to disseminate information to the WSU community.
  • Incentivize staying until the end of the game.

The group included 10 students and named the campaign Cougs All Nine.

Sport Management student Hyrum Futrelle said the group decided to focus on baseball because it was a main sport during spring.

“We were also aware of the problem of people not showing up to baseball games in large numbers and also not staying throughout the whole game,” Hyrum says. “This is a problem in all our sports, but it does seem to be a bit worse in baseball.”

To prepare, the group launched an Instagram page, appropriately named @CougsAllNine. At the game, they gave out stickers to attract spectator attention, as well as host a table with information. The big draw was a raffle where three people drawn would win a baseball signed by the WSU players.

And, like peanuts and a cold one, nothing says baseball like a hot dog. The group worked with WSU Concessions and handed out half-off coupons for hot dogs for the next game people went to, but fans couldn’t get those until after the 8th inning.

The effectiveness was put to the test immediately, because while temperatures at first pitch hovered in the low 60s and comfortable, the forecast called for rain to roll in around the seventh-inning stretch.

And rain it did.

But in a close game that saw the winning run on base for the Cougs (they’d ultimately lose 4-3), fans stuck around. Yet three fans were delighted to win baseballs. Won of those was WSU ROAR scholar Richard Roloff.

Hyrum says the part that was the most fun for him was seeing people get excited about these giveaways, and just the ability to talk to them when they entered the ballpark.

Because this was associated with a Sport Management class, and there needs to be learning, Dr. Gang says the group is going through its evaluation process of the social campaign.

Hyrum says the evaluation was pretty evident to him.

“If we were to do this again, I would like to start the campaign before the season to give us time to reach more people and further develop our ideas,” he says. “We could also measure our success over a few different games at different points in the season.”

Oh, by the way, total game time was only two hours and 39 minutes.