Study Shows Millions Use Athletics Facilities Each Year

Carleton MBA students Alexander Slivin (left) and Chenyang Li (right) studied visitor traffic and demographics at Athletics. (Justin Tang Photo)

A first-of-its-kind study on visitor traffic at Carleton’s athletics facilities could enhance the department’s bargaining position when it comes to sponsorship funding.

The study, produced by Sprott MBA student Alexander Slivin, shows that more than 2.2 million people passed through what Slivin calls the Ravens Centre, which includes Alumni Hall, the Fieldhouse, Ice House and outdoor athletics facilities, in 2014-2015.

“The audience that the Carleton Department of (Recreation and) Athletics has to offer is… basically 18- to 30-year-olds… which marketers are highly interested in,” says Slivin, who designed the study during an internship at Athletics.

“But in order to make a compelling selling point to sponsors, the department has to know how many people come through its facilities in a certain period of time,’’ he says.

Sheryl Hunt, manager of marketing and brand development at Athletics, says the department had been providing sponsors with an estimate of 400,000 visitors per year prior to the study.

But with the opening of the new Fitness Centre and the return of Ravens football in 2013, Hunt felt that numbers must be higher.

Slivin spent the summer aggregating data to determine a more accurate number of yearly visits. His grand total of 2.2 million includes visits involving group fitness classes, memberships, adult and intramural leagues, camps, varsity sports, spectators at sporting events, facility rentals, Convocation, exams and more.

Of the total number of visits, 71.8 per cent were attributed to Alumni Hall. The Ice House took 22.6 per cent of visitor traffic, while 3.6 per cent went to MNP Park and two per cent to Raven Road Field.

“What this information did was… instill a pride and confidence in the value proposition that we offer to the marketplace,” Hunt says.

Hunt says the department plans to build on the study by delving into the demographics of visitor traffic at each facility, something second-year MBA student Chenyang Li had a chance to work on with regard to recreation and fitness classes.

While Li’s project is separate from Slivin’s visitor traffic study, he says understanding the demographics of traffic at Athletics can help the department customize marketing and sponsorship strategies.

“We need to understand those metrics in order to understand where we currently are and where we want to go,” Hunt says. “So as we move forward, we’ll be able to fine tune that.”

“For now,” she says, “this a definite, huge starting point.”

This entry was written by Kirsten Fenn and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kirsten Fenn

Be a part of the Carleton Now community

Carleton Now strives to be an inclusive, relevant and informative publication focused on building and fostering an engaged campus community. You can be a part of our community by: sharing or voting for this article (below), joining in the conversation, or by sending a submission/letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.

Current issue