Athletics campaign aims to up student buy-in, get ‘older folks’ out of student section


Selena Favela

Kylee Sorrells, a marketing and game day operations assistant, speaks about changing the branding for the student section this year during public forum at SGA on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

Kylee Sorrells, a marketing and game day operations assistant for the Wichita State athletics department, spoke to the Student Government Association Wednesday to explain why the school’s student section is undergoing a rebranding campaign.

Last week, the department announced a student section-naming contest for students only.

“We want the student body’s voice to be heard,” Sorrells said. “When we decide the top five, we will hold a table vote in the RSC, and online as well, so the students can decide what their favorite name is.”

Sorrells said decreased student involvement during volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball games has spurred a need for more student buy-in.

She said the campaign is also an effort to limit the lower half of the student section to just students, citing the presence of “older folks” in the area that it is “tailored to the students.”

“I don’t know if you’ve been to a basketball game here, but for example, there are a lot of older folks that start coming to games in that lower section,” Sorrells said. “Students feel uncomfortable being rowdy and getting into the game because they don’t want to disturb the people who are sitting behind them or next to them.”

The goal is to designate the bottom half of sections 116 and 117 in Charles Koch Arena as strictly for students. According to Sorrells, that will enhance the overall student experience at sporting events.

The department is trying to get the campaign finalized by Nov. 5, which means printing banners and T-shirts for the men’s basketball regular season home opener against Omaha. Final polling for the student section name will take place on campus from Oct. 21-25.

Sorrells announced during the meeting that the person who submits the winning name will receive a reward, but the reward has not yet been decided.

“There will be a reward for the winner,” Sorrells said. “We haven’t determined what it is going to be, but we are leaning towards a gift card for the Shocker Store or an apparel outlet to get that Wichita State gear.”

To enter a name suggestion, students must go to Submissions can be submitted until Oct. 4 at 11:59 p.m.