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Sporting event atmosphere provides entertainment

The pounding music, the sea of matching shirts, the mascot encouraging the team and the roaring crowd.

So many things go into planning an athletic event other than the sport itself. Ryan Gilmore, Drake’s director of marketing and promotions, is one of the people in charge of organizing what goes on at large basketball games, such as yesterday’s “White Out” game against rival Creighton. The first 4,000 fans in attendance received an official “White Out” T-shirt. Other basketball games in the past have had themes similar to this.

“There’s always something coming up, especially when you get into conference games. There’s all kinds of things happening,” Gilmore said.

Along with the white shirts, students who attended were able to receive other items, such as rally towels and banners, for being some of the first people in the door.

Contests for students to win prizes, such as discounts from businesses in the Drake Neighborhood, get students energized for the game and create the strong atmosphere. Fans get to watch participants do wild contests, such as eating the most wings from Jethro’s, spinning around a baseball bat or shooting half-court shots. Gilmore said that contests are planned in advance by the Drake interns who work with the marketing team to get fans more involved.

The halftime presentation is organized with sponsors to create an entertaining show that keeps the excitement of the game alive. Academic and alumni awards are often presented at this time, in addition to unique shows, like acrobats on trampolines.

“On Saturday, we have the Isiserettes coming back in,” Gilmore said.

Music is another part that intensifies the game. Much of the music is switched up at each game. The music that is played is based off the flow of the game and how Drake is doing.

Music and games play a large role in creating the excitement at the basketball game.

“The students drive the atmosphere at Drake,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said that he hopes that students will pack the house as Spike’s Army to cheer on both the men’s and women’s basketball teams for the rest of the season.

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