Enthusiastic student group rolls out new mobile platform
THE SANTA CLARA
September 29, 2016
Dwindling student attendance rates at Bronco athletic events may become a thing of the past. Ruff Riders, the official student booster club on campus, designed and launched a rewards-based app where members can earn points and prizes for attending athletic events while staying informed about all of the school’s Division I athletic programs.
According to their website, Ruff Riders is Santa Clara’s largest student organization. Although approximately 90 percent of the undergraduate student body are already members of the group, the app helps motivate new membership by offering a convenient, comprehensive collection of each of Santa Clara’s divisional athletic teams and their events.
The main purpose of creating the app, according to the club’s president Mac McOsker, is to increase student involvement with Santa Clara Division I athletics.
“The app is essentially all things Ruff Riders,” McOsker said. “With marketing, we want to get as close to people as possible.”
The app’s launch carries a likelihood of increased attendance across all sporting events now that students are given further incentive to watch their fellow broncos in action.
“Because you earn points by going, I feel like it will make people want to go more,” said women’s volleyball player Callie Jones. “I would want to go to more games if I knew there were rewards attached to it.”
The interface allows users to easily navigate tabs where information on athletic events and their own personal rewards can both be found. By clicking the “Events” icon, users can view an interactive calendar of all the sporting events and student rallies hosted on campus. Next to each event is a point total that students can receive if they attend the event and check in on the application.
This rewards feature, which allows students to earn two points for each athletic game they attend, grants attendees a bonus point if they check in at halftime or during an indicated stoppage in play.
“Debatably the most important feature is the rewards program, which keeps a tally of the events you go to,” McOsker said.
Though the app has only been public for a couple weeks, the main draw for students may be the opportunity to earn rewards; current prizes include cash vouchers, apparel and a GoPro camera.
The interface also has an “Offers” tab where students can get discounts from local businesses such as The Counter and Mountain Mike’s.
Additionally, the app features a social media stream that includes everything from live game updates to feature stories on Santa Clara’s most prominent athletes.
“I think it’s a very easy app (to use),” Jones said. “It’s laid out well, not confusing or anything.”
With the hiring of a new athletic director last year and head men’s basketball coach earlier this year, Santa Clara is making serious strides to improve its athletic tradition. The Ruff Riders Rewards App is falling in line with that mission and attempting to persuade students to get more involved in the school’s athletic programs.
“The app is a landmark and a symbol of the new growth of the Ruff Riders program,” McOsker said. “More importantly the growth of the student community within athletics.”
Contact John Lambert at jvlambert@scu. edu or call (408) 554-4852.