By Franklin Heinzmann
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – On Jan. 22 the Purple Pride Program app was launched in the App Store and the Google Play store. The app rewards NU Students for attending sporting events, and special events, across campus.
Students accumulate points by using the Purple Pride Program app to check-in at events listed on the app. Students can redeem points for a variety of prizes such as gift cards, NU apparel, free admission for a trip sponsored by CPB and a LG 24’’ HD TV. The app also has a communal leaderboard, a feed of several NU–related Twitter pages and a Fancam, where students can post pics from events.
The Purple Pride Program was created in part by Deputy Director of Athletics Steve Butler and Student Body President Cheyenne Freely. In collaborating on the Purple Pride Program, they had a clear goal in mind: get students to sporting events. Freely emphasized that getting students to sporting events that don’t get as many attendees as others was also an objective of the Purple Pride Program.
“When I was talking with Steve [Butler] over the summer, we agreed that we want all of our sports to get equal attention,” Freely said. “That’s a very lofty goal, so you have to add some incentive to that…. the hope is to motivate more people if they’re five or six points away from a prize and they want that prize, that they’re going to go to lesser-attended events and boost the morale of the teams [that they’re watching].”
Butler talked about how much the Athletics Department values students, and talked about the crucial role students play in college athletics.
“Students create such a home court, or home field, advantage for us,” Butler said. “To have them come in and show their school pride and spirit. It not only breathes energy into our student-athletes, but it really brings the charm of college athletics …. I think students really add to our atmosphere.”
He also cited the role a big student-section has on fans who come from outside NU.
“Our fans that come from the community really like to see the students there,” Butler said. “Whether they attended NU or not, it is certainly an opportunity for them to have a trip down memory lane and remember when they were a student at college and when they showed some spirit at a game.”
Butler and Freely said that they’d like to include club activates events into the app in the future. With over 300 users already, Freely commented on the potentially bright future of the Purple Pride Program app.
“Tell your friends about it, get excited about it, because it’s definitely something we’re going to have at NU for a while,” Freely said. “As it grows we’ll be able to work with business off-campus to get some sponsorships, so it’s got a lot of potential.”