Auburn’s athletic department made significant upgrades to the fan experience in Jordan-Hare Stadium going into last season, including an expense of $14 million for the largest video board in college football.
It looks like those renovations paid off.
Auburn COO David Benedict pointed to the success of the changes in an independent survey done by the SEC, which measures the fan experience for all 14 SEC programs, during an interview with turnkeysearch.com.
According to Benedict, Auburn was ranked first in each of the following criteria after the SEC compiled the results of the survey:
- Clarity of announcer
- Quality of picture
- Overall sound
- Overall announcer
- Overall video board content
- Overall ribbon board content
- Clarity of music
- Music selection
- Volume level of music
- Highlights of other games
- Display of other football scores
- Display of team stats
Auburn did not rank in the Top 5 in any of the aforementioned categories during the 2014 campaign, according to Benedict.
“This is (Auburn athletic director) Jay Jacobs’ philosophy,” Benedict told Turnkey Search. “He really focuses on data from our fans on an annual basis after the season to look at how we’re going to invest and what we’re going to do to make the game-day experience better for our fans.”
The video board was immensely popular during the 2015 season. An Auburn player even used it for a marriage proposal and potential Auburn recruits played Madden on the jumbotron during a visit to the school.
In this instance, it appears bigger was better.
“We probably spent a little bit more than others might spend, but the results speak for themselves,” Benedict said. “The most important thing for us is to keep people coming back.”