Join the madness
News Writing Student
At 5:15 p.m. Oct. 20, Cameron University students and fans gathered outside the Cameron Administration building for the CU American Marketing Association (AMA) and Jim Glover Chevrolet Tailgating Party.
The tailgating party was the first of two pre-party events that were brought to the university to get fans pumped up and excited for the annual basketball pep rally, better known as Aggie Madness.
Business professor Dr. Theresa Billiot’s student organization AMA helped orchestrate the tailgate and attempted to make the event even more exciting and fun than in previous years.
“My AMA organization consulted with coach Gamet and coach Webb to discuss how to bring more awareness and entertainment value to Aggie Madness,” Billiot said. “This was a collaborative effort where we discussed potential vendors, media opportunities and hands-on sports marketing experience for our students.”
The tailgating party was the first of the two pre-party events and was filled with games and prizes – all were supported or provided by different sponsors. Prizes included Samsung tablets, a 50-inch television, a go-kart and $500.
“In terms of vendors, the basketball coaches secured Chick-fil-A,” Billiot said, “and AMA secured donated prizes from Jim Glover Chevrolet, Monster Energy and Sam’s Club. We secured four top-of-the line Chevrolet vehicles and giveaways from Jim Glover Chevy, and Monster Energy had set-up a tent with promotional giveaways and Monster Energy pong.”
At 6:25 p.m. the tailgating party ended and the second pre-party event began with festivities in the Aggie Gym. More prizes and games were played as students filled the seats in the basketball arena.
At 8 p.m. the Aggie Cheer Squad started off Aggie Madness with an array of flips and gymnastics. Following this the men’s and women’s Cameron Basketball teams were introduced to the crowd. Cameron students got the chance to see a brief scrimmage between the players of the Cameron men’s basketball team.
Fans made lots of noise when the men’s team held a dunk competition. Junior Deondre Ray won the event when he ran the distance of the court and jumped over two of his teammates on his way to slamming the ball down the hoop.
“I have been dunking my whole life and going to practice just trying new stuff,” Ray said. “Some of the dunks I did today were off the crowd like the free throw dunk I have never done that before, never, but I told myself I am going to get out here, and I just tried it and it happened.”
Ray has been getting ready for the upcoming season, and Aggie Madness is just the beginning.
“I have been preparing all summer and have been working out with different coaches,” Ray said. “It has really improved my game a lot and I am ready to show what I can do. We are going to be real good this year. We have a lot of depth. We have great players that can come into the game and produce.”
There was also a knockout competition that took place at the three point line between both men and women basketball players and a few select fans. Cameron men’s basketball player Zac Tabor won this competition.
“That’s the first time we have played knockout,” Tabor said. “I’m actually surprised I did well because we played with a girl’s ball.”
The last event that took place was the dance competition between the Cameron men’s and women’s basketball teams. The winner was determined by the team that could get the most crowd noise, and the women’s team slightly edged out the men’s team in crowd participation.
“It was fun,” Tabor said. “Honestly we didn’t spend a lot of time on the dance moves, not at all. I didn’t know how to dance before; a few of the guys did, but not me.”
Ray believed his team should have taken home the bragging rights.
“We were supposed to win that,” Ray said. “We only worked on it for like a day, but I mean we really wanted it. We didn’t want to do it at first, but as we all got here and actually went through with it and we felt good about it – we think we won.”
Billiot said Aggie Madness was also a very good way for her students to learn things they hadn’t had an opportunity to gain experience in yet.
“We prepared our students with operational and promotional roles to help organize and execute the event effectively,” Billiot said. “For many of our students, this was their first live sports marketing event. I believe many of them realized that working this event requires passion, responsibility, and immediate action, and how working an event is quite different from just attending an event as a sociable guest.”
The event was a huge success, according to Billiot.
“The crowd stayed engaged and excited,” Billiot said. “So at the end of the day, if the fans are happy, and our students gained experience, then I am happy.”
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