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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Club aims to attract kids to UA

    The UA recently has begun a national program aimed at keeping students in kindergarten through 12th grade aware of a wide range of on-campus events.

    Arizona Athletics and Enrollment Management started Club Arizona, which informs its members about upcoming sporting, cultural and academic events. Membership is free, and members also get discounted admission prices.

    “”Why not get young people involved?”” said Phoebe Chalk, a UA assistant athletics director. “”If we can get them to campus, they can see that they, too, can go to college.””

    The athletics department has sponsored a youth-oriented club for many years but decided to collaborate with Enrollment Management and “”rejuvenate”” it, Chalk said.

    The initial funding was provided by Office Depot, which also sponsors the club.

    The club has 200 members so far, but Chalk hopes to get membership above 1,000 by the end of the year.

    “”So far, we’ve just been targeting the students in Arizona, or UA alumni with children, but I really think we can blow this out of the water,”” Chalk said.

    Chalk hopes to collaborate with many UA departments to allow students the chance to become involved in their specific interests, whether sports, science or something else.

    “”This would benefit all

    It’s important to get on (a student’s) radar screen at any time or any age. The younger, the better.
    br>- Chris Ousley, associate director of marketing,
    Enrollment
    Management
    the departments, as well as the club members,”” Chalk said. “”The departments are all reaching out to the youth on some level, and we just need to centralize that.””

    While it might seem premature to recruit kindergarten-age children, it is an effective way to get children to eventually apply to the UA, said Chris Ousley, associate director of marketing for Enrollment Management.

    “”People have a greater chance of attending a university if they are familiar with it, or a big sports fan,”” Ousley said. “”It’s important to get on (a student’s) radar screen at any time or any age. The younger, the better.””

    Ousley said it is also important for the prospective student to establish a level of comfort with an institution.

    “”A university can seem big and scary if you’ve never been (there),”” Ousley said. “”The more familiar you are with a place, the more comfortable you become there, and you’re more likely to feel like you fit in.””

    Elaine Nathanson, public relations director at Bolchalk Frey Marketing, a Tucson firm, agreed that establishing familiarity is key when marketing to children.

    “”It’s important for a child to be comfortable with the product so that it no longer seems like a foreign place,”” she said. “”If they are comfortable, they think, ‘There’s something here for me.’ “”

    Nathanson said young children are very susceptible to new products, but the key is getting their attention first.

    “”It’s all a matter of how you enter their world,”” Nathanson said. “”The product has to be something that impacts their lives directly. You have to grab their attention with a sport or an idea or an interest that they have.””

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