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Instant “Peay” Play: Austin Peay State University Athletics Highlight Impact on City, Corporate Partners

Legends Bank LogoClarksville, TN – It’s no surprise to anyone that Austin Peay State University and its athletic department have an impact on the local economy, but until a resent impact study, no one had really been able to truly break it down statically for fans or corporate sponsors.

That changes on Tuesday August 27th at 5:30pm, when the APSU Governors athletic department hosts an event in the Dunn Center for current and future corporate partners with a demonstration of the breakdown of the impact study, as well as the new video boards and tables that will enhance sponsors ability to reach students, fans and alumni.

APSU Governors Stadium.
APSU Governors Stadium.

“I’m very excited for what it demonstrates in that Austin Peay is an important part of this community and in order for Austin Peay’s athletics department to continue to take steps forward we have to show what it brings to the community,” Austin Peay athletics director Derek van der Merwe said. “We can go out there and ask for another donation or another gift, but it’s important to demonstrate what we’re bringing to this community and this event is a great opportunity to demonstrate to our corporate partners that are coming in for the football stadium, the new Dunn Center signage and to all of the other marketing tools that we’re starting to develop and deploy. This is going to enhance their own businesses, their own business vision and strategic vision, that’s what I’m most excited about.”

Finished in 2012, the EDC impact study shows that currently Austin Peay adds right at $330 million to the local economy every year and with its 10,000+ student body spending money here, as well as the students’ families, friends, whomever that may come to Clarksville to visit them during their stay.

“Austin Peay is a great asset to this community and the impact study shows for every 100 students that come to Austin Peay it generates over two million dollars in business revenue for Clarksville and not just for Austin Peay,” said athletics marketing and promotions coordinator Alaric Klinghard. “It’s the restaurants, the retail stores and anything else that encompasses businesses in Clarksville that the students frequent, along with the study shows the students’ families, friends, whomever that may come to Clarksville to visit them or come to events on campus spend on an average of $46 each during their visit.

“Just think about what you spend when you go out of town for a football or basketball game. You get gas, you get something to drink, something to eat at a restaurant, whatever it might be you’re sending money in the town you’re in.”

Current or future corporate sponsors will also be able to see the new electronic boards and tables in the arena and see firsthand what the new boards will be able to do in bring eyes to their adds.

“Our goal is to provide better positioning for our corporate partners, because we’ve had some additions in the Dunn Center,” Klinghard said. “We’ve added the new tables on both side of the floor; we’ve added the new video boards, that are all electronic, and with these we know we have a much better way to position our corporate partners so that they are getting more for your money.

“We have over 10,000 students and there are a large number of them that do stay on campus or a regular basis and we want to provide to local businesses in this community and the people that are impacted by those students the prime positioning in the Dunn Center and in the new football stadium next year when they complete it. There will be a lot of space, prime real estate that our students are going to see, opposing teams and their fans are going to see and we want to position our partners in the best way that is going to be beneficial to them and to us at the same time.”

The event will also break down the opportunity for corporate sponsors to reach the over 20,000 local Governors alumni in Montgomery County alone.

“The EDC study says that 25 to 30 percent of people in Clarksville have a bachelor’s degree or higher,” Klinghard said. Of those, 20,000 are alumni of Austin Peay and even if they didn’t finish a degree, they’ve come in contact with Austin Peay and we have the ability to influence them and we what to give our corporate partners the opportunity to influence them as well.

“It’s going to be a lot different that it was with just the two video boards that we’ve had in the past and the signs around the walls, in varying sizes. The new scoreboard has four video screens – which are huge – and we’ll have tables along both sides of the court that are going to be interactive. They are going to jump out and grab you. It’s going to be staggering the difference from the old type of signs we had in the Dunn Center before.”

The bottom line is, Austin Peay’s athletic department wants to show it will be a win, win situation for both its current and future corporate sponsors, as well as the department in bringing in money to help their businesses and the Governors athletic teams and student athletes.

“Bottom line is that if we’re not growing, if we don’t have a vision for what we’re going to become then we’re going to die,” van der Merwe said. “So we have to have a constant vision for what the next step is for Austin Peay.

“That is going to be the message to the corporate sponsors in what Austin Peay is becoming and what are we going to be tomorrow and the partnerships we are going to need to get there and along the way helping them too.”

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
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