For several years, Murray State lacked an organized student cheering section for athletic events. This is no longer the case, as the Stampede took over the CFSB Center last season.
Closing the year with 500 members, the new cheering section brought a whole new level of excitement to the electric atmosphere at Racer basketball games.
For marketing and promotions director Morris White, 500 members isn’t enough.
“Five hundred last year was a great start, but our goal for next year is to double that and reach 1,000,” said White. “We’ve been working hard to publicize it and over the summer we do intend to have a table at the Summer Orientation sessions to let freshmen know that Racer Athletics is something they are definitely going to want to be involved in.”
While the Stampede was impactful at basketball games, White said he hopes to see representation at other sports as well next season.
“The Stampede didn’t really get going until basketball season started,” said White. “Now that we’ve had it in place for a year now, we can use that to our advantage and try to grow our numbers and get students going out to football and volleyball games as well. There’s a lot to be excited about with both the football and volleyball teams as well as the basketball.”
The Stampede is offering some additional perks for the coming semester that weren’t available last season. Students who join before August 17 will have all their tickets to home football and basketball games printed off and handed to them before those seasons start. This means Stampede members will never again have to wait in line for a ticket, even if games begin selling out like they did last season.
Additionally, the cost of the Stampede has dropped from $15 last year to $10 this year. White said the drop in price won’t mean a drop in prizes and benefits for members.
“I was a college student once, and I remember having little to no money, so I really wanted to pay attention to that and make it affordable for students,” White said. “The way we will keep providing the same, and even more benefits and prizes is through sponsorships. We plan to go to local businesses and places that interest students, and approach them about providing prizes for the members.”
In fact, diehard stampede member Thomas Via received a fully loaded laptop at a baseball game last weekend for attending more athletic events than any other Stampede member this year.
It’s not all about prizes though, White said.
“We know that when you have teams on your campus that bring national exposure, such as the men’s basketball team, students really want to be a part of that. It’s great because athletics is really one of the best ways for students to meet friends and have a good time and just really get involved on campus,” White said.
Both coaches and athletes agree that having students at games really makes a difference, and White simply wants to reward the students for coming.
“The atmosphere and buzz that we create at our athletic events that give our teams home court or home field advantage wouldn’t be possible without the students” White said. “We know the students are the reason we have those types of atmospheres, so we want try to reward those students for coming to the games.”
Those who would like to sign up early and secure their home football and basketball tickets for next season can do so by going to goracers.com and clicking on the Stampede logo at the bottom of the page, or by finding the Stampede section under the ‘fans’ tab.