Racer Nation, an app that has the potential for great things, hit the app stores Sept. 25, said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jim Carter.
The purpose of the app is to increase attendance for events on Murray State’s campus.
It allows users to check into events, such as sports games and lectures, and receive prizes based on the number of points earned from the events he or she attends.
“It’s based around going to events, checking into events and earning points for going to things,” Carter said. “Ultimately, it will lead to users getting a water bottle, a T-shirt or maybe a real premium – something like tickets to events or being a coach on the sidelines.”
To use the app, users must create an account or sign in through Facebook. Then they can click on events and add it to their calendar or check in.
Also available through the app is a fan cam, a store for University apparel, a link to the Alumni Association Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, a live stream of the events and an award tab that shows users which awards they have won from attending events.
The app is in its early stage, so prizes and incentives are not fully developed. However, Carter said future prizes may include much more than just free T-shirts.
“Ultimately, we’ll move into bigger things,” Carter said. “That could be free concessions, discounted concession stands. It could put you in some kind of competition for a VIP package. It could be front row concert tickets or basketball coach for a night.”
Although students and faculty are encouraged to download and use the app, Carter said he wanted it more for Murray State alumni.
Recently, Carter said they had to make drastic but necessary changes to the Alumni Association.
Two years ago, the alumni budget cut entirely, which required the University to change the Alumni Association from non-due-paying to due-paying, Carter said.
Therefore, he said he wanted more incentives for Murray State graduates to be a part of the Alumni Association.
“If you’re a member of the Alumni Association, you get double the points for going to the basketball games, football games, et cetera,” Carter said. “For the alums, it’s a premium membership. As we continue to roll out the premiums and the awards, there will be exclusivity benefits for alumni.”
The app was created by a company called SuperFanU. They create basic app templates specializing in rewarding fans, tracking who fans are, what events they attend, how long they stay and what they buy, according to their website.
Carter said other schools inspired him to implement the app into Murray State.
Schools such as the University of Louisville and Southeast Missouri State University have used the app to advertise events.
“I was very impressed with the schools that were already on board and saw a lot of potential there,” Carter said. “One of the cool things that pushed me over the edge when looking at this technology was the mobile messaging systems.”
Using this new technology, Murray State can send students, faculty, alumni and potential students notifications that contain various discounts and prizes.
In the future, Carter said he will expand the technology to push discounts and prizes to users. He also hopes to increase the types of events that users have the opportunity to attend.
“(We will) definitely add concerts to it, and then there will be select things like the president’s election,” Carter said. “We may, because it’s a large event, have incentives around All- Campus Sing.”
The app is available for Apple and Android products and is free in the app stores.
Story by Madison Wepfer, Staff writer