Mostly all sporting events understand the importance of the games and fan experience requires some inclusion of entertainment. At basketball games, whether professional or college levels, music, cheerleaders, dance routines, chants, and other means are a normal part of the equation. Clearly, the ACC tournament, taking place in Greensboro, NC, confirms such criticalness. In the end, the games, thru Thursday and Friday, turned out to be quite competitive. As noted before, you can throw out the final scores. Appropriately, the surrounding atmosphere of other treats made the total experience more appreciative.
Free giveaways, from t-shirts, food lion grocery cards of at least $100, small basketballs, and free hamburgers and desserts, assured an extra level of crowd enthusiasm; furthermore, each school brought their mascots, cheerleaders, and band group. As one sign stated, ‘fear the turtle.’ That team may have won, but they were battle tested and the victory was not easy, going into overtime. No doubt, a crowd favorite was the cheerleaders. They performed dance moves, shook the hips, cartwheels, flips, pyramids, etc., much to the delight of those in the stands. And in this entire backdrop, there were the school bands. From tunes of we will rock you, and etc., they had everyone either stomping feet, clapping hands, moving heads, shouting defense, urging the other team to miss a free throw, dancing, and so on. The contests between the teams had now become personal, in a positive of way. Fans came to see good fiery battles on the court; not to see someone get hurt, but rather to see their school win and claim bragging rights. After all, losing is just as hard for the fans; yet, someone will indeed not win.
In the midst of the war between the schools, off and on the court, additional avenues of enjoyment were provided; kid groups sung the national anthem, routines of mascot competitions with selected fans, jugglers, youth/teen dance groups, etc., made a further contribution of making the fan appreciation much more memorable. Perhaps, in fairness, every fan got a taste of something befitting their groove. Accordingly, we are all sociable beings, and we have come to expect that sporting events are not just about wins and losses; it’s about the totality of the experience. Consequently, that may be why we really love the games.