July 14, 2005
By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor - Success breeds attention and interest.
That's the case for the Bowling Green football team, 37-12 overall with two bowl game victories over the last four years.
Because of their success and a high-powered offense, the Falcons have become a national television commodity. Four games in 2005 are scheduled for national television.
With the return of standout quarterback Omar Jacobs, there is even more national attention being paid to Bowling Green football. Jacobs threw for 4,002 yards and 41 touchdowns with only four interceptions in 2004. Jacobs helped the Falcons cap a 9-3 season with a 52-35 win over Memphis in the GMAC Bowl.
Jacobs was 26-of-44 passing for 365 yards and a bowl-record five touchdown passes against Memphis.
In the last few months, various national media outlets have contacted Bowling Green to set up interviews with Jacobs. He has been named to several preseason All-America teams and is being touted as the next great Mid-American Conference quarterback.
"We know Omar is a drawing card and we will try to take advantage of his national attention," said Paul Krebs, Bowling Green's athletics director. "We realize that attention for Omar is attention for our program.
"I think Omar is sensitive in not being too far out front and I can respect that. We have to strike a balance, but he will be a featured part of what we're trying to do.
"Yet the biggest thing that will help us, is if we win," Krebs added. "If we win, people will come out."
There are two excellent opportunities to showcase Jacobs and the Falcons early in the season with games at Wisconsin (Sept. 3) and at Boise State (Sept. 21), both on national television.
"The power of national television is immense," Krebs said. "It does so much for our institution and the branding of our program. It helps in recruiting in all of our sports."
Bowling Green plays its first three games on the road and opens the home season on Oct. 1 with Homecoming against Temple.
"Not having a home game until the first of October gives us an additional month to market," Krebs said. "The downside is that if you don't get off on the right foot, it may take some of the enthusiasm out of the season."
For the upcoming season, Bowling Green made a "modest increase" in ticket prices, Krebs said. Chairback seats are $95 for the five-home game season while reserved seats are $80. Single game tickets are $20 for chairbacks and $16 for reserved. There are also group prices, a Kids Club program and a flex plan with eight reserved vouchers.
Last season, chairback seats were $90 for a season ticket, or $18 per game, and reserved seat tickets were $75 for a season ticket, $15 per game.
"Based on the information we have, we are still one of the lowest ticket prices in Division I football," Krebs said.
"Certainly the lowest, probably, of any ranked team.
"And that's fine. We're not out to be the highest in prices," he added. "Our pricing strategy and our marketing strategy in general is to try and create family, friendly, affordable entertainment."
There is a price increase for single game tickets for Toledo on Nov. 22 with chairback seats jumping to $30 and reserved tickets to $26.
The strategy so far has been on the renewal of season tickets, Krebs said. Anyone renewing season tickets by Friday receives a special DVD with highlights from the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
"Early indications are that things are going well," Krebs said. "We're probably over 50 percent in our renewals. In addition, we have sold a number of new season tickets and we are just starting to aggressively market our season ticket package."
Krebs said there is also a big interest in tent reservations in the Tailgate Park, on the east side of Doyt L. Perry Stadium.
"The commitments we've had on tents far surpasses anything we've had previously," Krebs said.
Bowling Green has eliminated general admission seats for the general public, but general admission seating remains for BGSU students.
The bleachers at the north end of Perry Stadium have been removed so construction can begin on the Sebo Athletic Center. The bleachers accounted for about 4,000 seats and the seating capacity for Perry Stadium has been reduced to 23,724 for this season.
"People will be needing to buy their tickets in advance," Krebs said. "I believe there will be a very real chance of several sellouts in advance and if people wait until game day they are going to be disappointed."
Omar Jacobs was named GMAC Bowl MVP after the Falcons' 52-35 victory over Memphis last Dec. 22 (AP Photo/John David Mercer)