Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo and the athletics department participated in two immersive learning projects to focus on how to increase student attendance at the Cardinals football games. As a part of the new Student Rewards Program, Ball State students who amassed over 250 points earned a dinner with Lembo at Scheumann Stadium.
Ball State students Blake Beemer, Evan Mudroncik and Keenan Pfotenhauer were the first students to earn the reward and were able to bring three of their friends to the Fisher Football Complex. The students enjoyed dinner and conversation with Lembo, followed by a tour of the locker room, training room and strength and conditioning center.
"I absolutely had a blast," Mudroncik says. "Coach Lembo was a terrific host and I would do it again and again if both he and the athletic administration would allow. It was pretty cool to see the facilities the football team has and go inside the operations and day-to-day work that the coaching staff goes through."
The Student Rewards Program was designed in part to help create a connection between the coaching staff and students, while encouraging students to attend all the athletic events over the course of the school year.
"First, thank you for the opportunity," Beemer says. "Coach Lembo was quite a host for us and he was personable. It was cool to see his passion and energy for Ball State. Perhaps the best part was how he went out of his way to not only say good bye to any of his players leaving the complex, but he took the time to learn his guests majors and interests. He followed up throughout the night discussing these majors and interests. He is definitely a class act, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to share a meal with him."
The rewards program is new for the 2012-2013 season and rewards Ball State students who swipe in at any ticketed athletic event -- men's or women's basketball, football and women's volleyball. Women's events are worth 10 points and men's events are worth five points.
"Coach Lembo is very knowledgeable," Pfotenhauer says. "I feel like I now know a lot more about college football after spending time with him. He was very willing to answer our questions. I loved his vision for where the team is now and where it is headed."
There are also opportunities throughout the year to attend non-ticketed sports for bonus points. Prize levels, events, and program rules can be found at: www.ballstatesports.com/studentrewards.