By Caroline Alphonso
Ryerson’s hockey team is hoping one of its players can boost pathetic attendance numbers at home games.
When the Rams take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Friday, Brendon Dunkley’s job will be to pull students off campus and make the 20-minute subway commute to St. Mike’s arena.
“I want to get awareness out about the games,” Dunkley said. “I want to make hockey more entertaining for the fans.”
The 6-foot, 175 lb. left-winger has been hired under the Ontario work study program to give students an incentive to make the commute and warm the cold, empty seats at Ryerson home games.
His job is to aggressively promote the team and to gain fan support at four Rams games.
“He’s a hockey expert because he’s already involved on the team,” said assistant athletic director Chuck Mathies. “He can bounce ideas off his teammates.”
Dunkley, a first-year diploma in arts student, came from Humber College after doing two years in the business program and says he already has a ton of ideas.
“If I give out at least 2,000 flyers around campus and have 300 to 400 people come fro the game that would be great,” he said.
Dunkley can take money out of the athletics promotions budget of $10,500 for flyers or any other print material, said Mathies.
The athletic department has been looking for a student with promotional ideas to help improve fan attendance.
Only about 80 people showed up last Friday for last team’s game against the Laurentian voyageurs, and most of the fans were cheering for the visiting squad.
While Dunkley takes care of promotions for hockey, the athletic department is also looking into hiring another student to market some of its basketball games in Kerr gym.