Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Kellogg gets creative for fans, community

Massachusetts men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg sees winning and attendance at home games going hand-in-hand. The latter is something he knows can change this season.

Kellogg wants to bring the Mullins Center back to the way it was during his playing days when Kentucky coach John Calipari was at the helm for UMass. After his departure, no coach has been in Amherst for more than five years, and the Minutemen were last in the NCAA Tournament in 1998.

Between those two factors, Kellogg is aware of the challenge that comes with getting students to the games, so he doesn’t mind going outside the box with his marketing ideas.

It started with Super Sunday; a replacement for Midnight Madness in the Mullins Center that was meant to boost season ticket sales and help fans get to know a team that consists mostly of players who, for one reason or another, have never seen a minute of playing time for the Minutemen.

The day featured an autograph session as well as a question and answer session, where fans asked a variety of topics from his thoughts on the season to what happens when players miss practice. Kellogg expressed his excitement over the fans’ loyalty for those who showed up, despite the small crowd.

He recently started a fan club that gives students and people around the community access to the team that he knows most coaches wouldn’t feel comfortable with.

“I understand that in order for us to make the moves we want to make, we have to have 2,000 students at every game cheering for us,” Kellogg said.

Part of the promotion includes bringing fans into pregame meetings to hear the pregame speech before running through the tunnel with UMass. In its exhibition game with Dowling, 30 fans came out of the locker room with the rest of the Minutemen.

Kellogg hopes to push that number to 500.   

He publicized the club by having the entire team and people close to the program walk around the dorms and put fliers under every door.

“My legs are sore from walking through Southwest,” Kellogg said. “But I think if you create a family atmosphere with the students, they’ll want to come.”

The fan club also includes a special seating section at home games and a bi-monthly dinner party at Kellogg’s house throughout the school year.

He also plans to throw an end of the year party for everyone in the fan club. If Kellogg’s promotions work the way he wants, he envisions turning the Mullins Center back to a hostile environment similar to the ones the Minutemen are going to play in front of this season.

The Jordan rules

Anything associated with Michael Jordan during his playing days turned to gold. Kellogg hopes to get a similar result when UMass plays Central Florida on Friday, featuring Jordan’s son, Marcus, who is a freshman at the school.

The Knights became part of a national controversy when Jordan chose to only wear his father’s Nike Air Jordan shoes over the school’s shoe sponsor, Adidas, which announced that it will end its sponsorship of all UCF teams.

Kellogg believes the high-profile battle over Jordan’s feet will ultimately benefit UMass.

“Having Jordan’s son and what’s going on with that stuff hopefully will get us even more publicity,” Kellogg said. “That’s one of the reasons why we thought playing that game would be so good for us.”

Florida also became a target area for recruiting after freshman Freddie Riley signed with the Minutemen last season. Kellogg is looking to expand his base in Florida with a game in a big stadium and over 53,000 students.

Adam Miller can be reached at amiller@dailycollegian.com.

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