Athletics seeks to expand Red Zone

April 11, 2011, 2:34 a.m.

The Red Zone, an organization established by the Stanford Athletics to engage the Stanford student body in athletics, is attempting to expand its outreach to Stanford students.

The name initially referred solely to the section in the stadium and eventually evolved to a term encompassing the group of students that came to the games. Now, efforts are being made to expand the definition even further.

“We want to brand it as more than just a section within the stadium, within Maples,” said Marie Vasquez, the director of marketing for Stanford Athletics.

The aim is to instill the Red Zone as a part of one’s identity as a sports fan at Stanford.

“I’d like to get everyone involved…if you’re a Stanford student, then you’re in the Red Zone,” said Kevin Aha, the marketing official in charge of outreach for the Red Zone.

“I don’t know what it’ll take to get there — it’s a big challenge obviously,” Aha said. “I’d also like to establish the Red Zone shirt and make it a kind of unofficial uniform. The players are in their uniforms in the field and, as a student, I’m in my own uniform as a fan.”

“We want it to be more of a student fan group of our events,” Vasquez added. “We’re also considering a Red Zone tailgate. We want to get students out to the game early, so we want to offer them a place where they can tailgate and have fun before the game.”

Another idea still in the planning stages is to establish viewing parties on a consistent basis.

“We did a couple last year, but we’d like to do a few more,” Aha said.

He said he wanted to “provide students with a venue to come together,” where they could watch games, sport their Red Zone shirts and still feel like they’re at the game.

In attempting to get all students involved and motivate more students to come to the games, Stanford Athletics incentivizes fans through the Red Zone Loyalty Program.

“The point system is a way to reward those who have shown their support and loyalty,” Aha said. “Hopefully, students go there for the prize initially, find that they like it and then come back and happen to get the prize.”

The website for the Red Zone will be updated in the next few weeks with a detailed description of the points program for next season.

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