By Esteban Ramirez
CSU Bakersfield is always looking for ways to increase student life and increase attendance at sporting events.
Therefore, at the start of this school year it introduced the free downloadable Runner Nation Rewards App, which informs students when those events will happen.
“I think it has made a difference because just our attendance at some of our sporting events early on has been higher [seeing as] people are aware of them,” said CSUB Spirit Coordinator Arthur Smith. “I’ve seen attendance increase. I know we already set two records in soccer this year in attendance, and a lot of that I would attribute to the app because I can look at the numbers and see how many checked in [through the app].”
There have been over 540 people that have downloaded the app. According to Smith, the idea of bringing The Runner Nation App came from a conference (National Collegiate Student Section Association) he went to in June.
A lot of the schools at the conference had a reward app and spoke highly of it. After numerous phone conversations between Smith, CSUB’s Marketing Director Brynn Conapitski and the staff of the company SuperFanU, they decided to select SuperFanU to make the app.
The contract cost for them to make the app for CSUB was $7,000, which includes $5,000 for special giveaways. The money to pay for this comes from the Spirit Fee that students pay. The special giveaways will just be for the students, so that they can have the chance of winning those dollars.
The Runner Nation Rewards App can be found on both the Apple Store and on Google Play.
The features on the app consist of the rewards section, which allows people to see all the awards and the levels needed to unlock those awards; the leaderboards section, which shows where someone ranks in points and a fan cam section, which allows people to upload photos.
Another feature that the app is using is an iBeacon, which if you are 200 feet by one on campus, it will send you a message about an event that will happen by that location. Smith added that the largest benefit is the education students can get from the app because now everyone can know when the games and events are. New alerts will be added to inform students when they will be happening.
Another benefit of this app is winning awards through the leaderboard. The more a student goes to an event and checks in, the more they will receive points and move higher in the leaderboard.
Smith said that at the end of the year, the leader will get acknowledgement from President Horace Mitchell and a big prize.
He added that they are still in the framework of deciding what the prize will be.
“I definitely think it’s a great way to interact with students and fans,” Conapitski said. She said they have been trying to focus on school spirit throughout CSUB and this is a good way to do so.
She added that the app has helped increase the attendance at athletic events by notifying all the students when the events are being held.
Smith added that they will use the app to try and get the word out about the women’s soccer Western Athletic Conference Tournament that will be held at CSUB.