GVSU releases fan-friendly 'Laker Nation' mobile app
The Grand Valley State athletic department recently released a new app for students and Laker sports fanatics who attend GVSU athletic events.
The GVSU Laker Nation app rewards students for being loyal fans, and it allows them to rack up points the more games and other athletic events they attend.
The app is an interactive experience where fans can check in and earn points they can later redeem for rewards and exciting opportunities that have to do with athletics at GVSU.
Jared Alexander, the assistant athletic director for sales and marketing, was one of the key contributors in the app's development and marketing.
“We wanted to create new opportunities to give to our most loyal fans, and we saw this as (an) opportunity to enhance the game-day environment and get people more involved in our athletics,” Alexander said.
The main goal of the app is to help create a more interactive and inclusive game-day environment, as well as serve as an incentive for those who don’t usually attend to follow Laker sports.
“Download the app,” Alexander said. “We will be releasing new content and new reward opportunities. It’s going to be a week-by-week thing, and we are hoping for consistent interaction between us and the fans.”
In terms of marketing of the mobile application, the GVSU athletic department is experimenting with every promotional tactic they can to help more students learn about it and make the decision to download it.
“We will be staying in constant communication with the fans by using email blasts, flyers, video boards and everything that we can to encourage them to not only download the app but to continue to check in week-to-week to stay up to date on the rewards,” Alexander said.
Alexander used last weekend’s GVSU Football Watch Party at Lubbers Stadium as an opportunity to promote the app and get students used to using it.
“We rolled it out at the Lakers kickoff party, and we had it on the video board,” Alexander said. “The first check-in event was at the watch party, and we gained a large number of users during it.”
Keri Becker, director of athletics at GVSU, gives all the credit of the app creation and development to Alexander and the work he has put into it.
“This is Jared’s brain child,” Becker said. “It’s an idea that he came up with to try to engage with students in a different space.”
Becker also spoke about the main goal of the app and how it would relate to attendance at athletic events.
“I don’t think the purpose of it is to drive attendance," Becker said. "I think the purpose is for it to engage with fans before, during and after the games and hopefully provide a boost in our overall game-day environment."
Alexander echoed Becker’s point when it came to the reasons behind the app.
“I think at the end of the day, we want fans to come because they love their Lakers,” Alexander said. “If we can add to the love with some new opportunities to get involved, then it’s a win-win.”
The app is not just a reward system: It also has social media aspects that fans can use to interact with other fans at games. The “fan cam” button allows users to take and upload pictures for everyone who uses the app to see. Included is also a calendar that has the time and place for every home game and event that will be happening this year so the fans always know when and where the teams are playing.
The GVSU Laker Nation app is now available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.