• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 30s

New efforts to bring back crowds for GCI Great Alaska Shootout

By Bonney Bowman 6:42 PM November 23, 2016

The GCI Great Alaska Shootout has been struggling to boost attendance for years, but this year, organizers say they’re trying some new things to bring in new fans.

Much of the outreach effort is focused on bringing in younger fans, and University of Alaska Anchorage athletics director Keith Hackett thinks it’s working, based on the turnout for the first night of the tournament on Tuesday.

“We had a great crowd I think last night for the first two women’s games, so I’m encouraged about what I saw last night,” Hackett said.

He said they’ve used traditional means of advertising the shootout in newspapers and on television, but to target college and high school students and young families, they’re turning more and more to social media.

“Social media is the way I think that we have to reach the demographic that we’re trying to reach,” Hackett explained.

Another way to boost turnout is to make getting to the tournament easier. Sponsor GCI set up a free shuttle from downtown Anchorage to the games and back again.

“It makes it so parking isn’t an issue, transportation is super easy,” said Kate Slyker, the vice president of marketing for GCI.

She said when thinking about how to get people excited about the shootout, they wanted to make sure they had something for everyone.

“Of course there’s amazing D1 basketball, but there is a bounce house for little kids who come, there’s a prime rib carving station and a beer garden, there is the DJ Spencer Lee who’s here, there’s the contest,” Slyker said, referring to the shot contest to win a free truck.

Hackett said they’ve also worked to make the tickets more affordable and handed out some free ones. That’s what brought Wasilla resident Keri Anderson to the Wednesday afternoon game, along with some athletes from her basketball team.

“There’s actually a few ways that the kids could get tickets: through their schools or through the YMCA here in Anchorage,” Anderson said. “My family would have come but I don’t know if I could have gotten all of my players that are here today, so it helps.”

Hackett said the only way to ensure the shootout keeps happening every year is for people to attend. The tournament continues through Saturday.

Editor’s note: GCI is the parent company of KTVA.

KTVA 11’s Bonney Bowman can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    “Groundbreaking” technology restores movement in paralyzed man

    by Ashley Welch / CBS News on Mar 28, 20:42

    For the first time, a paralyzed man has regained functional arm movement and is able to feed himself using his own hand as a result of new technology that reconnects his brain with his muscles. Bill Kochevar, now 53, suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident eight years ago that left him completely […]

  • Sports

    Dimond Lynx cap off magical season

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 28, 20:37

    The Dimond High School Lynx had one of those years: nine seniors will ride off with a 4A state title. Head coach Brad Lauwers and three of those seniors stopped by KTVA on Tuesday to sit down with Dave Goldman to discuss the championship run. Follow KTVA 11 Sports on Facebook and Twitter. Did you […]

  • News

    House votes to block Obama-era online privacy rules

    by Associated Press on Mar 28, 20:25

    The House has voted to block online privacy regulations issued during the final months of the Obama administration. It’s the first step toward allowing internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers. The Federal Communications Commission rule was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet […]

  • News

    Some Juneau property values will increase, city officials say

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 28, 19:24

    About 60 percent of homeowners in Juneau will see the value of their homes increase, according to city officials. The City and Borough of Juneau’s assessor office mailed out property value notices Tuesday, an annual requirement under state law. The city has more than 12,600 taxable properties across more than 20 geographic neighborhoods. Many residential neighborhoods have homes […]

  • Politics

    State and local lawmakers call for more transparency on health care costs

    by Liz Raines on Mar 28, 18:57

    The price of health care in Alaska is higher than anywhere else in the nation. With national reform on the back burner, state lawmakers in Juneau are joining with the Anchorage Assembly in demanding more transparency from health care providers. Both local and state officials want to put a price tag on procedures. Last month, the […]

  • Politics

    Anchorage School District wants voters to say yes to bond package

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 28, 18:50

    The Anchorage School District is hoping the second time’s a charm when it comes to approving school bonds in the upcoming April election. Voters narrowly defeated the district’s bond package last year. Mike Nero, the director of capital planning and construction for the district, said the $58.5 million bond proposal will pay for roof replacements […]

  • Weather

    Hello spring? Anchorage may get 5 to 9 inches of snow overnight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 28, 16:41

    The National Weather Service says Anchorage residents should expect between 5 and 9 inches of wet snow through Wednesday morning. The NWS issued a winter weather advisory that will be in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday. Watch the entire KTVA Weather forecast at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. “Periods of snow […]

  • Weather

    KTVA Weather Lab: Aquarian Charter School

    by Melissa Frey on Mar 28, 15:56

    In this week’s KTVA Weather Lab, I visited Aquarian Charter School in Anchorage, where the second and third graders in Ms. Sarah and Ms. Stacy’s classes have been tracking the weather all year. I also answered the question of the week: What do meteorologists do on an average day? Every Tuesday, Melissa Frey will take the KTVA […]