Titan Club Room

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Titan Club Room

Postby JimmyChitwood » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:50 pm

How many people are in the Titan Club room at halftimes of games? How's the beer selection? They still serving food?

Not that long ago it was difficult to get across the room at halftime. Even after they up'ed the dues it was still fairly well attended, but a definite drop-off in numbers. I don't think (m)any people go to the games for Titan Club room experience, but it used to be a great part of the experience. Met a lot of good people in their over the years. Talked a lot of basketball. It was the place to be. It was a nice place to bring a guest or two. Show off what a cool place we had hidden in a corner of Calihan.

I think when they up'ed the dues it turned a lot of people away. We are a small family and were inclusive. We let every donor in. The $1,000+ donors didn't mind chatting with and sharing the room with $100 donors and their 3 guests. It was fun. It stopped being fun for me, and after 50 years of going into the room (going back to the tiny closet of a room next to where the room is now with my dad), I stopped going. It seemed to change almost immediately when they up'ed the required minimum membership and increased CAL Club dues. It lost its vibe. I was over the minimum membership but still didn't bother going in there, especially when the Fly Dogs were putting on a show. I think that was another ill-advised change they hastily made that hurt us.

P.S. I'm not saying the Titan (Athletic?) Club dues increase is hurting attendance, but its not helping.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby sacredheartgreg » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:07 pm

Agreed Jimmy. Loved that place during the Ray and Keri years. Had a special feel for sure. Luster lost.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby upbasketballfan » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:35 pm

I still look forward to meeting other Titan Fans in the Titan Club and it does add a lot to the experience. Have met many wonderful people in the Club and in the seats. Means as much to me as the game itself. My wife and I were disappointed that there were so many fans missing. We would go more but it is a 500 mile drive for us but we still do get to 6-8 games.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby TitanONeill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:59 am

Valid points. For a young family the price point can be exclusive. I know Vowels tried to make it that--an exclusive club to obtain more money from the "bigger fish". When I was young lad, the TC was a family tradition before, during, and after most games. It was fun as a kid--running around, free pop & popcorn, etc...now the format isn't the same from what I remember. I especially remember the Cobo Hall Titan Club being very accessible and fun.

Overall, I think the entire AD has missed the boat catering to the younger alumni. Another example of this--not scheduling the golf outing on a Friday or Saturday. I know I could get a couple of foursomes to an outing, but none of us want to take two days off from work (you need one day recovery for all the "pop" and post outing shenanigans).
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby dennycrane » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:00 pm

Woody, I'm glad you asked this question about the Titan Club and how it's been attended lately. There have been games where only a relative handful of fans have come in and other games, some vs unattractive opponents, where the crowd was bigger, but not big, strangely enough. As you mentioned, the dues increase dampened the experience for some folks and some have boycotted. Four hundred percent increases tend to do that, although, to be fair, there was an eleventh hour concession at the time to phase in the increase over two seasons. It was probably too late in coming.
From another perspective, for some fans, the Titan Club is looked at as a donation vehicle while others expect something for their money and there are also those who lie somewhere in between. My own observation is that after starting off reasonably well say 3 years ago, just about one year ago the staff working the room began mailing it in. Formerly, there may have been a pre-game entrée, then a separate halftime entrée of warm food. Lately, the pregame offering is what it is and the halftime offering is what's left over, or just cookies and brownies. Now, some of this could have to do with sponsorships or the lack of same. Another factor might be personnel changes. But the room experience is trending downward, consistent with what else has been going on at Calihan Hall on game days.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby bctitans1987 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:10 pm

I used to love the TC. Met many, many good people there...Now, well, it's just like the rest of the Athletic Department: Old, somber, uncaring.

A new AD would help. It's overdue. That job requires one to actually 'care' about UDM. This is just another stop for Vowels. He doesn't give a crap and it shows in how his 'team' operates. There are leaders and then there are administrators. Kinsman and Vowels - Administrators. Keri - Leader (I know she had other issues, but at least she cared).

I won't go to another athletic event or donate one dime to the school until Vowels is gone. He has been a complete an utter failure and the president won't fire him--because he's just a incompetent.

Really sad state of affairs...
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby Rogobob77 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:37 pm

Back in the olden days, an assistant coach would come into the Titan Club room to give a brief talk prior to each game, discuss planned strategy, and even take a few questions. After the game, it was common for one or more of the coaches to swing by the room to join in the celebration following a Titan victory (W’s were much more prevalent back then). The AD and assistant ADs would always be there before and after games, working the room, pressing the flesh, etc.

Apart from the room access privileges, another perk of belonging to the TC was getting invited to a pretty nice Titan Club annual dinner reception in late spring held at various locations in town (I recall Andrews on the Corner in the Detroit warehouse district for a few years running). Generally that is when the upcoming year's schedule was announced (as early as the month of May!). And this was back in the $100 days. I think the $100 number may have been initially set in the Vitale era, at least that is what it was when I first jumped in.

Titan Club members were always invited to the team banquet (at a cost), but that seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit in recent years.

At the end of every season, TC members (and season ticket holders) were surveyed about their game-day experience, asked for suggestions, etc. That probably hasn't happened for the past ten years or more. (Seems this would be easy to reinstitute using a software tool like SurveyMonkey.)

Generally speaking, if you were a member of the TC you felt like an insider, not so much anymore.

On the plus side, the roundball or athletic luncheons have continued. In the past, I recall a charge but now they are free. There is also some kind of reception scheduled each year for members, generally in the tennis pavilions, but these are not quite as nice or informative as the above-referenced dinners they used to have.

On another positive note, the current staff assigned to the room (behind the bar, etc.) are very friendly and accommodating if I request something like an extra guest pass.

A suggestion for next season: send out an email blast to all TC members the day before each and every game. Encourage members to attend, mention what kind of food will be available before game and at halftime, advertise specials for a selected beer, acknowledge sponsors if there are any, mention any special game promotions, attach game preview notes, etc.
Last edited by Rogobob77 on Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby Commissioner » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:55 pm

bctitans1987 wrote:
I won't go to another athletic event or donate one dime to the school until Vowels is gone. He has been a complete an utter failure and the president won't fire him--because he's just a incompetent.

Really sad state of affairs...

Well, last month you said you wouldn't give until both Vowels and JJ were gone, so I see you have lowered your demands.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby R.B.J1 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:54 pm

In 35 plus years as a titan fan, I've only been in the titan club a handful of times, and I haven't been in there since 2009. The Titans fans I spoke to in the titan club were friendly and knowledgeable, I hope this can be fixed. The donors that I know...and they are not heavy hitters, have stated that Vowels is a friendly guy, however, they have stated that he isn't really a athletic administrator, he is more of a rainmaker, and he spends his time trying to convince the big ballers and heavy hitters to "make it rain".
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby MooseGuy1 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:35 pm

Well, maybe he needs to recognize a drought. For what it's worth, I enjoyed my time in the TC. It was a welcoming and fun place to chat with folks. The price increase, though probably justifiable after staying at $100 for so many years, was more than I felt I could spend. No gripes about the experience; just became too much for me spend on my budget.
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Re: Titan Club Room

Postby JimmyChitwood » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:15 am

R.B.J1 wrote: Vowels is a friendly guy, however, they have stated that he isn't really a athletic administrator, he is more of a rainmaker, and he spends his time trying to convince the big ballers and heavy hitters to "make it rain".

The previous ADs would do both, suck up to big donors and chat by name with smaller donors. Smaller donors become bigger donors. Make the $100 donor feel just as welcome and part of the family and they will come back. Most of the big donors are older. Who will be the future big donors? Not the small donors they ignore now.
Rogobob77 wrote:Back in the olden days, an assistant coach would come into the Titan Club room to give a brief talk prior to each game, discuss planned strategy, and even take a few questions. After the game, it was common for one or more of the coaches to swing by the room to join in the celebration following a Titan victory (W’s were much more prevalent back then).

I think BA used to come up before and/or after games. I know Mondro did. I think they rotated. Honestly, the pregame talks in more recent years were not well attended, probably because less and less inside information was given out. Mickey was almost always the guy at Cobo. They used to have question forms we could fill out and the TC President would go through them, weeding out the repetitive or unanswerable ones, and ask Mickey (or the coach du jour). They were really forthcoming. It was fun. The TC "room" at Cobo was conveniently located on the way to the parking structure so it was so easy to stop by.
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