Submitted By: Kimberly Lund
Watching the Shockers play at INTRUST Bank Arena? Simply awesome. My family loves the arena and I had a feeling that playing in such a large venue would give the Shockers an extra dose of the magic that had them undefeated this season.
There’s something about an arena… the lights go down, a voice introduces the starting players for the home team… there’s an energy that flows through the crowd. Sitting next to the student section, we were able to watch the enthusiasm of the pep band as they worked the crowd into a frenzy and see the antics of the students as our opponents were introduced and as one, the student section turned their backs to the floor.
The first half of the game seemed to start a little slow. I’m not a huge sports fan but basketball is one sport I can follow and to me it seemed that the Shockers needed to work on rebounding. On the other hand, their free throw shooting seemed to be very good. Several times the shot clock ran out before the Shockers could even shoot the ball. While the crowd was excited and very much a part of the game, it seemed like everyone was just waiting.
The Shockers were down at the half despite some skilled play. I wasn’t worried. I knew that the Shockers own the second half.
Own it they did. I really felt the momentum swing after one of the Tennessee players was called for a technical foul. We were unsure of the cause of the call — and even after we got home and watched the game on the DVR we continued to be unsure — but to me, that was the turning point in the game.
I wish I could put into words how electric it was inside the arena. During the game, I stood on my tiptoes at times to watch the boys struggling to keep the lead. I clapped and shouted while we were playing defense to make sure the Volunteers knew we were here to play angry. It was amazing to watch the entire arena rise as one as the action got intense.
The team seemed to get more energy as the clock counted down. I didn’t know for sure we’d win until the clock was under 4 minutes and by the time it got down to two minutes, the mood had turned celebratory. The tenth win this season. An undefeated team. The first time ever that the Shockers have started the season 10-0. The biggest crowd ever to watch a Shocker basketball home game was packed into INTRUST Bank Arena, celebrating.
As we walked out of the arena listening to everyone celebrate, I couldn’t help but smile. Wichita State truly is #mystate. So proud to be the parent of a current Shocker and a future Shocker and to be there to watch our team make history.
Submitted by: Christine Pileckas, Director of Marketing
“Live touring is so healthy right now, the demand for live music is huge,” Rob Beckham, VP for William Morris Endeavor Entertainment – Nashville (very big agent in the music business) expressed to us in the opening session of the Billboard Touring Conference & Awards at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC Wednesday morning. I’ve been in NYC since Tuesday, along with our GM AJ Boleski, hearing from the most savvy assessors of the live music industry and their thoughts on where the industry is headed. The conference is attended by professionals in all walks of the music business – artist managers, agents, promoters, and venue managers. It’s a breeding ground for great deals and bookings to happen and a chance for us to continue putting Wichita on the radar with the people responsible for booking tours.
The opening session titled “Artist Development: Who’s Got Next? consisted of 3 big name promoters, including Kevin Lyman who produces the Warped Tour, and 3 big time agents. The panel weighed in on proven artist development touring strategies and what’s worked to continue to push acts up the venue chain. The session wrapped up with each panelist giving their prediction of which artists are on the rise and will breakout to the next level in 2014. Predictions included Awolnation from Omar Al-Joulani, VP Touring for Live Nation and Chris Young and Justin Moore from the marquee country guy, Rob Beckham.
Wednesday night we were all in for a treat as Billboard sent conference attendees to a sold out Florida-Georgia Line concert at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square. This is the second time I’ve seen the country duo perform, and their absolute passion and love for what they do is vividly evident in the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the stage every time. We somehow found our way to the front of the 2,100 GA capacity theater where we got the true fan experience — beers were spilled on us, a fight broke out right next to us, and younger fans were not shy about expressing their affections towards one another. The entire night was a blast, and yet another reminder of why we work so hard to do what we do — we’re in the business of fun, and we’re here to create memories for fans that they’ll never forget.
Not only did Billboard send us to a Florida-Georgia Line concert, they brought the group in the following day to participate in and be the focal point of a case study regarding artist development. Tyler & Brian of FGL shared how they met, what sparked their decision to start making music, their journey to being discovered, and what success and life on the road has been like. Their manager, record label, and agent (also all on hand during the case study) discussed the strategy behind sustaining the band’s success and how they make key decisions such as when to put out a new record, what tour the group should be on, when to headline shows on their own, if they should tour internationally, and more.
The conference ended Thursday night with the 10th Annual Billboard Touring Awards. George Strait was in attendance to accept the “Legend of Live” award. Other awards included Jeff Dunham being named “Top Comedy Tour” and Taylor Swift’s Red Tour being named “Top Tour Package.”
If you’re headed to NYC soon, I highly recommend Smoky Burger Organic on 3rd & West 44th for an amazingly delicious organic burger and Gregory’s Coffee on 5th and W 44th for a really good cup-a-joe. Matilda on Broadway was also fantastic, and we heard rave reviews on Kinky Boots.
In the year 2012, the story of Batman came to life on November 13 and 14 at INTRUST Bank Arena as Batman Live marked its first ever tour stop in Wichita, Kansas. This action packed show featured impressive stunts, pyrotechnics, illusions and video screen sequences. The unique experience that Batman brought to Wichita was a non-stop thrill ride, engaging the audience from start to finish. In case you missed the ultimate adventure, here is a recap.
Zac Brown Band with Special Guests Oliver Wood and Casey Driessen took the stage at INTRUST Bank Arena on November 6, 2010. The year 2010 was an eventful year for Zac Brown Band, with a GRAMMY Award for “Best New Artist,” “Top New Vocal Group” from the Academy of Country Music Awards and “Breakthrough Video of the Year” from CMT and USA Weekend. On this day in history, Zac Brown Band stayed true to its country roots and made sure that the crowd at INTRUST Bank Arena went home happy.
Our General Manager, AJ Boleski, and Assistant General Manager, Chris Kibler, are both in Nashville, Tenn. this week for the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) Conference. IEBA’s annual conference stands alone in the entertainment industry. The three-day conference schedule includes live music from the most current artists, providing diverse entertainment options for buyers. Providing unparalleled networking opportunities, IEBA constantly strives to grow the industry through providing information and offering educational opportunities throughout the conference.
Artists performing at this year’s conference include Lee DeWyze, Big & Rich, Danielle Bradbery, Charlie Worsham, Seether, Three Days Grace and Cassadee Pope. AGM Chris Kibler enjoyed this morning’s showcase featuring Robin Meade, CNN News Anchor and aspiring country artist. The showcase provided a very cool, intimate setting to interact with Robin and hear her and the band sing.
Carrie Underwood brought her “Play On Tour” to INTRUST Bank Arena on October 19, 2010 with Special Guests, Sons of Sylvia and Billy Currington. Underwood donated 36 cents of every ticket sold from the fall tour dates to Save the Children’s United States Programs. This initiative was inspired by the “36 cents” written in the lyrics of her album track “Change” which addresses how even the smallest bit of spare change that one might have can add up to make a difference and help “change” the world. Carrie Underwood and Special Guests left Wichitans wanting more from a night that would not soon be forgotten.
The group Hillsong took the stage at INTRUST Bank Arena on September 23, 2012 for the Cornerstone Tour. The contemporary Christian artists gave the crowd a taste of their newest album, “Cornerstone.” The Aussies left the crowd inspired and moved.