Favorite

Twisters don't pass the buck 

Like most new entertainment ventures, the Arkansas Twisters took Alltel Arena and Central Arkansas by storm. And, like those same entertainment outlets, after the newness wore off, the Twisters discovered they had to sell themselves.

Give the organization credit for doing that, and then some. Led by team president Jack Lankford, the Twisters have for the past couple of years attempted to make all eight home games special, with free tailgate parties outside Alltel Arena, free concerts along with the games on the inside, and those types of things.

They’ve worked to synergize with other events, setting up booths with their Sirens dance team at Big Downtown Thursdays shows in the River Market, visiting schools, or making sure to have a presence at Riverfest.

When it comes to marketing, we can’t imagine the Twisters could have done it much better. It doesn’t hurt that, while Central Arkansas bleeds Razorback red in its sporting support, sports fans also tend to like football best. Hockey had a first-year excitement and even two teams at one point, but died here; and apparently the pro basketball RimRockers franchise could vie for the NBA Development League playoffs field an entire team of former All-Southeastern Conference all-stars from Florida and Kentucky and still not fill a quarter of the lower bowl. (That’s sad and a column for another day; suffice it to add that they could put a lumbering overweight former Hog Oliver Miller out there and draw 9,000, especially if it was in concert with celebrating Mark Martin and NASCAR).

Give the Twisters credit, too, for lining up with causes galore around Central Arkansas. While the skeptical may say it’s all part of a marketing scheme to get their name everywhere, the Twisters have followed through with promotions and support for many worthy charities, as well as participation in dozens of community events. In 2005, the Twisters had their hands in more than 140 events, fund-raisers and visits to schools.

Prominent among those was joining up with John Daly for his Make-A-Wish work, in which the money raised goes to make a dream come true for a child with a life-threatening illness. March of Dimes, Arkansas Hospice, ARORA (the organ recovery group), Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, Easter Seals and many more organizations benefit from Twisters appearances and game promotions.

“We’re doing it because I just believe in it, giving back to the community and helping these charities,” Lankford said. He adds that Twisters head coach John Gregory also has pushed hard for charity and community support in his time here as well as previous stops in Arena Football.

It goes without saying that former Razorbacks, such as C.J. McLain, and former Twisters, such as current NFL player Reggie Swinton, are idolized by the youngsters in this market, and a visit from them brings needed smiles.

Ultimately, though, for the Twisters to continue to draw fans to Alltel Arena, they have to put a fun, and winning, product on the field. Winning early on didn’t necessarily matter, though the Twisters in their first year won big (particularly on the scoreboard). Last year, Lankford had to overhaul the product and make the tough decision of changing coaches in midstream, parting with the popular Gary Anderson and bringing on the veteran Gregory. During the final six weeks of the season, the Twisters began to turn things around, and they finished with two wins and probably the feeling that it would have been nice to start the season again right then.

Now, the Twisters’ seventh season is here, and off to a good start with a big road win and lots of points scored last week.

That bodes well for Saturday’s home opener against Amarillo and the following 14 games, and maybe the playoffs, and it also will help the Twisters to continue to score more points throughout the community.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Harris

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Jim Harris

  • What a great, fast eight years

    Eight years. I’ve really been “at the job” of newspapers for much longer, it just focused on entertainment during these past eight years. Starting next week, it will focus on sports. Again. Where I started eons ago.
    • May 4, 2007
  • Mickelson goes by the numbers

    It's all in the short game, Phil Mickelson says s at Alotian.
    • Apr 26, 2007
  • Back to what I really love

    Where was I, the sports lover, the guy who couldn’t wait for Dickey-Stephens to open, a few of you may ask? I was checking out one of my other loves: a local, original music show at Juanita’s that the University of Central Arkansas Honors College had pull
    • Apr 23, 2007
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Resurrection, reflection

    • http://hairtransplantncr.com/ hair transplant in delhi hair transplant ncr hair transplant cost hair transplant cost in…

    • on December 8, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation