Photo Courtesy John Kelly/Boise State

What if Bryan Harsin Replicated Pokey’s Horse Ride to Sell Tickets?

Photo Courtesy John Kelly/Boise State
Photo Courtesy John Kelly/Boise State

Many people are worried about the pace of ticket sales for the Mountain West Championship game against Fresno this Saturday. There are plenty of reasons for why ticket sales may seem to be slow, but the fact is that  it is a very difficult task for a school to sell tickets to playoff game with less than a weeks notice.  This problem is not just a “HDTV” generation problem either.  The fact that ticket sales are starting from zero with less than a weeks notice is something Boise State is not new to.

In late November and early  December of 1994 Boise State was faced with the same problem.  The Broncos had made it to the 1-AA playoffs and were lucky enough to host three consecutive home games which had to be sold from scratch.  Boise State beat North Texas on November 26th, and Appalachian State on December 3rd, so on December 10th they would be playing Marshall for the chance to go to the National Championship game. If there were any game that needed to have a large crowd this one was it.  And Head Coach Pokey Allen knew it.

Public relations are a big part of any business, and at times – when things get urgent – some times public relations calls for a “stunt”.

Pokey was not new to this idea – he once rode an elephant to help sell season tickets to Portland State – so he made a promise.  If Boise State fans could get 20,000 into Bronco Stadium to cheer on the Broncos, he would ride a horse down Broadway the week after the game.

Boise State beat Marshall 28-24 in a freezing cold game where the Broncos trailed by as much as 17 points (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) and Pokey kept his promise.  Two days later he rode a horse down Broadway on his way to the weekly Boosters luncheon.

Pokey’s famous ride has been brought up a lot this week, so what if Harsin did this?  Would it work?  I asked him on Twitter, and unfortunately got no response:

I do think with the buy-in these coaches have from the community that it might sell a few more tickets.  If nothing else it would create even more energy for a game that means so much to this team.  Sow how about it Coach?  If we pack the stadium and win, a celebratory horse-ride down campus would be a great way to send this team off to a New Years bowl game.  And besides, it looks like you are the only coach that still owes us a horseback ride!




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