Toques, ticket prices and tuition draws are some of the changes Western's October Homecoming has undergone since last year.
This year, Western is bringing its free tuition contest back. Just like last year, the winner of a raffle for up to $8,000 towards tuition will be announced between the third and fourth quarters of the Homecoming game.
Students can enter the draw by swiping their One-Card in sponsored booths Monday in the Atrium, Tuesday in the Rec Center, or Saturday at the Tailgate party. As last year’s draw was available only to those in attendance at the game, this year’s is open to anyone. The winner will be emailed.
However, last year’s draw also featured a second-prize of a meal plan credit for $2,000, and a third-place prize of a $1,000 gift card to the bookstore. This year’s draw features only the original first-prize.
But Western's also experimenting with new promotions this year. The first 700 students who arrive at this year's game will experience the Warm Up and Win contest, which awards students a free toque and a $5 meal voucher. Further, Homecoming game ticket prices for students have dropped from $25 last year to $10.
According to Tony von Richter, director of media relations for Western’s Mustangs, promotional strategies for the game have also recently changed.
“We’ve put a bigger focus on promoting the game in general,” he said.
Beginning as early as Tuesday, events held by faculties, Western’s alumni organization, and Sports and Recreation will precede the Homecoming football game against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday afternoon.
The Mustangs and other organizations have been advertising the game over the radio, on billboards, online, and in print publications. But von Richter said that the Mustangs have been consciously advertising the game earlier than in past years. Western’s Alumni organization also sent a mass-email on Oct. 11 advertising the Warm Up and Win contest and the tuition raffle.
This Homecoming marks the second year Western students have celebrated both FOCO and the October Homecoming.
Von Richter said that newer students may have been left behind by advertisement that was previously “just ‘Homecoming, Homecoming, Homecoming’ — without really saying what that meant.”
“It’s a chance to see a variety of things we offer here, and really just to connect with people,” said von Richter. "Whether it's your current students now, or former students that are coming home."