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This week we launched our first ever UTSA fan survey, drawing responses from over 150 Roadrunner fans. Inspired by the G5 fan survey sponsored by Chris Vannini at The Athletic, this survey provided us with fascinating insights into the behaviors and opinions of the Roadrunner faithful.
Before we start discussing the results, I do want to call out that there is a bit of bias associated with our survey. Our social media following skews towards young alumni, with students and non-alumni fans likely underrepresented. While almost all of our survey responses appeared genuine, the survey was open to anyone with the link and we did not validate responses for UTSA ties.
That being said, the responses clearly indicate a fanbase that is highly excited about its future, while also cognizant of the many challenges in front of the program.
Which of these categories best describes you?
- 77.2% – UTSA alumni
- 12.7% – Non-student/alumni
- 6.3% – UTSA student
If you’re an alumni/student what year did/will you graduate from UTSA?
- Average: 2011
- Earliest: 1983
- Most common: 2019 (11), 2011 (10)
Which of these locations best describes your living situation?
- 66.3% – Greater San Antonio area
- 26.9% – Texas (Outside of SA)
- 6.9% – Outside of Texas
Across tickets, donations, subscriptions, travel, etc. how did your spending in support of UTSA change last year?
- 48.4% – Slightly increased
- 24.5% – Greatly increased
- 22.6% – No change
- 3.1% – Slightly decreased
- 1.3% – Greatly decreased
Which of these UTSA-focused groups do you subscribe/donate to?
- 65.1% – Roadrunner Athletic Fund
- 56.8% – Alumni Association
- 55.5% – Alamodome Audible
- 35.6% – Birds Up (Rivals)
- 32.2% – UTSA Giving Day or other UTSA philanthropic donations
- 21.2% – InsideRunnerSports (24/7)
- 14.4% – Runners Rising (NIL)
- Others: ROTC, Individual baseball/golf donations, Rowdytalk, UTSA third party creators
Conference USA Reflection
What word would you use to describe UTSA’s time in Conference USA?
Examples: Growth, Frustrating, Necessary, Developmental
The fan base was somewhat split here, with 68% of respondents having at least some level of positivity in their response. Most of the positive responses seem to indicate that C-USA was a perfect home for UTSA to build its programs up to a competitive level, while many of the negative responses used strong language like “Rough”, “Bonkers”, and “Wasted”. Several responses called out UTSA’s lack of competitiveness overall throughout the school’s time in the conference.
What was your greatest frustration with Conference USA?
Examples: TV deal, Leadership, Exposure
No surprise here that UTSA fans absolutely hated Conference USA’s hodge-podge TV deal which placed games on obscure offerings such as Stadium and BeIN. Many fans were more frustrated by the tiny amount of TV revenue, while others were bothered by the difficulty of finding these broadcasts. Fans indicated a belief that Judy McLeod did very little to promote the teams in her conference, or lead the conference to growth and success.
Moving into the AAC
Which AAC program are you most excited to share a conference with?
- 63.5% – SMU
- 20.1% – Memphis
- 8.8% – Navy
- 3.8% – Tulane
- 1.9% – USF
What benefit of joining the AAC excites you the most?
- 87.3% – Easier TV/Stream access
- 74.7% – Membership prestige/brand recognition
- 57% – Increased conference distribution revenue
- 28.5% – Conference leadership
- 17.1% – More regional matchups
- 7.6% – Improved Olympic sports
- 4.4% – Easier travel
General UTSA Questions
Who is UTSA’s primary rival?
- 56.6% – North Texas
- 34% – Texas State
- Others: UAB, Houston, La Tech, SMU, UT-Austin, UTEP, no one
What is your excitement level for this season’s out-of-conference schedule (UH, UT-Austin, Army, Texas Southern)? 1 is the lowest possible grade, and 5 is the highest possible.
- 70.4% – 5
- 24.5% – 4
- 3.8% – 3
Which of these FBS non-conference series are most important to you?
- 82.8% – Houston
- 61.8% – UT-Austin
- 56.7% – Texas State
- 29.9% – Texas A&M
- 23.6% – UTEP
- 12.7% – Army
- 8.3% – Air Force
- 5.1% – Oklahoma State
- Others: Colorado State, Texas Tech, SHSU, New Mexico, NMSU, UNLV, Arizona State, Baylor, BYU
Which of these FCS opponents are most intriguing to you?
- 67.1% – UIW
- 38.8% – SFA
- 32.9% – UTRGV
- 15.8% – Houston Baptist
- 14.5% – McNeese State
- 13.8% – Abilene Christian
- 13.8% – Texas Southern
- 12.5% – Southern University
- Others: Tarleton State, Prairie View A&M, Lamar, Alabama State, None, Southeastern Louisiana, A&M Commerce, Nicholls
What’s the biggest issue facing UTSA athletics right now?
Examples: Facilities, funding, basketball, fan support/marketing
It’s no surprise that facilities and funding took up nearly every answer for this category, with an acute focus on baseball facilities. I do have to point out that only one respondent listed the lack of an on-campus football stadium as their primary concern for the athletics program.
Which future athletics facility should be UTSA’s next focus?
- 51% – Baseball stadium
- 41.1% – Basketball arena
- 5.7% – Covered football practice field
- 3.2% – Basketball practice facility
How many wins would constitute a successful football season?
- 46.8% – 8
- 19% – 9
- 14.6% – 7
- 13.3% – 10
- 5.8% – Over 10 wins
First off, thank you to everyone who submitted a survey response. It was a fascinating exercise which we’ll definitely keep going in the future.
While in some ways these results were quite predictable, I was surprised by several answers. It looks like the UTSA fan base at large (or at least survey respondents) are much more measured in their expectations for the football team this year than Twitter would lead you to believe.
The surge in support for building new baseball facilities, even overtaking interest in basketball upgrades, was surprising to me, though it’s clear that the team’s success last year showed the potential for this program to really build itself into a power with adequate institutional and booster support.
North Texas overtaking Texas State as UTSA’s primary rival isn’t all too shocking, though the margin between the two is surprisingly large. On a related note, it looks like UTSA fans will sorely miss playing UTEP, though they’re often unwilling to give up a Power 5 opponent to face the Miners in the future.
There’s a ton of data here to digest and analyze, and the year-to-year changes in responses to some of these questions will be fascinating. We discussed the survey results in Episode 183 of the podcast if you’re looking to hear more thoughts on the survey and its results. Be sure to sound off in the comments with any information in the survey you found interesting or particularly egregious.
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