By Megan Toninato
[email protected]

Bennie Nation is the name of the new app that was recently launched by the CSB athletic department. This is a tool they believe will be used to get more students to the games, and reward those who come. Students with the app are given an opportunity to win many different prizes for attending different events and cheering on the CSB athletes.

“There are currently around 3,600 students that go here. There’s no reason that we can’t do better as far as our fan base goes and getting more people out to our events,” Game Operations Manager for CSB athletics Mike Eveslage said.

The CSB athletic department first heard of other colleges that have been using these sorts of rewards programs for years. In order to keep up with technology, CSB decided the easiest way to reach their target market of college students was through an app.

“We wanted to find a utility that people had with them all the time,” Eveslage said. “With an app, it’s a great way to stay in touch with our consumer base 24/7.”

Here’s how it works. Anyone is able to download the app. In fact, many parents and other fans are encouraged to do so but students are the ones who are eligible to check in and earn prizes.

With the help of on-campus organizations and off-campus sponsors, there are a pool of prizes students will be able to qualify for. When students attend an event, they “check in” on the app, earn points and move up in the standings. The app essentially works as a competition between students. Students are able to create a username and look at the standings to see where they place against their peers.

All events besides women’s hockey are worth 15 points. Students are able to earn an additional 15 points if they are present another hour into the game. Since women’s hockey takes place at an off-campus location, those events are worth 20 points. Also in the works are extra points for playoff events attended.

Currently the app has 260 downloads which has jumped dramatically since its first launch. There are six levels of prizes that are mapped out for the students to reach. With every point, you move up in the standings and reach different levels. The grand prize is one of two airline tickets aboard Sun Country Airlines. Other prizes include CSB athletics t-shirts, CSB/SJU bookstore coupons, specialty drink vouchers at Johnnie Java, hotel stays at the Holiday Inn and Suites, St. Cloud Escape Rooms, and many more.

“Who doesn’t want a chance to win two free plane tickets?” Eveslage said. “You get to come and enjoy an athletic event while earning prizes at the same time.”

The app has been well received by its users thus far, according to Eveslage.

Currently in the lead is Ikleen001 with 90 points. This weekend there are four CSB home events that people have the opportunity to watch high intense matches and earn points. Next week, playoff games will begin.

“CSB athletics right now is experiencing some pretty cool seasons and we want all students to be a part of it,” Eveslage said.

Bennie Nation is available for free in the App Store and on Google Play.

With the launch of the new app, CSB athletics is hoping to bring in more fans and showcase their new logo displayed above.