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Archive for Wednesday, September 2, 1992

KISH BEATS DRUM FOR KU FOOTBALL

September 2, 1992

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As special assistant to the athletic director, Bernie Kish operates out of an office in KU's Parrott Athletic Center.

He doesn't spend his most productive hours sitting behind a desk, however.

Armed with posters and brochures, Kish hits the pavement, selling KU football tickets to local businesses.

"I've tried to call and set up appointments. That doesn't work. So I go door-to-door, cold turkey. I talk KU football," Kish said.

Hired by KU athletic director Bob Frederick on Aug. 3, Kish has just completed the hotel-motel circuit. He sold season tickets to five of 10 establishments visited.

"I THINK that's pretty good for the first year," Kish said. "Now we're starting with the restaurants. Those are the two businesses that benefit the most from a full stadium."

Kish said he's set some unofficial goals.

"If we get 100 Lawrence businesses to be season ticket-holders, I'll be happy," Kish said. "With the efforts of Scott (McMichael, head of Hawks Nest selling program) Jill (Godfrey, promotions director) and everybody else, I think we're close to 50 right now."

Business owners who purchase tickets will, in coming weeks, receive an 8 by 12 decal to put in the window, informing customers they are season ticket-holders and KU supporters.

Kish outlined the reasons he believes businesses should buy.

"No. 1, to support the program. It's improved dramatically and will continue to do so under coach (Glen) Mason," Kish said. "No. 2, once people see the sticker in the window, that'll help them, too. People will see they support KU football.

"Also, once you get season tickets, you get first dibs in the future. I really believe in a couple of years, it's going to be like basketball. Tickets are going to be hard to get. People are going to say, `I wish I had tickets.''' I saw North Carolina State against Iowa in the Kickoff Classic the other night. That's going to be KU in the near future."

THE 52-YEAR-OLD Kish, who spent 30 years in the Army, has picked up sales quickly. In fact, he sold two tickets to the Lenexa company that's printing his stickers.

Also, he took eight orders last week after speaking at the Olathe Optimist club.

"It's something I feel deep in my heart," said Kish, who attended Indiana University in Pennsylvania, though he is currently working on a doctorate here.

Kish has known Frederick for 13 years, both sharing an interest in long-distance running.

"I think people can see that. I've only been treated with what I'd call hostility in one place. I'm having fun and I appreciate the fact people listen to what I have to say."

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