The University of Iowa’s athletics department is looking to hire an outside firm to improve its ticket sales, customer service and fan engagement.

Last week, the US college issued a call for firms interested in partnering to manage a “dedicated ticket sales, fan development and customer service staff.”

According to the call for bids, the main goal is to increase ticket sales, “resulting in consistent capacity crowds energised to create a winning and entertaining environment.”

The college football programme saw an increase of over 6,000 fans per home game, during the 2016 season and ranked 20th in the nation in home attendance, averaging 69,656 fans per contest.

In addition, the Hawkeyes ranked eighth-best nationally in increased average attendance over the 2015 season.

Iowa football sold out four games (70,585) among its seven home events in 2016.

In a statement, U of Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said his department aims to make buying tickets and cheering on the Hawkeyes “as convenient as possible.”

“This is not a new concept for intercollegiate athletics or our department,” he said of a potential partnership with an outside firm. “The environment continues to evolve, along with the importance of technology and data analytics, and we believe it is important to explore the current market.”

Charlie Taylor, associate athletics director with the department’s strategic communications and marketing, said the university has worked with an outbound sales company for years. But that was on a smaller scale, and this would be much more involved and technical.

“Businesses change and evolve,” Taylor said. “How fans interact and how they buy tickets and need to be served, that evolves constantly, and this is an element we want to take a hard look at.”

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