The University at Buffalo doesn’t just want its football supporters to buy season tickets, its asking that they sell them, too.

With their new Sideline Club, the Bulls are reaching out to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors in an effort to build the season-ticket base.

“We’re trying to encourage people to become friends of the program and help us grow,” associate athletics director Paul Vecchio said.

Vecchio compared the incentive-based program to rewards the Girl Scouts give for selling cookies.

The Sideline Club will have four levels of membership:

- Those who sell eight or more season tickets will be receive two tickets to the Aug. 3 kickoff luncheon featuring former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne.

Vecchio said Bulls coach Turner Gill was instrumental in brining his former coach to Buffalo.

Season-ticket holders and corporate sponsors are also invited to the luncheon. Individual tickets and full tables are also available to the public, at $75 and $500 respectively.

“It’s pretty special for us to bring in somebody like Tom Osborne, even if he had no connection to Turner,” Vecchio said.

- In addition to the two luncheon tickets, those who sell 16 season tickets will also receive a New Era cap and two invitations to a UB party at Dunn Tire Park.

- Those who sell 32 tickets receive each of the lower-level incentives plus two tickets and bus transportation to either the Bulls’ Sept. 15 game at Penn State or the Oct. 10 matchup with Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.

The Bulls have a limited number of tickets available to these games, and season ticket holders will have exclusive rights to the tickets through Aug. 1.

- The top tier of compensation gives UB supporters access to the Bulls’ sideline. Those who sell 75 tickets receive the entire reward package as well as a sideline pass to a select game and a pre-game visit with Gill.

Prior to Gill’s arrival last season, several sideline passes were provided to Bulls home games. That has changed dramatically. The Bulls are calling this membership level the Total Sideline Experience.

Vecchio said the Bulls have also formed a five-person team to aggressively sell season tickets to area businesses. Jamey Richard, a senior center, has joined this effort as part of a marketing internship.

“We’re not disappointed with where the season ticket numbers were last year, but we’re really pushing to increase our base,” Vecchio said. “We want to see more people in the seats on a consistent basis.

“Obviously winning more games is the biggest factor in that.”

Visit BuffaloBulls.com or call the ticket office at 645-6666 for more information on the Sideline Club.

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Niagara University will honor long-time trainer Ray Kist on Monday with its 10th annual Kist Classic golf fundraiser at Niagara Falls Country Club.

Regarded as a counselor and mentor to many, Kist was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993. Kist succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s Disease at 46 on the final day of 1995.

“Ray Kist touched many lives of the student-athletes and coaches on Monteagle Ridge and for the last 10 years the athletics department has honored Ray with this golf outing to raise money in his memory,” athletics director Ed McLaughlin wrote in a column on PurpleEagles.com. “Proceeds from this event go directly to helping the coaches and the student-athletes, the people who make Niagara University the special place that it is.”

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Former UB guard Louis Campbell was recently named guard of the year in the Japan Superleague. Campbell’s Toyota Alvark teammate, former UCLA star Charles O’Bannon, was the league’s player of the year.

Campbell played for the Bulls from 1998-2002 and ranks seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,385 points. His memorable half-court heave before the halftime buzzer of coach Reggie Witherspoon’s first game gave the Bulls a five-point lead over visiting North Carolina, a team ranked in the top 10 nationally at that time.

Contact reporter Jonah Bronstein

at 282-2311, ext. 2258 or bronsteinj@gnnewspaper.com.