April 11, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Department will paint the FieldTurf at Michigan Stadium with the hashtag #GOBLUE for the upcoming Mott Spring Game presented by PNC Bank. The Wolverines will use the opportunity to generate exposure inside the stadium, on the nationally televised broadcast, and most importantly in the social media world.
The annual spring football scrimmage and the "Battle at the Big House" men's lacrosse game against Ohio State will be held Saturday (April 14) at Michigan Stadium. The Victors Classic alumni flag football game will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the annual spring football scrimmage at noon. The lacrosse game is tentatively slated to start at 2:30 p.m.
The hashtag #GOBLUE will be painted maize at two locations, straddling the 25-yard line on the northeast and southwest sides of the field.
"Our goal is to challenge the status quo and to create innovative ideas that speak to our fans," said Jordan Maleh, U-M's director of digital marketing. "This initiative will help our athletic department use technology as a competitive advantage to engage and connect to fans, build brand loyalty, grow the digital audience and monitor and listen to what is being said through the digital engagement cycle."
It's believed to be the second time that a collegiate program has painted a hashtag on its football field. The other instance was a Mississippi State football game against Mississippi last fall when the Bulldogs painted #HAILSTATE in one end zone.
The Michigan Athletic Department already has the Michigan Athletic Ticket Office Twitter account, @umichtix and MGoBlue.com painted into the court in front of both benches at Crisler Center. In addition, U-M promotes its social media platforms -- Twitter and Facebook -- on the video boards at Michigan Stadium, Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena.
Michigan Athletics will introduce a "Tweet Board" for the Mott Spring Game presented by PNC Bank that will showcase tweets from fans throughout the Victors Classic alumni flag football game and the Mott Spring Game. Michigan Stadium video boards will highlight the #GOBLUE hashtag throughout both games by including a dedicated #GOBLUE bug and call-to-action asking fans to tweet and use hashtag #GOBLUE. Michigan, in real time, will monitor and approve fan tweets in order to showcase on the "Tweet Board."
"When a brand 'gets it', they stand out from the competition," said Kathleen Hessert, founder and president of Buzz Manager, Inc., the company Michigan is partnering with to provide a social media audit of the #GOBLUE hashtag. "Michigan combines the best of iconic tradition with a view to the future. Their use of digital and social media is driven by clear business objectives. Michigan is committed to being in the middle of the public's passionate conversation about sports and, by listening deeply to their fans, they also earn the right to lead."
The official University of Michigan Football Twitter account, @umichfootball will begin to tease the #GOBLUE hashtag by activating a #GOBLUE contest, starting Wednesday (April 11). Fans will have the opportunity to win the following prizes leading up to the 2012 Spring Game:
- 1 of 10 VIP seats to the 2012 Spring Game
- 1 of 4 scoreboard messages during the 2012 Spring Game
- 2 tickets to Michigan vs. Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Michigan Stadium
- 1 of 2 $50 M Den Gift Cards
To enter, begin following the @umichfootball Twitter account (www.twitter.com/umichfootball) and wait for the announcement by Michigan Football that will note the start of the contest.
Winners will be announced via the @umichfootball Twitter account on Friday (April 13).
Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423