This season has been fun for more ways than one.
By: Meghan Reinhardt
So far, the 2017 football season has treated Penn State fans well. Our Nittany Lions are undefeated, ranked #2, and coming off a huge win against Michigan. While their performance on the field has been impressive, something else that’s been better than past season’s is our team’s public relations. Being a winning team has lent this season to more fun on social media, at events, and in Beaver Stadium.
Our team has a few notable Twitter accounts that fans enjoy following. Marcus Allen gives fans more to look forward to than discounted Dunkin’ Donuts after a win. His post-game locker room dancing videos rack up thousands of retweets and likes. He even caught the attention of Cardi B, singer of Bodak Yellow, after posting a video of him dancing to the hit song.
Marcus’ videos are entertaining and allow the fans to get a glimpse of what the locker room energy is like after a win. Not to mention, we could all learn a few new moves from him.
Another member of the football squad that is worth following is the fearless leader himself, James Franklin. He uses the platform to promote the team, keep fans in the loop, and create excitement for upcoming games. Recently, Franklin got a lot of buzz on his account for his pleas for a complete white out at the primetime matchup against Michigan. Franklin urged his fans to completely be dedicated to the white out by wearing white pants and asking for a white out weekend. This white out frenzy took on a whole new life on Twitter, with fans tweeting their support for the white pants idea and letting James know what their outfit choices for the game were.
These tweets created excitement and anticipation for the game, as well as a fun way to interact with Franklin and show support for the team. Fans continued to show support for the football program as well as prove their dedication after Franklin responded to a tweet from a fan expressing their dismay that they had to attend a friend’s wedding instead of going to the white out game. How dare they not plan it over the bye week!
Both Marcus Allen and James Franklin do a great job of interacting with fans and creating excitement. These interactions lead to a greater buzz surrounding the football program both on and off social media.
Saquon for Heisman
Saquon Barkley’s on field performance has caused quite the stir on social media. GIFs and short clips of his dynamic football skills are constantly shared on social media, especially after games during which he makes big plays. Saquon is in the running for the Heisman, an award given to the best player in college football towards the end of the season.
The chatter surrounding Saquon only builds a stronger case for him to win in addition to the statements he makes simply by playing the game. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, and NFL players like Ezekiel Elliott have taken to Twitter to show support for the ‘Saquon for Heisman’ campaign.
This campaign has taken a life of it’s own. Penn State students in an entrepreneurship class sold ‘Saquon for Heisman’ towels that became wildly popular and one of the most popular pumpkins at the Arboretum’s pumpkin festival was one with Saquon carved into it. After Saquon’s solid performance and contribution to this weekend’s win against Michigan, the ‘Saquon for Heisman’ chants aren’t going anywhere soon.
College Gameday in Happy Valley
The Lions’ success has drawn attention from across the nation, and also brought College Gameday, the wildly popular ESPN pre-game show to State College this weekend. Thousands of Penn State fans packed Old Main Lawn to show support for their team, and have the chance to get on national television. Students lined up as early as 2 a.m. to get the best spot to show off their clever signs (a popular trend on College Gameday shows). College Gameday hadn’t been to Happy Valley since 2009, so this validated all of the hype the team has gotten so far this season.
College Gameday, the white out, and all of the hype surrounding the team helped to create the greatest atmosphere in college football, as well as the greatest attendance in Beaver Stadium with 110,823 fans in the stands at Saturday night’s game.
While there’s no doubt that Penn State’s public relations would be this on-point if they weren’t having an amazing season, the team has been able to have a lot of fun this season off the field. Let’s hope they keep up their winning record because we all want more Marcus Allen dancing videos in our future.