Penn State’s primary sport is football and its fans are among the best football fans in the country, but what about the other fútbol team? The parallel between the terms, the latter in regard to Nittany Lions soccer, is no coincidence on the part of the men’s soccer team, which recently rolled out its new branding campaign, #PennStateFutbol.
After seeing the frenzy that the United States national team experienced from this summer’s World Cup and looking to engage more with the student population, head coach Bob Warming, marketing director Rob Roselli, and assistant director of athletic communications Jeremy Fallis sat down to come up with new ideas for promoting the soccer team.
“We liked how it would play off Penn State football, since their program is so well known,” said Fallis. “Why not try to have the world’s football game also be associated with Penn State?”
As a way of reaching out to the international students and bolstering the team’s fan interest, players welcomed and played pickup soccer with over 70 international students. The goal was to use a familiar game to help them transition to their new lives as American college students.
“[The campaign] helps illustrate how soccer is a world sport and appeals to both the United States and international students that create the Penn State student body,” said Mike Robinson, a senior defender on the team.
The campaign, which is largely social media driven, has been popular with fútbol fanatics and newcomers alike. Over 500 t-shirts have been printed with the #PennStateFutbol hashtag, and photos of the team helping with move-in at East Halls have received countless comments of praise on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
“We know Penn Staters have an unrivaled sense of school spirit when it comes to athletics,” said Fallis. “We think the #PennStateFutbol campaign can unite our fútbol enthusiasts and put us on par with some of the better fan sections in college soccer.”
— #PennStateFutbol (@PennStateMSOC) August 22, 2014
The interactive branding isn’t the only thing to look forward to this season. Jeffrey Field will host 11 home games in 2014, and it will also feature a new student-led percussion section, new Penn State Soccer windscreens on the fences surrounding the facility, and new branded covers on the stands to reinforce Penn State soccer and create an exciting setting.
The talent and chemistry of the team and the coaching staff is an indicator of their hopeful continued success in the NCAA. The five-time Big Ten Champions have their sights set on winning the conference championship yet again, as well as competing in the College Cup national championship.
The fútbol team will kick off the first match week of the season at Jeffrey Field, playing against Oakland on Friday and St. John’s on Sunday. The first 200 fans to arrive at Jeffrey Field on Sunday night will receive a free #PennStateFutbol shirt, so be sure to get to the field early and cheer on our Nittany Lions!