There are a number of ways students can demonstrate pride in their university. Few things, however, showcase school spirit quite like cheering for the home team on game day. During a football game celebrate their schools by covering themselves head-to-toe in school colors and filling stadium seats. They tailgate long before the game starts and continue celebrating well after it's over.
Universities have the most school spirit during football season and what can they teach us about school pride? Let’s take a closer look below:
Alabama Crimson Tide
It should be no surprise that the University of Alabama tops several lists as being the most spirited school during football season. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no denying that school pride blankets the university - especially every Saturday. On game day, the quad becomes a sea of crimson red tents, banners, graphics, chairs, tables, and, of course, attire. Tailgates, school songs, shakers, the Walk of Champions, The Million Dollar Band, and of course, Roll Tide, are bedrock traditions that set Alabama apart.
The Takeaway: Areas where students gather present perfect opportunities for fueling school pride and building your brand.
West Virginia Mountaineers
If you’re not wearing your old gold and blue colors at a Mountaineers football game, you might as well stay home. West Virginia students are infamous for showing their school colors and school pride. Milan Puskar stadium is also one of the most decorated stadiums in all of NCAA football, lined with wall mats, banners, bleacher enclosures, wall graphics, and window graphics. WVU football traditions include the first-down cheer, the ‘Hail West Virginia” fight song, the Mountaineer Mantrip, and the Pride of West Virginia marching band.
The Takeaway: Your athletic facility can be the one place where school spirit shines the most.
Even the University of Southern California’s toughest rivals admit that there’s no experience quite like playing in LA Coliseum. Every Saturday, pandemonium breaks out as soon as the team runs out of the tunnel. USC is also notorious for having one of the loudest crowds in all of football. The University Seal is everywhere and fuels student excitement. You can find it on banners, wall displays, window displays, t-shirts, and of course, all over the Coliseum. One of the most recognizable traditions that USC football games are famous for is Traveler, a noble white steed bearing a “Trojan Warrior” into the arena.
The Takeaway: The school logo or seal is at the heart of school spirit. It is a unifying symbol that everyone instantly recognizes.
University of Iowa students often describe Hawkeye football games as a sea of black and gold swarming toward the stadium. Nothing can compare to 70,000 Hawkeye fans in one place. Kinnick Stadium is among the oldest stadiums in the country and ranks 7th among largest football stadiums in the NCAA. What distinguishes Kinnick Stadium from other football facilities is the color scheme during the games. The seats are adorned in a black and gold design and the fans dress according to what color seat they sit in. It’s one of the most spectacular sights to behold in all of college football.
The Takeaway: What distinguishes your football field or stadium from all others? How can you spark school pride in your athletic facility?
Clemson has become a dominating force in college football over the last decade. Students and fans alike live for game day, and it can be felt all over campus. Mounted on a pedestal overlooking Clemson's Memorial Stadium, Howard's Rock is one of the most visible traditions in all of college football. Named for legendary coach Frank Howard, football players earn the privilege of touching the rock before a game. It is the greatest symbol of pride along with traditions such as The Cadence count and football fans run down “The Hill.”
The Takeaway: What traditions have you started or continued that students and alumni can identify with and pass down? How do these traditions strengthen your school brand?
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