*The following is an excerpt from the book Brands Win Championships*
The first school to replicate the experience at an English Premier League (EPL) soccer match has themselves an atmosphere unlike any other in college sports. The EPL does it right, and college sports are ripe to emulate those packed stadiums in England. Throughout the full ninety minutes of an EPL match, you’ll hear the entire stadium rotating through a variety of cheers, chants, and songs, all supporting their team or degrading the rival squad. It’s an electricity no college stadium or arena has yet to match, which means there is a major opportunity out there for a school to create such an experience and get credit for it nationally.
Imagine the impact you can have on a group of recruits visiting your stadium, welcomed by fifty thousand-plus rabid fans chanting the same thing in unison. You have very little time to make an impression on a young man or woman visiting your campus on a recruiting trip; its scenes like these that can make or break a commitment to your program.
From my own experience, the closest thing to an English Premier League stadium experience in college sports is when the entire Wisconsin Badgers student section jumps up and down and sings “Jump Around” by House of Pain between the third and fourth quarter of home football games. It’s an experience like nothing I’ve seen in sports. The problem is that it happens when no one is on the field, so the impact on the game is minimal. Plus, it’s very brief and the only moment of its kind during the game. There’s no other significant chant or cheer that follows.
I would be doing a disservice to the school if I didn’t also mention Texas A&M and their in-game traditions, all choreographed beautifully and practiced each night before home games by the faithful student body. Wisconsin and Texas A&M represent two of the better in-game executions in the country, but there is plenty of room to grow.
Now, you knew this was coming: when orchestrating your cheers and chants, start with the brand story and work from there. Your cheers should stay in line with your position as a brand and contribute to telling that story. If it were me, this would be one of the first places I invested my time.