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September 21, 2023

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Orange lights replace porch lights for University’s Paint the Town Orange

The University recently bought 1,100 new light bulbs, but they weren’t to replace burnt out ones.

Rather than the typical fluorescent lights in residence halls and classrooms, the Athletics Department purchased orange light bulbs to kick up school spirit.

Two months ago, the University started “Paint the Town Orange,” a campaign to raise awareness and support for the University and athletics by passing out orange light bulbs for students and community members to display at home, said Craig Sandlin, coordinator of Promotions and Fan Experience in the University Athletics Department.

While Sandlin said the campaign began as a way to “drum up support for the football team leading up to the football home opener,” students still have them displayed today.

Kara Maxey, University junior, displays hers at her house on Fourth Street. After she got hers, she drove around to look at the other houses around the city that had one.

“It was really cool to see who did it,” Maxey said. “They’re everywhere.”

The light bulbs were available to pick up at the ticket office, different sporting events and at an event for season ticket holders, Sandlin said.

“They say that ‘hey, a Falcon lives here,’” he said.

There are still some light bulbs available and students and community members can pick them up for free at the ticket office in the Stroh Center, Sandlin said.

That’s where Kevin Larsen and Kevin Kohlman, who display their orange light at their house on Manville, got theirs.

“I heard about it through Facebook and Twitter,” Kohlman said. “It’s just to spread BG spirit and pride throughout the community.”

The first 1,000 or more light bulbs went pretty quickly, Sandlin said. The University bought 1,100 because of money and “we didn’t know what kind of return we were going to get from it,” Sandlin said.

The campaign was more than just the light bulbs; it also involved local businesses. The University collaborated with the Visitor’s Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown BG, Sandlin said.

The University hosted contests for the local businesses and houses in the community— whoever could decorate their house and business the best won a prize. For the business that won, Ace Hardware, the University gave them a suite to watch the Tulsa game in. The winning fan recieved season tickets.

“We had over 15 businesses participate in the initiative,” Sandlin said. Around 10 fans participated by decorating their houses.

The University got the idea for the campaign from the Indianapolis Colts, who hosted a “Paint the Town Blue” campaign, Sandlin said.

“It’s a great way to show you’re a Falcon and you support BGSU,” he said.

The orange light bulbs were part of a much bigger picture of promoting school spirit and fan experience at the University this year, Sandlin said.

“We wanted to do something to get the fans excited and involved. What we focus on in marketing and game day advertising is trying to get fans involved more,” he said.

The department also put out yard signs for the home opener and gave out thunder sticks at the game.

Though the University had only a few days to promote the game with most students, the turnout was greater at the home opener than this past year.

This past year there were 4,600 students and this year there were 5,500, he said.

“I have to believe a lot of that is awareness,” Sandlin said. “It’s not just about athletics, it’s about school pride.”

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