Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

New ‘Rally Crew’ seeks to promote fan engagement and career prep

CW / Hayden Hutchison
The Rally Crew at the baseball game against Samford.

Alabama baseball has an influx of new fans after a fan engagement program called the “Rally Crew” was introduced this semester. The group is led by Michelle Sipe, a student assistant at The University of Alabama majoring in communication studies with a minor in news media with a sports concentration.  

The program, which operates under the marketing and fan engagement department within Alabama athletics, seeks to engage with all fans, not just the student section. 

“I wanted to provide more fan engagement and in-game entertainment to people primarily in the concourse,” Sipe said. 

The Rally Crew was founded when Sipe had the idea to captivate fans to encourage higher attendance. 

“My sophomore year, I actually went up to somebody that was working on the field, and I was like, ‘How do I do that?’” Sipe said.  

Sipe said that there are many activities, such as the Whataburger Fry Shuffle, meant for student engagement, but hardly anything for the fans behind the plate.  

Freshman Rally Crew member and communications studies major Emily Toth said that although the program is very new, she has had an amazing experience.  

“Being able to be more involved in the games has been so exciting and I absolutely love it,” Toth said. “We got to throw T-shirts to the crowd, be a part of the ‘play ball’ televised part of the game, as well as being part of gear of the game. At the end of the game, we are told to teach the crowd the ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe.’” 

Freshman creative media major Avery Kinzer said she joined the Rally Crew to be more involved in Alabama athletics from the sidelines. 

“I loved being able to be more in the game, and being able to help others is always a great experience,” Kinzer said.  

Sipe is optimistic about the future of the Rally Crew and has many ideas to bring it to the next level. 

“Several girls have expressed interest in maybe next year, we make a captain for the squad so maybe they can be a leader having done the inaugural year,” Sipe said. “I want to be able to do fundraising. Other schools will host birthday parties at their baseball parks or have bat girls, so kids can come shadow.” 

Toth expressed gratitude about the opportunity Sipe and the Rally Crew have offered her. 

“The Rally Crew has been an opportunity for me to experience a tiny portion of what my future career could look like,” Toth said. 

Kinzer said she hopes the Rally Crew can help her further her entertainment skills. 

“I think Rally Crew will help me become more confident in my ability to communicate and be able to get the attention of a crowd,” Kinzer said. “I am so grateful to be a part of Alabama baseball and the Rally Crew altogether.” 

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