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

Students, Alabama Athletics promote ’90s basketball game

Even the most sports-unconscious out-of-state student coming to The University of Alabama is likely to have some knowledge of the Crimson Tide football team, but other sports such as basketball, women’s soccer and baseball can be overlooked.

To get out-of-state students interested in attending a game outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium, The 49, Alabama’s out-of-state student organization, is partnering with Alabama Athletics to promote Thursday’s ’90s-themed men’s basketball game.

Jamaal Walton, director of marketing and promotions for Alabama Athletics, said the partnership between The 49 and Alabama Athletics began last summer when he met with Douglas Fair, president of The 49, and Kirk Walter, advisor for The 49.

“I had an opportunity in the summer to sit down with Douglas,” Walton said. “I met Douglas, and I also met his advisor Kirk Walter, and we basically wanted to do some stuff with these guys just because they seemed like a great group to get with.”

The 49 and Alabama Athletics partnership began during fall semester’s Week of Welcome.

“We had an awesome opportunity to partner with Athletics for our Week of Welcome event, where they were able to bring some of the women’s soccer team, the women’s basketball coach and the women’s soccer team coaches to introduce themselves and come over to our larger Week of Welcome social over in Bryant-Denny Stadium,” Fair said. “We are reciprocating that partnership by trying to support this ’90s-themed basketball game against Florida as much as possible.”

Fair said getting students interested in sports besides football can help them feel a deeper connection to the University.

“We think that having a connection to Alabama itself and having pride in the actual school stems more from making the connection to sports, having a sense of pride in the entire sports regime that we have, rather than only football,” Fair said.

Walter said out-of-state students are particularly prone to being unaware of all the events happening on campus.

“The 49’s role is to really try to help bring out-of-state students in and get them plugged in on campus,” he said.

To promote the game and get those out-of-state students connected on campus, members of The 49 handed out 300 fliers at Get on Board Day. At the game, the organization will give away 150 free T-shirts to members of The 49 or any out-of-state students interested in joining.

The ’90s theme will include neon headbands and goodie bags, and pizza will be given away to students sitting in the stands. There will also be a photo booth available in Coleman Coliseum.

“A lot of the music that you’re going to hear is going to be old school ’90s music – a little Britney Spears, a little *N SYNC, probably a little MC Hammer,” Walton said.

The basketball team filmed a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” themed video that will be shown at halftime. Students are encouraged to attend the game dressed in ’90s regalia.

“Everyone I talked to about this event, at least from The 49, our executive board members – they’re going to dress up in their best ’90s attire,” Fair said.

Walton said working with The 49 and Fair in particular has been a positive experience.

“I just think that Douglas has done an excellent job,” Walton said.

Both Walton and Fair said they planned to partner again in the near future to mutually benefit each organization.

“We wanted to start big with basketball, but we’ve also met the other marketing directors for softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, and we are planning on doing at least one more event with athletics in the future to promote a smaller sport other than football and basketball,” Fair said.

Walton said the partnership for the event has been a success already.

“The 49 have done an excellent job by just taking a lead and really promoting the game, just as much as we have been promoting it,” Walton said. “I think it’s great to have groups like The 49 who don’t have a problem with helping Alabama out.”

Walton said he hoped that, with proper planning, Alabama Athletics and The 49 would be able to work together on similar events next year.

“Maybe we’ll do an ’80s night next year,” Walton said.

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