(ERRR/ERRR/ERRR). I turn over at 2:50 a.m. to silence my familiar, and 99% of the time, unwelcoming alarm on my phone. This time though, I instantly bounce up. Wake up the echoes in Boston, because it’s game day! Xocial Marketing was extremely fortunate to be tapped to work in conjunction with Under Armour and Notre Dame at their Shamrock Series on November 21, 2015.
The day begins with us hopping a curb at 3:40 a.m. and driving our truck on the narrow paths of Boston Common. We drive slowly through the lifeless park, criss-crossing walkways searching for our set up location amongst 50 silent acres. We finally locate three white tents where the Shamrock Series 5k participants and spectators will congregate before, and after their early morning run. We set up, the staff arrives and we’re ready to tackle the day. Growing up in Chicago, watching Rudy on repeat and even attending summer soccer camp at the university in South Bend, Notre Dame was part of my upbringing. Combine that with us activating on behalf of Under Armour, a company whose current sponsorships dominate today’s sport landscape (Steph Curry, Cam Newton, Jordan Spieth, etc.) and the ingredients for a dream event are all in place. This blog post isn’t about the incredibly cool UA activation we assisted on (because it was), but rather, the atmosphere of being around such an event.
The first few fans trickle into the 5k, each dressed more green and gold than the last. One fan even offers if they can get us anything to eat or drink, grateful we’re out there to put on an event for them, a statement that will go on to set the day’s tone. The friendliness and genuine attitude of each person becomes infectious and more apparent as hours go on. Come late morning, we move our display to the Shamrock Series Fan Fest, directly across the street from storied Fenway Park. Even with the new location and kickoff ticking closer, we feel the same consistent warmth and passion as the first fan who came and talked to us at 5:30 a.m. The place is swelling now with Notre Dame faithful and even a few Boston College fans who brave “enemy” territory in their own backyard. That being said, this isn’t your Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, even split-allegiance friends and multi-generational families are laughing together, happy to share stories with us like we’re one of their own. Jac Collinsworth emcees the Fan Fest, Barleyjuice entertains the capacity crowd with music, Brian Kelly’s family and players have Q&As and then the Fighting Irish Marching Band wraps the event by playing their entire halftime set inside the Fan Fest…all of this before kickoff. They talk about highs in work when you’re in an element, in the zone, where 16 hours feels like 4. Well, it may have felt like 3 hours to me because each individual wanted to be there, wanted to be part of something special and wanted to make the day uniquely memorable for all. The word that sums the experience up best is tradition; and we’re honored to have been a part of it.