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Shocker fans embrace the fun of the Kiss Cam

Two people smooch on camera at a Wichita State game against Loyola at Koch Arena.
Two people smooch on camera at a Wichita State game against Loyola at Koch Arena. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State fans are loving people.

That’s the most important thing to remember when it comes to the Kiss Cam.

“We’re lucky in that way,” said Brett Foltz, a senior account executive for Shocker Sports Properties. “As far as a promotion, people really enjoy it … but the main thing is we’re looking for people who seem like they’re together, obviously.

“And it works, because the Wichita State people are pretty loving.”

Foltz, via a sponsorship from Emprise Bank, has brought the Kiss Cam to Koch Arena this season, and it has received a warm reception from the 10,500-plus fans who regularly pack the Roundhouse for Shocker games. Wichita State has rolled to a 22-0 start and is No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25 following a Final Four appearance in 2013.

Here are the basics on the Kiss Cam: It originated in California in the 1980s with the advent of jumbotrons at major sporting venues as a way to entertain fans during timeouts.

Intake Studios, which handles productions at WSU games, is in charge of selecting people for the Kiss Cam. It’s not a complicated process: The cameramen scan the crowd for people that look like couples and then roll the dice.

It usually works. In Tuesday’s 57-45 win over Loyola, four of the five couples put on camera puckered up.

“We look for couples, because that’s the people that are most likely to kiss on camera,” said Troy Lott, president/executive producer for Intake. “Occasionally we pick the wrong ones, like a brother and sister or something.”

No different than the famous episode of the popular sitcom “Modern Family,” when Phil Dunphy (played by Ty Burrell) is put on the Kiss Cam at a Los Angeles Lakers game … with his mother-in-law, Gloria (played by Sofia Vergara).

Gloria goes ahead and kisses Phil, much to his chagrin. Doesn’t usually work that way in real life.

“We had one that was pretty memorable, where she gave the guy the evil eye,” Intake senior editor Lonny Quattelbaum said. “She wasn’t having it.”

The goal is always to find couples who get into it. And when those smoochable Shockers get on camera, it’s usually gold.

“We’re looking for certain people, ones that look like they’ll kiss with a little passion,” Lott said. “Because that’s when the crowd really seems to enjoy it.”

Foltz hasn’t made it official yet, but he feels as if the Kiss Cam might be here to stay.

“We haven’t had the formal discussion yet (with Emprise) about bringing it back next year,” Foltz said. “But it’s gotten a great response. I feel like it’ll be around next season.”

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