To celebrate the first American Athletic Conference game played inside Koch Arena, Wichita State’s marketing department is relying on WSU fans to pull something never seen before at Koch Arena: a three-color stripe-out.
When the ESPN cameras broadcast Thursday’s AAC showdown between Houston (12-2) and No. 9 Wichita State (11-2), a national audience will see Koch Arena striped in three different colors: white, black, and yellow.
Shirts will not be provided, so WSU has pushed the promotion for the past month on GoShockers.com and left fliers in the seats of the last home game Dec. 22 against Florida Gulf Coast with instructions on what color to wear depending on the section.
WSU has pulled off the stripe-the-arena idea once before, back in January 2014 against Indiana State, but that was just two colors: yellow and black. Adding a third to the mix adds another degree of difficulty.
“We were overwhelmed by the response we got back in 2014,” said Kayla Blanding, WSU’s director of marketing and communications. “There were probably less than 20 people in the arena who didn’t wear their designated color. We were crossing our fingers and hoping Shocker Nation would step up and they absolutely did.
“We have 100 percent faith our fans are going to represent their section and their color and be part of something that is going to be really awesome.”
Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas will return to shoot the 360-degree picture that will be billions of pixels in size, meaning fans can sign up for the Gigapixel experience and view themselves clearly whether they’re sitting courtside or in the rafters of Koch Arena. If fans are curious of what the experience will be like, the picture from the 2014 game is still available online.
Blanding said the picture is tentatively schedule for the under-12 media timeout in the first half, although that could change the day of the game. She said the crowd will be made aware before the picture is taken so fans can pose for it.
But the question she’s been asked the most is — why include white?
“We’ve done a yellow-out and a black-out and a yellow-and-black stripe-out, so I think we were ready for something new,” Blanding said. “The team is actually going to be wearing their home whites, so we thought it would be fitting to wear white to represent our team a little bit better.”
Wichita State athletic director Darron Boatright said he has noticed fans are showing more anticipation than usual for home games this season in the new conference.
“I think all of the home games are going to be highly-anticipated,” Boatright said. “To get this first one under the community’s belt, I think the excitement is palpable in the community. You can feel it. You can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on being a part of the American Athletic Conference. I think there’s a great majority of people who are really looking forward to this.”
White: 101, 102, 107, 108, 109, 114, 115, 118, 121, 124
Black: 103, 104, 112, 113, 119, 123
Yellow: 105, 106, 110, 111, 116, 117, 120, 122, 125, 126