Your Reputation Never Dies

When the God of Thunder is present, a fearless energy takes over the Vikings

How do you increase attendance to an event no one seems to be interested in? This was the question FIR NW had to answer after being hired by the Portland State Vikings. The agency was challenged to increase attendance to basketball games. The university's lack of sports culture and disinterest in their mascot, the Viking, made for a poor turnout during basketball season. Unlike OSU and UofO, two state universities with a robust athletic following, PSU students were slow to get behind their teams. 

So we dabbled in norse mythology, which revealed that the Vikings were fearless creatures, propelled by only one thing: their reputation. They didn’t care if they died in battle as they would forever be remembered for their bravery. This was a compelling narrative that all students could get on board with.

To infuse the basketball games with new energy and provide a sense of belonging, we proposed to host pre-game tailgate parties. These would take place on the beautiful Portland Park Blocks (a 12-block green space in the center of campus), and would be titled ‘Thor’s Block Party.’ We promoted this event by having the players and cheerleaders hand out invitations with norse proverbs throughout the residence halls. These proverbs were also used in chalk trails around campus leading students to the stadium, and on the backs of T-shirts that would be raffled at ‘Thor’s Block Party’. All of these executions reminded students that supporting their Vikings as they went into battle was crucial because  #YourReputationNeverDies.

Portland State University Basketball strategy produced 91% increase in attendance to basketball games.