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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Athletic department unveils virtual fan experience ahead of basketball season

Eric Lee | Staff Photographer
GW set the world record for the greatest number of people wearing tricorn hats at once.

Without access to courtside seats this season, the athletic department is rolling out an online fan experience that includes perks like game day shoutouts and GW merchandise, according to a press release Thursday.

“The Suite Life” is part of an effort to boost fan engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic when fans might not be able to attend games in person. Fans will receive GW merchandise, access to an exclusive GW sports Facebook group, virtual practices and “meet the team” events, the release states.

“Our Engagement Unit was charged with conceptualizing new ways to secure revenue and resources to support our student-athletes, while simultaneously engaging our strong fanbase to continue to provide joy and school spirit to our community,” Athletic Director Tanya Vogel said in the release. “The Suite Life is the marriage of those efforts and I personally can hardly wait to enjoy it when I can’t be with one of our teams.”

Athletics Operations Associate Aaron Jones led the program, the release states. GW sports enthusiasts can choose among several Suite Life packages with various perks, ranging from $125 to $250.

The cheapest package includes access to the Facebook group, entitled the “Tricorner.” The Facebook group will host virtual events, behind the scenes content with the basketball programs and in-game activities, the release states.

Enrolled fans will also earn a special birthday or anniversary shoutout during a team’s ESPN+ stream and gameday eats, an offshoot of the Tricorner that serves as a one-stop shop for recipes and promotion codes for game day food. Purchasers will also receive a “Gameday Box” that will include a GW-branded koozie, wine stopper, flag, coaster set and chip and dip party tray.

For the mid-range, $200 package, fans will receive access to the Tricorner, a shoutout during ESPN+ streams and gameday eats. But instead of the “Gameday Box,” fans will get a “Swag Box” that includes a GW-branded winter hat, Adidas backpack, scarf, socks and mask.

With the most expensive package, fans will receive everything the former two tiers include, as well as a three-month long subscription to ESPN+ and chalk talks with coaches before each game.

As of late September, Vogel said D.C. is not allowing fans to attend sporting events. Fans who purchase the most expensive package will have the opportunity to fill Smith Center stands with a cardboard cutout until they can return in person.

The gameday box is set to ship to participating fans in November, and fans can expect the swag box to be shipped in late January, the initiative’s website states.

Some proceeds from The Suite Life will support the athletic department’s and student-athletes’ “future,” the release states.

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