Last fall we got behind Rory Ellis and the rest of The Orange Revolution. Sick of the doom and gloom surrounding the program, a handful of fans decided to do something productive and actually rally the fan base. Ellis and his buds we’re all about spreading the word and getting the fan base to sport orange when they showed up for games.
On Thanksgiving night, these were the guys responsible for the Bryan Pata banners in the West End Zone, taking up donations and putting in their own cash to make sure #95 and his family were represented on Senior Day. Few will forget the lasting image of several Canes marching midfield with a Pata banner after the 17-14 upset of Boston College. The fallen Pata’s teammates circled, knelt and prayed around the banner, one lasting memory of a heartbreaking seasons.
Randy Shannon is leading a new regime in Coral Gables and The Orange Revolution is ready to get on board and do their part to get the fan base excited about the new product on the field this fall. Rory emailed earlier today to let me know his cause has received recent media attention this past week and like last year, I promised to help them spread the word.
From WVUM to the Miami Herald to MySpace, Facebook right down to flyering Canesfest this past weekend – these guys are on a mission. There’s a revolution calling.
Ellis’ mission isn’t groundbreaking or earthshattering, but as we know, it only takes one person to rise up and start a movement. No one ever said it had to be complex. Sometimes it’s as simple as wearing an orange shirt to a ball game.
The idea was borrowed from a Canes basketball game last season when fans were urged to wear green to the game. It also has a little bit of the “White Hot Heat” campaign in 2006 when the Miami Heat relied on home court advantage to help bring home the NBA crown, with fans urged to unite and wear white to the game.
What some thought was simply a gimmick last year for a flailing team, has rolled over into a new season, complete with a new head coach and new attitude. Ellis is not only urging fans to rock the orange against Marshall in the season opener, but for all home games in 2007.
“This thing is really starting to take on a life of its own,” said Ellis. “Just in the last few days, Susan Degnan (Miami Herald) mentioned The Orange Revolution in her Sunday recap of Canesfest and assistant AD Mark Pray told us to expect word from UM’s marketing department regarding the idea and if it’s something they’d like to take to the next level.”
Between media support, on campus support (WVUM promises to promote on air, hand out fliers, etc.), a game plan to spread the word on line, as well getting big mouthed bloggers to talk the talk, this thing promises to grow some legs. Get on board and sport the game day orange, people.
Questions for Rory and the Revolution? Fire ’em an email and make sure to check out their MySpace and Facebook pages.