You only turn 150 once, so you might as well celebrate.
In 1865, Michigan appropriated $50 for the maintenance of a playing field. By spring, the Michigan baseball team played its first season as a varsity sport. Fifty-six NCAA titles and 373 Big Ten titles later, Michigan athletics will enter its 150th year of operation this fall.
To celebrate, the Michigan Athletic Department is planning a year-long initiative using events, content and social media to highlight the past and present of Michigan athletics.
The Department’s goal, according to the project’s vision statement, is “Inviting the University of Michigan family to celebrate the passion that fuels us, rediscover the stories and traditions that unite us, and imagine what the future holds for us.”
The Daily breaks down Michigan’s current plans to commemorate its past, present and future in its 150th year of athletics.
By far the largest event during the celebration will be the All Student-Athlete Reunion, set to take place in conjunction with Michigan football’s Sept. 12 home opener against Oregon State.
The Department anticipates thousands to attend, and current plans are to house the tailgate-style event inside the Crisler Center.
During the year, every varsity sport will have one home event to be branded as the 150th anniversary celebration event, and will use social media, special stories and, in some cases, guest speakers and giveaways to celebrate the Department’s history.
Additionally, the popular student-athlete event Mock Rock will be built around the 150th anniversary, and will have a historical theme. Current members of Michigan Athletics will also participate in an internal golf outing in mid-August to kick off the celebration.
The website for Michigan Athletics, MGoBlue.com, plans to highlight the school’s history with special coverage.
A partnership with the Bentley Library will generate a “From the Archives” section highlighting photos, articles or videos from the past, while the site plans to highlight prominent alumni, community development and facility upgrades on “Future Fridays.”
“Stories from the Seats” will be an opportunity for fans to write in stories highlighting their experience with the Wolverines.
Throughout the school year, MGoBlue.com will also publish historical feature stories and update an interactive timeline highlighting noteworthy moments in the school’s athletic history.
Finally, the site plans to do special video segments including the launch video, special video stories on the advancement of women’s athletics and “This Michigan of Ours” videos that call on fans, donors, alumni, professors and student-athletes to share their experiences and memories.
Using #GoBlue150, Michigan plans to increase awareness through social media.
The Department has already introduced centralized Michigan Athletics Twitter and Facebook accounts, and will use Throwback Thursdays and Michigan Mondays for the Department and its teams to post about their history.
Similar to content and events, Michigan also plans to solicit photos and videos from fans about their memories.